Summary: Today, we begin a new series called “Less is Greater than More with God.” And the idea for this series came out of the last one.
Today, we begin a new series called “Less is Greater than More with God.” And the idea for this series came out of the last one. In week four (4), if you remember, I used John the Baptist as an example of needing to let go of how we think things ought to be and let God take control of the situation. And the scene we looked at took place at the Jordan; Jesus came to be baptized by John the Baptist, but he told Jesus, “no, I am not doing it” instead, I need to be baptized by you. And Jesus quickly sets John the Baptist straight, and John the Baptist performs the baptism of Jesus.
And I mentioned that despite John’s shortcoming in that story, Jesus said about John the Baptist in Matthew 11:11 that there has been none greater born of woman than John the Baptist.
And that statement stuck with me so much so that I decided to study John the Baptist. And the thing that I got out of his life is less is greater than more with God. And I know that is a recurring theme throughout the Bible, but it is John the Baptist’s life theme.
The world will continuously shout out to us that is crazy; more is always greater than less. You need more house. You need more debt. You need more things. You need more money. That’s the world economy. Big businesses that make billions each year strive to make billions more the next year. But that is not God’s economy. In God’s economy and God’s theology, less is greater than more. Didn’t Jesus say: the last shall be first and the first last. Less is more! Jesus talks about when we are weak; we are strong. Less is more! Jesus says that those who are humbled will be elevated, and those who are elevated will be made low. Less is greater than more with God!
That’s the driving theme of John the Baptist life, and I want to spend the next five weeks looking at that theme play out in the life of John the Baptist.
So, turn with me in your Bible as we look at our first passage of Scripture found in Luke 1:12-17.
Luke 1:12-17 (NIV)
12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear.
13 But the angel said to him: "Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John.
14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth,
15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth.
16 Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God.
17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous--to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."
Point # 1
God does His plan in His timing and in His way. I need to learn to follow His leadership and not fight it. The outcome will be God having more control of my life and me having less. Remember, less is more with God.
God had a wonderful plan for the life of John of the Baptist. Seven hundred years before John the Baptist’s birth, the prophet Isaiah announced the plan that God had for John the Baptist’s life.
Isaiah 40:3 (NIV)
3 A voice of one calling: "In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.
And this plan was confirmed in the Book of Matthew as the plan that God had for the life of John the Baptist.
Matthew 3:1-3 (NIV)
1 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea
2 and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."
3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: "A voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.'"
You may say I see the plan that God had for John the Baptist, but he was someone special. You just told us that no one born of a woman is greater than John the Baptist. But let me tell you the rest of that verse. It goes on to say, yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. Jesus is saying that although he was a great man, he is nobody special. John the Baptist was just like you and me. We have the same potential for greatness that John the Baptist had.