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Summary: Profile of a Strange Evangelist - Luke chapter 3 verses 1-20 - sermon by Gordon Curley PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: gcurley@gcurley.info

SERMON OUTLINE:

(1). When He Came (vs 1-2).

(2). How He Came (vs 3).

(3). Why He Came (vs 4-20).

(4). What He Said (vs 10-14).

SERMON BODY

illl:

Hope yopu have been enjoying the snow! We don't often get it in this part of the UK, so remember to heed the warnings!

The AA (Automobile Association) have warned that anyone travelling in icy conditions should take a shovel, blankets/sleeping bag, extra clothing (including scarf, hat & gloves), 24-hour supply of food and drink, de-icer, rock salt, torch, spare battery, petrol can, first aid kit and jump leads....

I have to admit, that I looked a right fool on the bus.

• TRANSITION: Our pasage thoday contains a warning;

• John the Baptist warned the people of his day to get ready for the Messiah who was to come.

• So, let's look at both the warning and the man who gave it.

• Let's look at a profile of a strange evangelist!

(1). When He Came (vs 1-2).

“In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar – when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene – 2 during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness.”

(A). God’s Timing:

• When John the Baptist appeared on the scene:

• No prophetic voice had been heard in Israel for 400 years.

• Don’t miss that 400m years of heavenly dumbness.

• 400 years of God being silent!

Quote: Warren Wiersbe:

“John 's coming was a part of God's perfect timing for everything that relates to God's Son is always on schedule.”

• John was written about 700 years before he was born;

• In the prophecy of two men called Isaiah & Malachi.

• Prophecy is predicting future events,

• Both John the baptiser and Jesus were predicted, prophesised about.

• The gospels inform us, they let us know that John & Jesus were:

• Not accidents or here by chance,

• But part of God's master plan of saving the world.

(b). God’s Choice:

Notice that Luke named seven different men in these verses;

• These include a Roman emperor, a governor and three tetrarchs,

• (A tetrarch ruled over a fourth part of an area),

• And two Jewish high priests are also mentioned.

• Yet notice that God's Word was not sent to any of them,

• Instead, the message of God came to John the Baptist, a humble Jewish prophet.

The point is this:

• A person’s position in society,

• Or a person’s wealth or good looks do not impress God as much as that persons heart.

• These seven men were like Jaguar cars with Skoda engines.

• John may have looked like a Robin Reliant but he had a Rolls Royce engine.

"He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins".

(2). How He Came (vs 3).

“He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”

Ill:

• Just like we might stumble on a busker or an open-air preacher,

• As we walk through a busy city centre:

• So John appeared on the scene one day and people stumbled upon him.

• And as they came across him, he stood out!

JOHN THE BAPTISER STOOD OUT FOR 3 REASONS:

(A). Unique Appearance.

• John the baptiser;

• Resembled the Prophet Elijah in manner and dress:

• He wore a camel haired coat with a leather belt,

• This was not a fashion statement, but all that was available in desert where he grew up.

• John may have visually given the impression that he had just come from:

• Sleeping rough in a shop doorway.

• But John was unique;

• The people of his day had never seen anything like him.

(b). Unique Preaching Style.

• We would say he was a ‘fire & Brimstone’ preacher!

• Here is a sample of John's preaching to the crowds that came for baptism:

• (Shout it angrily for effect)

"You brood of snakes! Who warned you to flee God's coming judgment? Prove by the way you live that you have really turned from your sins and turned to God".

• When John the baptiser preached:

• Things happened because his words impacted people’s lives.

• It made a difference to the way people would live and behave.

Ill:

• Actors words can move you to tears,

• Comedians words can move you to laughter.

• Preachers words can move to get right with God.

• John the baptisers words moved people to repentance.

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