Summary: This sermon details how John-the-Baptist prepared the way for Christ and how we can do the same at Christmas time.
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.
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
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.