Summary: Are you John the Baptiser? (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:

Reading: Matthew chapter 16 verse 13-18:

“When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, Who do people say the Son of Man is?

14 They replied, Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.

15 But what about you? he asked. Who do you say I am?

16 Simon Peter answered, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.

17 Jesus replied, Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.

18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”


• A friend once asked Isidor I. Rabi,

• A Nobel prize winner in science, how he became a scientist.

• Rabi replied that every day after school his mother would talk to him about his school day.

• She wasn’t so much interested in what he had learned that day,

• But she always inquired, “Did you ask a good question today?”

• “Asking good questions,” Rabi said, “made me become a scientist.”


• And when he asked the disciples; “Who do the crowds say that I am?”

• He was preparing the ground for his next question.

• This second question would cause the disciples to put their faith on the line;

• It demanded they make a declaration of the man they were following.

• There answer would reveal a right appreciation of Jesus Christ;

• Or they would be guilty of blasphemy having misplaced their trust in this person.

• It was a question that no-one wanted to answer;

• Until Peter got them out of their jam, by declaring the correct answer.

This short mini-series of three talks that we are starting today;

• Is looking at the most popular opinions of the crowd regarding Jesus.

• Why did they think he was John the Baptist, or Elijah or Jeremiah.

• And as we look at why the people thought this way.

• We hope our study will give us a greater appreciation of Jesus!

Four similarities between John and Jesus,

(1). Urgency.

• As you examine the life of If John the Baptiser you discover a man in a hurry:

• I don’t mean panicking or stressed or out of control.

• I mean he was focused, fanatical, passionate,

• 100% committed to the calling God had given him.

• John was urgent, for him everything had to be in the NOW!

• He never thought about tomorrow, his concern was always today.

Two examples:

(1). Matthew chapter 3 verse 2:

"Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand".

• Don't miss those last two words; "At hand":

• They are urgent words; "It's here, don't miss it".


It's like a train coming down the track.

• God’s train runs better than anything British Rail could promise,

• This train is on time and it is movingggggg!

In Matthew chapter 3 verse 2: John the Baptiser tells the crowd who are listening:

• "Don't miss this opportunity, make sure you get on board.

• Because there will not be another one!”

• It's not waiting, hanging around at the station, it's moving so be prepared to go.

• Notice the urgency in those two words “At hand”.

(2). Luke chapter 3 verse 3-6:

"He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:

"A voice of one CALLING in the desert,

'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.

Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low.

The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth.

And all mankind will see God's salvation.'"

John the Baptiser:

• Was a voice calling out to people, some versions have the word 'Crying'.

• John is warning the people.


• Siren on an emergency vehicle, commanding peoples attention,

• Letting them know that something urgent and important is happening.

• This is a life or death situation;

• The Messiah is here, to find him means life to miss him will mean death!

Parallel: Jesus:

Although you never read of Jesus panicking or stressed out, or flustered:

• I want to suggest he was a man of urgency.

• A man who (to quote Paul) “Made the most of every opportunity”.

(a). ill: Bible study at Perin’s this week I noted:

• The priority of Jesus’ ministry:

• Mark chapter 1 verse 38;

Jesus said, "Let's go to the rest of the villages so I can preach there also.

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