6-Week Series: Against All Odds

Sermons

Summary: There is a theme that runs throughout the pages of Scripture that reveals to us that “less is more with God.”

Sermon Series: Less is More with God Part 2

Sermon Title: Seven Men! What Do They Tell Us About God?

introduction

There is a theme that runs throughout the pages of Scripture that reveals to us that “less is more with God.” Let me show you what I am talking about by looking at the words of Jesus Himself. In Matthew 10:39, Jesus says, “he who loses his life for my sake will find it.” Less (losing your life) is more (will find it). Jesus says in John 12:24 unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it will not produce much grain. One grain (less) produces much grain. Less is more. And my favorite example is what does it gain a man to gather much and lose his one soul. Less is more.

I give you these quotes from Scripture because, as I study John the Baptist’s life, I see this theme of less is more as the life theme of John the Baptist. We saw it last when we talked about the announcement of his birth by the angel Gabriel. Today, we will see this theme running through our sermon as John the Baptist begins his ministry. And what interested me about the passage of Scripture in which the Holy Spirit introduces John’s ministry is that the Holy Spirit does so by introducing us first to seven people. And I wanted to know why?

If you have your Bibles turn with me to Luke 3:1-9. Please stand as we read God’s Word.

Scripture reading

Luke 3:1-4 (NIV)

1 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 desert.

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

4 As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: "A voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.

point #1

Seven men are mentioned in verses 1-2. Each man well-known throughout all Israel. If one of them turns their life over to Christ and becomes the forerunner of Jesus, Jesus’ ministry gets a gigantic jump start. Instead, the word of God came to John in the desert, and he becomes the forerunner. Less is more with God.

Luke 3:1-2 (NIV)

1 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 desert.

This Tuesday in Mississippi, we have elections. I hope that you get out and vote. They tell me the governor’s race is neck and neck between Reeves and Hood. And on Friday, in Tupelo, Reeves held a political rally, and the President of the United States came and spoke. And because of the name recognition of President Trump, Reeves is hoping it will push him over the top.

Well, in Tupelo, I have a friend named John Bailey, and let’s say he liked Reeves for Governor. John is not well known by a lot of people, and really he doesn't live in the city but more out in the countryside around Tupelo. Things were happening in Washington and that the President had to cancel his speaking engagement last second, so Reeves ask John, my friend, to give the speech instead. Humanly speaking, we would say that would not do much to help the Reeves campaign.

That is the scenario here. God passed up seven people who are well known and picked a man out in the desert by the name of John to make the most significant announcement in human history. God has sent Jesus to do something about our sin problem.

Do you know what that tells us? God’s ways are not our ways. And that we need to stop trying to limit God by thinking that He can only do something a certain way. God’s ways to do something in your life and my life are unlimited. And we need to remember that God can works in unlimited ways no matter what you are going through.

Isaiah 55:8 (NIV)

8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.

point #2

Seven men are mentioned in verses 1-2. Five men have an iron grip on the governing of the people. Two men, Annas and Caiaphas, have an iron grip on the Jewish religious system. Humanly speaking, this is not the right time for the Messiah to enter the world. Less is more with God.

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