Are you a Jesus Freak
John the Baptist
What do you think of when you hear the word freak? Maybe you think of the old time circus freaks like the bearded lady or the two-headed alligator. I’ve seen a bumper sticker on a car in town that said “I’m a freak, touch me”. So I believe that would fall into the category of a freak. So what about if you heard the phrase Jesus Freak? The words Jesus Freak were first used in the late 60’s when hippies became part of a new revival, the Jesus Movement. The rest of the world called these over zealot young people “Jesus Freaks” as a derogatory term.
Freak = an impassioned enthusiast, resembles an addiction or a person with a strong and habitual liking for something
Zealot = a fanatically committed person
1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 4 And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, 6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: 9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: 12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
This is actually the Beginning of the Gospel.
So let’s talk about one of these “Jesus Freaks”
An Original Jesus Freak – John the Baptist
A. He was the first prophet in 400 years
1. His message – Repent ye, for the kingdom of God is at hand
2. He quoted from the prophecy about himself – the voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord
3. Pharisees later in vs. 21-23 were questioning John, they wanted to know who John was, but John wanted them to know who Jesus was
4. He was preaching and baptizing Jews
B. He was Unique
1. There is no getting around it John the Baptist was weird, unique
2. He wore odd clothes
a. Camel’s hair and leather belt
Practical and long-wearing but far from comfortable or fashionable
b. Worn by Elijah and other prophets
3. He ate strange food - Not as if he never ate anything else
a. Living in the desert he didn’t hesitate to eat insects – I was in Syracuse NY for a funeral a while back and visiting with my cousin learned about chocolate covered cicadas. He had actually tried them and said they were really good, tasted like choc-covered raisins. I’ll take his word for it.
b. Locusts were among the clean foods.
4. He lived in the Desert – west of the Dead Sea. This was an utterly barren desert
He was of the Priestly line of Aaron
But didn’t participate in temple practices for he was a full days journey from Jerusalem
Preached in the desert
5. Simple food, clothing and lifestyle were visual protests against self-indulgence
He did not aim at uniqueness for its own sake. He wasn’t a freak just to be a freak
Not only was he the 1st prophet in 400 years, not only was he unique…
C. He was Magnetic - John the Baptist was magnetic
People came to him
Now some probably came out of curiosity, just like we tend to do we all do it whether we like to admit it or not.
We all slow WAY down to look at the car accident, or we all cant help but stop and watch a few minutes at least of those weird shows on the Discovery Channel.
Also he blasted Herod and the religious leaders, both hated among the Jewish people
But he had a strong message for his audience
He was an Original Jesus Freak and he had …
An Original Purpose
A. Announcing the coming Savior
1. He knew he had a specific role to play in this world
Didn’t aim at uniqueness just for its own sake
2. Instead he aimed at obedience
B. He was ready and waiting
- Luke tells us John was in the desert when God’s word of direction came to him “the word of God came to John son of Zachariah in the desert.”
C. He was a miracle baby, an answer to prayer
1. His mother was barren (Luke 1:7)
2. Both parents were old, “well stricken in years”
3. An angel announced his birth and named him
4. His father declared his prayers had been answered verse 13 “thy prayer is heard”
D. He was a Nazarite
1. The angel stated he would be verse 15 “shall drink neither wine nor strong drink”
2. A Nazarite vow was a life long commitment
3. Like Samson and Samuel
4. Set apart for God’s service
(An original purpose)
An Original Outcome
A. He was relentless in his preaching
1. He didn’t fear Herod Antipas
- Spoke against his sinful marriage to Herodias - Herod’s sis-in-law
2. Chastised the Pharisees and Sadducees to thief faces and even called them names Matthew 3:7 “you brood of vipers”
B. His preaching eventually cost him his life
1. Matthew 14:8 Herodias speaking “Give me here John the Baptist’s head on a charger” or platter
2. Verse 10 “and he sent and beheaded John in prison”
3. John feared God not man HE FEARED GOD, NOT MAN
C. He was murdered by a man that liked him
1. Mark 6:20 For Herod feared John knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.”
Another version says, “When Herod heard John he was greatly puzzled, yet he liked to listen to him.”
2. 6:26 “…and the king was exceedingly sorry…”
3. Peer pressure had forced his hand - Didn’t want to be embarrassed in front of his guests
4. Don’t get into a situation where it will be to embarrassing to do what is right
5. What you do under pressure often shows what you are really like.
. You know, you can tell a lot about a person’s personality from what they are like.
D. His head was a gift - talk about a gift for someone that who was hard to buy for.
1. The world can try to silence God’s message, but the Lord will prevail.
2. She had him killed, but John had accomplished his mission the One John had announced, was already on the move. Jesus Christ.
Lessons from this Jesus Freak
A. God does not guarantee an easy or safe life to those who serve him
B. John’s life of comfort
1. Lived in desert
2. Ate bugs
3. Wore itchy clothes
4. Spent last days in prison
5. Disgraced by beheading
6. Wrongfully murdered
C. Doing what God desires is the greatest possible life investment
1. You ever wonder how you would spend the money if you won Power ball, which is at $123 million right now? Of course tithe-pay off mortgage-and the car-pay off parent’s debt-in laws, invest, go all out and order the root beer at Colton’s, whatever
2. God’s desires are the greatest investments
D. Standing for truth is more important than life itself
Listen to this story about a 15 year old young man named Roy Pontoh from Indonesia that happened in 1999
It was January and a crowd of mostly Christian children and teenagers had gathered for a Bible Camp at the Station Field complex of Pattimura University on the Island of Ambon in Indonesia. When the camp was over, cars came to take the laughing; rejoicing children back to their homes. But there were not enough cars to hold the young people. Mecky Sainyakit and three other Christian men had gone to Wakal village to try to rent additional transportation. But they had not yet come back. What the kids didn’t know, on their way back to the village the men were attacked by a Muslim mob who pulled them from their car and out onto the road. Mecky and one other man were stabbed to death, and later their bodies were burned by the mob. The two other men escaped with their lives. Before long the mob had reached the University. They found many of the teens and forced them to come out of hiding. Roy was one of them and was forced to stand before the mob. “RENOUNCE YOUR JESUS, OR WE WILL KILL YOU,” they threatened. Roy was terribly frightened. Trembling he answered “I am a soldier of Christ” At this one of the Muslim attackers swung a sword at his stomach, hitting the Bible Roy was holding, ripped into it and knocked it out of his hand. The man’s next swing finished him off. Roy’s last word was “Jesus”. The mob dragged Roy’s body out and threw it in a ditch. Four days later, his family found him. Even though they are wracked with grief, Roy’s parents stand proud of their son, who stood strong in his faith to the end.
So what does it mean to be a Jesus Freak?
Being a Jesus Freak is having a passionate heart for Jesus.
We need to extend that passion into all areas of life. Poetry, music, art, or the hard decisions made at life’s crossroads.
What in your life do you need to change?
Maybe it’s your attitude; does your attitude show others that you are a Jesus Freak?
Is it the TV shows you watch, or the movies you go see?
Do they show you have a passionate heart for Jesus, or a passionate heart for the world?
Maybe it’s the music you listen to. This is a big one for me.
And you know what? This is a hard one for me too. I struggle with this on a daily basis.
Hey I’m still cool! I grew up on Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, and Gun’s and Roses. And I hate to admit it but I still like that stuff. So it’s a struggle.
Anyone ever heard of Green Day? If you listen to modern rock music today, chances are you have, and hey I admit, I like that style of music.
But let me read some of their lyrics from one of their hits from a few years ago called Jesus of Suburbia.
I’m the son of rage and love
The Jesus of suburbia
From the bible of none of the above
On a steady diet of soda pop and Ritalin
No one ever died for my sins in hell
As far as I can tell
At least the ones I got away with
Sounds like a wonderful young man doesn’t he. This song along with many others blatantly mock and profane the name of Jesus. This is a CD that a Christian should NEVER have in their collection. There are no less then 10 occurrences of the F word on this single CD. That’s 10 in about an hour’s time. Let’s put that in perspective. Parents, say you come home from work about 5 o clock, and by the time supper is ready at 6, you have heard you teenager say the F word out loud 10 times. Would that be acceptable? Would that be showing a passionate heart for Jesus?
In contrast let’s look at Relient K, heard of them? They are a very successful Christian band that is reaching out to non-Christian audiences. Here are some lyrics from one of their songs Let it All Out:
Reach out to me
make my heart brand new
every beat will be for you for you
Or how about these from their song Getting into you:
I’m getting into you
Because you got to me, in a way words can’t describe
I’m getting into you
Because I’ve got to be
You’re essential to survive
I’m going to love you with my life
Or their latest song Give until there’s nothing left
How much, is too much, to give to you
Well I may never know
So I’ll just give until there’s nothing else
Yeah I’ll give give give
(until there’s nothing else)
Give my life (until it all runs out)
Give give (and I’ll have no regrets)
I’ll give until there’s nothing left
Ok I could go on for a while. This group along with many others is using their talents to glorify God, to reach a lost and dying world, and to uplift and encourage Christian people all over the world.
Oh I bet you parents are saying, YEAH YEAH give it to em. Now hold up, this message isn’t just for the youth. Well you may say, “I don’t listen to that filthy music, I’m a country music fan” Ok sure that sounds more innocent doesn’t it.
But let’s take a look at Country Music’s Patron Saint George Strait. And again don’t get me wrong, I like George Strait. No doubt he has had some great music on the radio for a long time.
But what about the 22 different songs about drinking or honky Tonkin? That’s if I didn’t miss one while counting.
But they are just songs, nothing wrong with that you might say.
But what if it was your son or daughter that was living like he sings about in those songs? That might change your attitude a bit.
What I’m saying is we need to extend our passion for Jesus into every aspect of our lives. Does that mean we have to listen to nothing but Sandy Patty and Michael W Smith all the time? Of course not.
The Christian music industry has grown so much over the years; you have no excuse for not finding something you like.
I can name six different radio stations that are available in this area. I’d be glad to tell you about all of them after the service.
Let me ask you a question. Let’s say Jesus himself decided to visit Barney Baptist Church this morning.
You got the wonderful opportunity to give Him a ride home after the services.
Exactly how fast would you have to run out to your car in order to have time to change the radio station that is currently on your radio? Or better yet to change all your presets?
But the truth is Jesus is riding home with you today.
He is with you always if you know Him as Savior.
HE IS WITH YOU ALWAYS
But being a Jesus Freak is not just about our entertainment.
73% of America’s youth “have engaged in at least one type of psychic or witchcraft-related activity, beyond mere media exposure or horoscope usage.”
Recent research by the Barna Research Group, which provides primary research services to organizations focused on enhancing people’s spiritual lives, states that ¾ of today’s youth have dabbled in witchcraft.
Perspective according to the latest statistics Greenbrier High School has an enrollment of 533 that means nearly 390 of them have take part.
The Bible is pretty clear on this subject. Exodus 22:18 says Thou shall not suffer a witch to live.
Now you might say but this is a Baptist church, a Christian community. Well according to this study 60% of Baptist youth were likely to experiment. Shocking isn’t it.
The research also “revealed that many churches fail to address the subject of the supernatural with sufficient frequency or relevance. One of the report’s most sobering findings is that only one-quarter of churched teenagers (28%) recall receiving any teaching at their church in the last year that helped to shape their views on the supernatural world!”
Peer pressure doesn’t just apply to youth either; we adults deal with it just as much as they do.
Peer pressure can affect your witness more then you think
When was the last time you witnessed verbally?
“Well I witness with my lifestyle” THAT”S WONDERFUL
A life witness is important; you must first live a life that shows you are a Christian. How I live my life is a testimony of what I believe about God
People will notice you are different, you may even state you are a Christian
I love Christian T-shirts a great witnessing tool, but its not enough
THE LIFE WITNESS IS A HUGE COP-OUT
You may say “Oh I can’t witness, and its not my personality” or “I can’t talk to people, I don’t want people to think I’m weird” what you’re really saying is I DON’T WANT TO BE A JESUS FREAK
Matthew 6:21 and Luke 12:34 say, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
Are you treasuring your earthly reputation over heavenly rewards?
Are you treasuring how your peers feel about you or think of you over were they would spend eternity?
We need to remember who is in charge, is it us or GOD?
We like to put our Savior on the cross and ourselves up on the throne. Put yourself on that cross, and put your Savior on the throne!
ARE YOU A JESUS FREAK?