Summary: Segmented Narrative Sermon focusing on a presentation of the Gospel.
JESUS CHANGES EVERYTHING
SEGMENT 1 (p)
Demas waited by the side of the road in the shadows. He had his spot picked out perfectly… it was his normal spot. He could see the road coming down from Jerusalem, but none of the travelers could see him. He had done this several times and had stolen some good loot over the past few days. He tightened the grip on his knife. He didn’t want to use it, but would if he had to… it was more for show. He heard the sound of a voice coming down the road. He crouched a little lower. In the distance, he saw a big fat man singing obnoxiously loud and moving carelessly on the road. He moved his hands in the air and sang loudly to the sky to no one in particular. On his hip was a large leather sack… maybe money… maybe important scrolls someone would pay to get back. The man certainly was dressed wealthy and did not seem to pay attention to anything but his song.
The man loudly passed Demas’ hiding place. Demas sprung from his hiding place. He grabbed the man from behind and spun him around with force. He put the knife threateningly to his big fat belly. “Hand over the sack! I will rob you as I have all the others!” Demas said in a demanding low voice. The fat wealthy man tried to back up, but Demas kept a good hold on his cloak and shook him a little. “Hand over the sack!” Demas yelled louder. The fat man’s face was fearful, but only for a moment. All of a sudden the man stopped struggling, took the sack, and handed it to Demas with a large knowing smile spreading across his face.
IDENTITY OF JESUS ACCORDING TO JOHN THE BAPTIST
READ JOHN 1:29-31
“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I meant when I said, 'A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.' 31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel. 32 Then John gave this testimony: "I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.' 34 I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God."
John the Baptist, prophet of God, pointed Jesus out to the crowds who were following him and confirmed for all of them who Jesus Christ was. John the Baptist labeled Jesus’ identity in three important ways.
First, Jesus was the “Lamb of God.” What does that mean? John the Baptist was using Old Testament language to describe Jesus. A lamb is used in offerings in the Old Testament by Abel, Noah, Abraham, and others. Another Old Testament passage, Isaiah 53, directly states that when the promised Messiah comes that He will be like a lamb led to slaughter. By stating that Jesus is the “Lamb of God” John is directly tying Jesus of Nazareth to Isaiah 53 and saying He is the Messiah. He is the Christ. Just so you know, Christ and Messiah are the same word just in different languages. Both mean He is the Promised One that the Old Testament talked about.
Second, Jesus “comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.” What does that mean? We know from Luke 1 that John and Jesus were cousins and that John was already in the womb growing in his mother when Mary gets the news that she is pregnant. John was physically older. John began his ministry first. Jesus definitely came after John in age and in beginning His ministry. So how could Jesus be “before” John? Jesus surpasses John in authority because He is God. Jesus existed eternally before John. Jesus existed before He came to this Earth and was born to Mary. Jesus was a divine eternal being who held all authority. Jesus is 100% God.
Third, Jesus was “the Son of God.” What does that mean? That means that Jesus Christ was not only divine, but was also a human being. The person standing before them was a real human being with a physical body. He got hungry and thirsty. He had a family. He had feelings. He walked and talked. By stating that Jesus was the “Son of God,” John the Baptist is highlighting the humanity of Jesus. Jesus is 100% human.