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Summary: In God's estimation John was the greatest man ever born of a woman. John was neither a prince nor a king. He was not a man of wealth, fame, or power. Who was he? He was simply a man who believed in the Messiah and who totally committed to the Messiah

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Introduction

A. At the height of His earthly ministry, Jesus was approached by two disciples of John the Baptist

1. Turn to Matthew 11:1-6

2. John was in prison, and had sent the two disciples to Jesus

Matthew 11:1-6 (NKJV)

Now it came to pass, when Jesus finished commanding His twelve disciples, that He departed from there to teach and to preach in their cities. {2} And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples {3} and said to Him, "Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?" {4} Jesus answered and said to them, "Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: {5} The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and he deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. {6} And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me."

3. Perhaps troubled by his own imprisonment, he wanted affirmation that Jesus was indeed the Messiah, the Coming One

4. Jesus pointed to His works, and spoke of the blessedness of those not offended because of Him

B. Jesus used this opportunity to tell the multitudes about John the Baptist

1. Lets turn to Mt 11:7-10

Matthew 11:7-10 (NKJV)

As they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: "What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? {8} But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings' houses. {9} But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. {10} For this is he of whom it is written: 'Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.'

2. Israel was an agricultural society

a. The people knew what Jesus meant when He said, “ "What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?”

(1) They knew just what He meant, John was not one bend with the prevailing wind

(2) Originally the High Priest in Israel was appointed by God

(a) You might remember the rod of Aaron, “behold, the rod of Aaron, of the house of Levi, had sprouted and put forth buds, had produced blossoms and yielded ripe almonds.”

(3) But, the Romans appointed the High Priest

(a) Caiaphas

(b) And Annas

(c) These men, did as the Romans wished

i) They were reeds shaken in the wind

(4) But John stood toe-to-toe with the religious elite and political leadership calling them a brood of vipers

(a) He condemned Herod the king for having his brother’s wife

3. Israel was a country of haves and have nots

a. There were the rich

b. And the poor

c. The middle class was very small, mostly merchants

d. So, the people knew what Jesus meant when He said, “what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments?”

(1) The soft garmented would be the Pharisees, priests, and scribes

(a) These are the ones Jesus condemned for hypocracy and lack of compassion

(b) No John was not rich

(c) But, John was obedient to God’s call

4. Israel had been a people who had many prophets


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