Summary: This sermon details how John-the-Baptist prepared the way for Christ and how we can do the same at Christmas time.
Christmas in John 1
John 1:6-9; 19-37
December 8, 2002
One Sunday, the Minister was giving a sermon on baptism and in the coarse of his sermon he was illustrating the fact that baptism should take place by sprinkling and not by immersion.
He pointed out some instances in the Bible.
He said that when John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the River Jordan, it didn’t mean in - it meant close to, round about, or nearby.
And again when it says in the Bible that Philip baptized the eunuch in the river, it didn’t mean in - it meant close to, round about, or nearby.
After the service, a man came up to the minister and told him it was a great sermon, one of the best he had ever heard, and that it had cleared up a great many mysteries he had encountered in the Bible.
"For instance," he said, "the story about Jonah getting swallowed by the whale has always bothered me.
Now I know that Jonah wasn’t really in the whale, but close to, round about, or nearby—swimming in the water.
Then there is the story about the three young Hebrew boys who were thrown into the furious furnace, but were not burned.
Now I see that they were not really in the fire, just close to, round about, or nearby—just keeping warm.
But the hardest of all the stories for me to believe has always been the story of Daniel getting thrown into the lions’ den.
But now I see that he wasn’t really in the lions’ den, but close to, round about, or nearby—like at the zoo.
The revealing of these mysteries have been a real comfort to me.
Now I am gratified to know that I won’t be in Hell, but close to, round about, or nearby.
And next Sunday, I won’t have to be in church, just close to, round about, or nearby.
You have really put my mind at ease.
1. Now I must confess that that joke doesn’t have much to do with our message.
2. I just really like it and it emphasizes the importance of staying with the literalness of the Word.
3. It does have John-the-Baptist in it and he is the subject of our message today.
B. I want to ask you to stand again out of reverence for the reading of God’s Word? [read John 1:10-34].
C. The apostle John vs. John-the-Baptist
1. Now we need to not get confused between the two Johns.
2. Did you know it is very important to get the right John? J
3. There are two John’s here: one is John the apostle and writer of this text.
4. The other is the subject of the text; his name is John-the-Baptist.
5. The author of the text is the apostle John and the subject of the text is John-the Baptist.
6. So don’t get your Johns confused! J
I. John’s purpose was testimony
John 1:7 (NIV), He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe.
The purpose of John’s life was testimony.
He came to tell what he had seen and heard about Christ.
That’s all a testimony is, is telling what you have seen and heard.
That’s what a testimony is in the courtroom and that’s what it is to give a testimony about Christ.
It is not some theological dissertation; it is simply telling what you have seen and heard and that was the purpose of John-the-Baptist’s life.
He was just a few months older than Christ and began his ministry just prior to Christ.
He came to testify what he knew about Christ to prepare the way for Christ’s ministry.
A. John 1:15 (NIV), John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, "This was he of whom I said, ’He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’"
1. John had been in the wilderness preaching the coming of the Christ.
2. John had been telling people what to do in order to get themselves ready for the coming of the Christ.
3. And here in verse 15 we have John pointing out the Christ.
4. John is saying, “This is the one who I’ve been telling you about.”
5. “This is the one who actually existed before me, but is coming after my ministry.
6. “This is the Christ.”
7. John told people that Jesus was the one.
8. John told people what he had seen and heard.
9. John testified about the Christ.
B. John 1:19-20 (NIV), Now this was John’s testimony when the Jews of Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, "I am not the Christ."