Summary: What are the qualities that God is looking for in His servants? The angel spoke about 4 qualities that John the Baptist would have. We ought to endeavor to emulate these qualities of John.
QUALITIES OF GOD’S SERVANTS
Luke 1:5-7 5 In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. 6 Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. 7 But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.
Here are 2 people that loved the Lord. They were good and decent people that served Him faithfully. They had a great heartache in their life, though. They wanted a child but they were old now and the blessing they waited on all their life has passed them by. Maybe this morning you are greatly troubled, something is missing in your life. Your dreams have been shattered. Your hopes are left unfulfilled.
Luke 1:8-10 8 Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, 9 he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.
What do faithful people of God do when they face heartache? They keep right on serving God.
Luke 1:11-14 11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth,
Imagine going to church one Sunday hoping God would show up.... and HE DOES! When God breaks 400 years of silence to send an angel to tell one man that he and his wife are about to have a son, well, you must know that he is going to be a very special child!
The angel goes on to tell him that, not only he and Elizabeth would have great joy, but that many will rejoice at his birth!
* What is so special about this child?
The angel goes on to tell him about 4 qualities that John will have.
Luke 1:15-17 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
What did the angel say about John?
1. HE WILL BE GREAT!
Lk 1:15a 15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord;
When John was born, there were many greats in the world. Here's a couple of guys the world thought of as great.
Caesar Augustus- 41 years as Emperor of Rome. He expanded the Roman empire and influence and made Rome the greatest empire in the world. He said of himself, “I found Rome a city of bricks and left it as a city of marble.”
King Herod the Great- king of Judea for 42 years. He built great architecture throughout Judea. The Temple- one of world’s greatest. From Masada to Caesarea Port, he built great things.
** Both of these men were very wealthy and powerful. They owned the best homes, wore the finest clothes, and ate the best foods. In stark contrast, we come to John the Baptist.
John the Baptist- He had no home, he lived in the Wilderness. He was the opposite of “GQ”. He wore clothes made from camel hair. He had no rich diet, his was a diet of locusts and honey.
** The world has remembered Augustus and Herod as great men in history for all their accomplishments. John was greater, though. He may not have had earthly power and fortune, but his greatness was much greater. He was great in the sight of the Lord.
* Jesus spoke of the greatness of John.
Mt 11:11 Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the
* Think about it... Jesus said John was greater than all– greater than Abraham, Moses, David, Elijah, and every person that ever lived and served God. He was the father of nations, he was never a king, and he never performed a single miracle, yet Jesus said he was greater!