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Summary: A sermon on John the Baptist for Christmas (Idea came from Boyce Mouton)

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Christmas Time with John the Baptist for 12/6/2009

Introduction:

A preacher got up around this time of the year and said, “Today we are going to talk about the special birth of a baby boy over 2,000 years ago. His birth was predicted by the Old Testament prophets. An angel appeared to the father and told him what to name the baby. Once the child was born, the Lord’s hand was with him. The child grew and became strong in spirit.” What is the name of that special baby? John the Baptist

Let’s spend some Christmas time with John the Baptist

WBTU:

A. Luke and Matthew tell us the story of Jesus’ birth. Luke also tells us about the birth of John the Baptist and we often leave it out. Luke 1 weaves the two births together.

B. Read Luke 1:5-25, 57-66, 80

C. Go back to vs. 17. This is a partial fulfillment of Malachi 4:5-6- read it.

D. The last words of the OT talk about another Elijah coming. 400 years has passed since that prophecy. In anticipation of this, Jewish homes set a place at the table for Elijah at Passover, just in case he might come on that night to announce the news that Messiah has come. An empty chair and a cup that is filled but never drank is a testimony to their anticipation of Elijah’s coming.

E. Jesus said about John the Baptist in Matthew 11:11-14- read it.

F. If we compare the life and ministry of Elijah from the OT with John the Baptist we see many similarities. Wild guys- unconventional, lacking in social graces.

G. (Mat 3:4 NIV) John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey.

H. Getting back to Malachi 4:6 and Luke 1:17- How does all of this apply to families?

Thesis: How did John the Baptist fulfill this mission of turning the fathers to the children and the children to the fathers?

For instances:

I. We see it happening in John’s family

A. What kind of a relationship did Zechariah and Elizabeth have with John?

B. Considering that they did not think they could have children and then to be blessed with this child, I am sure they spent a lot of time with him. Don’t know how many years they had with him because they would have been dead by the time that John began his public ministry to Israel. Made every moment count!

C. (Psa 127:3 NIV) Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.

D. They raised him in the ways of the Lord- Luke 1:6. Also, (Deu 11:19 NIV) Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

E. We take our children to church and to youth group. The church will teach them the Bible. No, it is the parent’s responsibility. Church is to help but not main source.

F. (Eph 6:4 NIV) Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

II. By his message of repentance

A. From Malachi 4:6 and Luke 1:17, turning the hearts is an image of repenting. What does repentance have to do with the family?

D. Creighton Beatty- If men repented and cleaned up their acts, cleaned up their homes, then future generations would be blessed by a dad who has gotten right with God and gotten his home back together.

E. Heath Vogel- The repentance that John taught would bring about a change in heart and lifestyle, which in turn would impact the family. For example, when dad gets right with God it will improve his relationships with his kids and vice versa.

F. Dan Wagner- Along with repentance comes restored relationships.

B. Read Luke 3:2-3, 7-14

C. Ronnie Woolard- John’s message was one of repentance. John gave to those who asked him guidance on what true repentance looks like in their lives. His response included different things to different groups of people. From that you could surmise that a lot of John’s preaching focused on practical matters of daily living which would naturally include family relationships.

G. Charles Francis Adams, a 19th century political figure and diplomat, kept a diary. One day he entered: “Went fishing with my son today—a day wasted.” His son, Brook Adams, also kept a diary, which is still inexistence. On that same day, Brook Adams made this entry: “Went fishing with my father—the most wonderful day of my life!”

H. On the TV show, Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?, they took a poll of 8 to 12 year olds and asked them, “What do you most enjoy about the holidays?” A) Decorating the house B) Spending time with family and relatives C) Receiving presents. What do you think most of the children said? Answer: B.

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