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Summary: John the Baptist lived an exemplary life with clear conscience of his call and commitment. He had one conviction and gave his life for that.

Theme: Value Based Leaders - John the Baptist

Text: Matt. 14:1-12

Joke: Three boys were discussing about their father’s profession. The firs boy said, ‘my dad scribbles a few words on piece of paper, he calls it poem, they give him Rs.1000/. The second boy says ‘my dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a song, they give him Rs.10000/-. The third boy says, ‘I got you both to beat. My dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper; he calls it a sermon and takes six people to collect the money’ (Modified, source: Christian Jokes).

John the Baptist was a man of commitment:

John the Baptist was born to the aged couples Rev. Zachariah and Mrs. Elizabeth. He was named as John even before he was born (Lk.1:13).

He dedicated himself for the work of God. He was brought up as a powerful child without enjoying the childhood, manhood like others (Lk.1:15).

He was possessed with the spirit and strength of Prophet Elijah (Lk.1:17). While he was meditating and spending time with the Lord alone in wilderness, he received the Word of God (Lk.3:2).

People enjoyed his presence as pleasing personality, as burning lamp as man with love, care and concern (Jn. 5:35).

He confessed that Jesus should increase and he must decrease (Jn.3:30).

Developing the younger leadership, allowing people to grow is important in life.

John the Baptist was a man of courage.

John the Baptist was a humble, simple and meek person but not cowardly, gutless and spineless.

He always understood that he was a man, a man sent by God to testify about the Light, the great light Jesus, about the Son of God and about the lamb of God (Jn.1:6-8,29).

Though he was born like Jesus through prophecy and was born in a priestly family but he never counted himself equivalent to God. Some people want to take the place of God, the Glory of God, and honour of God. Very clear comprehension that he can’t live like Jesus. He told that he can’t even touch the shoe lace of God (Jn.1:27).

As he grew more and more in ministry, in power, in preaching he humbled himself. He reduced himself to nothing. He became strong in his holiness and in righteousness (Mk.6:20). He never compromised for the sake of his position, to earn possession, or for the sake of worldly and material gains.

John the Baptist was a man of one conviction.

Since, he was a witness and forerunner of Christ. He had a very strong conviction that he can’t deny the power of God as Paul says in 2 Tim. 3:5.

His conviction was ‘legal’ is ‘legal’ and ‘illegal’ is ‘illegal’. As Jesus said for him ‘Yes’ is ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ is ‘No’ (Mt.5:37).

He was a daring preacher (Mk.1:5), He called Jews as generation of Vipers (Lk.3:7). He preached about the salvation by Jesus, preached about sharing and caring the society (Lk.3:11).

He warned the tax collectors, guards and security, police personnel about executing and doing justice to all (Lk.3:12-14).

Bible talks about the Rechabites who were determined not to drink wine as per the command of their father, they never changed their conviction though Prophet Jeremiah asked them to drink wine (Jer.35:2-11).

A prophet was preaching against the king Jeroboam, God told him not to be entertained by the King or anyone in that city, he should flee from there. But the prophet listened to a lying and deceiving prophet (1Ki.13:11, 18-22). But he changed his personal conviction because of public opinion (1Kings 13:9). His change of conviction led him to death.

Our change of conviction, change of values leads to decompose our spiritual life, reduces our faith and dependency in God. We become cold, critics, mockers, slanderers, and rebellious against God. We identify with children of Baal.

Jonathan testifies that David did not count his life for the sake of God or risked himself to kill Goliath (1Sam.19:5).

Josheb-basshebeth, Eleazar and Shammah (2Sam.23:8, 9, 11) are the chief captains of David army they had conviction to give their lives for their master, they risked their lives (2Sam 23:17).

Epaphroditus risked his life for the conviction of Gospel (Phil.2:25, 30).

Conclusion:

John the Baptist was born to the elderly committed Jewish priestly family. He was a committed man, courageous man and had a great conviction and he stood for those values at the expense of his own life.

(revandrew@rediffmail.com 91 9443586008, India)

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