Summary: John wasn’t here to bring attention to himself, but when he saw Jesus, he wanted to bring attention to the One that would make the difference in every one’s life He touched.
Notice the Difference
Prairie Baptist Church – 10/4/09
Text: John 1:19-34
Key verse: John 1:34 - And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.”
Premise: John wasn’t here to bring attention to himself, but when he saw Jesus, he wanted to bring attention to the One that would make the difference in every one’s life He touched.
An older gentleman was walking along the seashore one day in the hot sun. As he walked he was sweating profusely and seemed to be in a hurry! Every few steps he would bend over, pick up a starfish from the hot, burning sands and cast it back into the cool waves. One after another he would pick the starfish up and cast them into the water. Some would come back to the hot sand as the waves washed them back in while most would eventually go into the deeper waters of safety. A young man came along, after having watched this for a while and told the old man, “You are wasting your time and energy. There are thousands of starfish on the sand, what difference can you possibly make?” The man simply bent over, picked up another starfish, and threw it into the water. As he quickly moved on to the next one, the old man turned to the younger man and said, “Well, it makes a difference to that one!”
• John was the child of Elizabeth, a relative of Mary (Luke 1:5-80 [v. 36])
• His father was Zachariah, who was struck silent until John was named.
• John was a Nazarite from his birth (Luke 1:15; Num. 6:1–12).
• Matthew and Mark describe John’s appearance and diet: he wore a camel-hair cloak with a waist belt made of leather and he dined on locusts and wild honey (Matt. 3:4; Mark 1:6).
What was so unique about John the Baptizer and his encounter with Christ?
It was not his preaching
It was not his humility
It was not his baptizing
It wasn’t even his lifestyle and diet
1. The Inquisition of John the Baptizer – 1:19-28
A. The Challenge – 1:19-21
i. Left on a sinking ship were the captain and three sailors. The captain spoke first.
“Men, this business about a captain going down with his ship is nonsense. There’s a three-man life raft on board and I’m going to be on it. To see who will come with me, I will ask you each one question. The one who can’t answer will stay behind. Here’s the first question: ‘What unsinkable ship went down when it hit an iceberg?’
The first sailor answered, “The Titanic, sir.”
“On to the next question: How many people perished?”
The second sailor said, “One thousand five hundred and seventeen, sir.”
“Now for the third question,” and the captain turned to sailor number three. “What were their names?” Steve Templeton in Woodmen of the World Magazine
ii. First question – Who are you?
a. Answer: I am not the Christ? Messiah
b. The anointed one
c. John wanted to stop that thought dead in its tracks.
iii. Second question – Are you Elijah?
a. Answer: I am not.
b. Elijah was taken up in a whirlwind, and they were expecting his return.
iv. Third question – Are you the Prophet?
a. Answer: No.
b. This was a prophet like Moses
c. They were depending on the prophecy Moses made - Deuteronomy 18:15, 18 - 15“The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, 18I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him.
B. The Confession – 1:22-27
i. What John says is very revealing about his calling and his character
ii. John’s Calling - 23
a. John had a specific mission to perform – to prepare the way for Christ
b. John was prophesied in the Old Testament – Isaiah 40:3-5 - 3The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth; 5The glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
• To prepare the way - it was customary in the march of armies to send messengers, or pioneers, before them to proclaim their approach; to provide for them; to remove obstructions; to make roads, level hills, fill up valleys, etc.