Summary: If you are stuck and want to move forward this message is for you.
Maybe you have a cousin that you really like. Someone you just really have a great relationship with. I think we sometimes forget or maybe you didn’t know John the Baptist and Jesus are cousins. We forget that this crazy preacher named John the Baptist lived in the wilderness, wore clothes of camel’s hair and for food he ate locusts and wild honey. I don’t know about you but all of that puts quite a picture in my mind of John.
The birth of John is an interesting story. John’s parents, Elizabeth and Zacharias were advanced in years and had never had children. They wanted children so even though they were likely beyond the age of 60, Zacharias prayed for a child----then he went on with his regular duties Then one day an Angel comes and tells Elizabeth she’s going to have a son who will point the way to Jesus. That was John of course.
Then Mary the mother of Jesus shows up and it says that the baby in Elizabeth’s womb leaps at the sound of Mary’s voice. Babies do that you know? Certain sounds can cause the baby to kick. Our daughter, Allison is due to deliver now any day. She’s going to have a little boy-his name will be Brady. Allison thinks Brady might be a gymnast or perhaps an acrobat because he’s just been all over the place-moving and kicking.
So as I said, God promised Zacharias a son but Zacharias just didn’t have the faith to believe it because of his age. When this word from God came that he and Elizabeth would have a child Zacharias quickly blurts these words out…... “How shall I know this for sure? For I am an old man and my wife is advanced in years.” So God did something for Zacharias to help him believe. He gave him a sign. This was it. Look at the sign. Luke 1:20... “Behold you shall be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place, because you did not believe my words.” So Zacharias could not speak through the entire pregnancy. Now I see some of you ladies smiling... Imagine a husband without a voice for nine months. Eight days after John was born Zacharias still could not speak and then on that day it came time to name the child. Elizabeth says let’s name him John. But everyone else says you don’t have anyone in your family named John. They named them after family members all the time. So they asked Zacharias to find out what he would like to name the child. So he asks for writing tablet and he simply wrote, his name is John. His soon as he wrote those words down his mouth opened and his tongue was loosed and he began to speak. After an entire year he finally spoke. This caused them to recognize that God’s hand was on this child named John and that God had something very special for him to do.
John grows up and he then becomes the voice. People come from miles around to hear him preach. But there is often a price you pay for preaching. Preachers often walk around with a bull’s eye on their back and Satan has you as his target. In verse 14 it says that John has now been placed in prison…he and Herod were discussing some issues and John confronted King Herod with his sin. There is a price for preaching the gospel; for preaching the truth, he has been placed in prison. He is stuck in a jail cell. Do you ever feel that way? I don’t mean stuck in jail. I just men plain stuck. You feel like life is closing in ---you’re not really going anywhere. You feel like you’re stuck in your job or maybe you’re stuck without a job; or you’re stuck in your marriage or your finances are stuck or maybe you’re stuck in your relationship with God. When life is stuck in one place and that place happens to be a bad place, life gets tough. Because we don’t know what to do to get unstuck. When we are there we need to remember this.
God does not sit still. God is always on the move. We serve an active God. And to quote Henry Blackaby, “you cannot stay where you are and go with go with God at the same time.” If you stay in that bad place, stuck in the past, stuck in sin, just plain stuck… you cannot move with God. He’s active. He’s on the move and we should be also.
Matthew’s gospel tells us that John didn’t feel too confident about baptizing Jesus. John looked at Jesus in fact and said, “I think I need to be baptized by you!” For many of us the real question is why did Jesus need to be baptized anyway? He had no sin to be confessed; no sin to repent of. This is why He was baptized. Jesus was identifying with us. He was identifying with sinful man. Paul said that “for our sake God made Jesus to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” That’s a pretty good trade. Second Corinthians 5:21