Summary: John the Baptist’s preaching is for all people because all people are sinners.
Message: “Preach On, Brother John”
Text: “And he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins” (Luke 3:3).
Who was John the Baptist?
Why did John preach baptism of repentance for the remission of sins?
Who gave John the authority to preach this message?
1. Who was preacher John?
John was the son of Zacharias and Elizabeth. They were two very dear and dedicated Godly people who prayed daily to have a child. The angel Gabriel informed Zacharias that he and Elizabeth would have a child and this child’s name would be John. John would bring joy and happiness to the parents and to all their friends and relatives.
John was in the Lord’s favor. He did not drink wine or any other strong drink. He was filled with the Holy Spirit long before he was born. How many of our preachers today were filled with the Holy Spirit before they were born? He was not concerned about worldly possessions. Do we have anyone today who is not concerned about worldly possessions? People of today need two cars, at least one house (some have two or more), computer (in most case more than one), telephone, pager, recreational vehicle, and the list goes on and on and on. Having herds of sheep, goats, or donkeys was not a priority for John. He had the Spirit of God in his heart.
John was not interested in fine clothing and sandals.
Scripture says that he was “clothed in camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist” (Matthew 3:4). Have you seen any people lately walking around clothed in camel’s hair and wearing a leather belt around their waist? No! People of this day and age need the best.
Just go to some of our churches, our malls, our restaurants, or just observe people walking along anywhere. People today pay $50.00 to $80.00 for a pair “holy” jeans with someone’s name written across the seat or in the waist band. Look at some of your popular preachers in the pulpit. Their suits are not from Sears or J.C. Penny. The preachers on TV wear tailor-made suits costing in the thousands of dollars. They forget the Lord is looking at their heart and not what they are wearing. I am not judging them, but my question is: Would they be preaching God’s Word if they only had a meager wardrobe?
John was not impressed with living in a castle or extravagant house. John lived in the wilderness or the desert. Scripture says, “And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the desert until he appeared publicly to Israel” (Luke 1:80).
Modern-day people like nice houses, beautiful furnishings, nicely landscaped yards, and gated communities. Once again, I don’t have anything against these people as to where they live, how they live, or what they preferences are, but hopefully God comes before any of these things.
God is more concerned about the soul than worldly possessions, because the soul is what lives on when the person exits this earthly world. Material possessions stay for the family or friends to fight over. John was more concerned about heavenly possessions than worldly possessions. He wanted people to give up their earthly habits and sinful nature so they could spend eternity in God’s kingdom.
John didn’t want the finest gourmet foods of the time. He was more concerned about eating and digesting the Word of God. His diet consisted of locusts and wild honey. Has anyone eaten any locusts lately?
Scripture says that locusts are all right to eat. “All flying insects that walk on all four are to be detestable to you. There are, however, some winged creatures that walk on all four that you may eat: those that have jointed legs for hopping on the ground. Of these you may eat any kind of locust, katydid, cricket or grasshopper. But all other winged creatures that have four legs you are to detest” (Leviticus 11:20-23).
Those of you who like to join me for a special sampler dinner of boiled locusts, broiled katydids, fried crickets, and for desert, chocolate covered grasshoppers, please sign the reservation sheet that is being passed around. “Just Kidding”
Have any of you eaten any honey, wild or processed, in the last couple of days? Most of us have eaten honey at some time or another. I get the impression John ate honey quite regularly because there is nothing else mentioned except locusts.
2. Why did John preach baptism of repentance for the remission of sins?
John’s appointment to preach came from heaven and was spoken by the prophet Isaiah saying:
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth; the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken’” (Isaiah 40:3).