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Summary: There are only three men in Scripture who were under a Nazirite Vow from birth: Samson, Samuel, and John the Baptist. They show us a pattern that is fulfilled in the birth and ministry of Jesus. Though they were in the limelight, they really prepared the

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Special Births Connected to Christmas: Samson, Samuel, and John: the Nazirites

Judges 13:3-5, I Samuel 1:11, Luke 1:13-17

1. My favorite Christmas joke: he wanted a new car for Christmas, she wanted a fur coat. They compromised: they bought the coat, but kept it in the garage.

2. One child prayed, “Dear God, please put another holiday between Christmas and Easter. There is nothing good in there now.”

3. Christmas is broader than the night on which Jesus was born. Several events that prepared the way and set the tone, one, the birth of John the Baptist found in Luke 1.

4. Story of John’s birth, Elizabeth; Zechariah a priest, therefore John a priest, too.

5, Matthew 11:11, “Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”

6. We often associate John the Baptist with Elijah, because he came in the power and spirit of Elijah. Many modern scholars believe John was part of the Dead Sea Scroll community, but I am skeptical about that. They promoted isolation and joining their commune. John taught people to bloom where they were planted.

7. Because John was a Nazirite from birth – which meant he was permanently under a vow that was normally temporary -- we connect him to two other men in the OT, and one in particular: Samuel and, more specifically, Samson.

Main idea: There are only three men in Scripture who were under a Nazirite Vow from birth: Samson, Samuel, and John the Baptist. They show us a pattern that is fulfilled in the birth and ministry of Jesus. Though they were in the limelight, they really prepared the way for another.

I. Similarities Between ALL Three: Samson, Samuel, and John

A. All three born to CHILDLESS couples

1. Hannah and Elkanah (I Samuel 1)

2. Manoah and his wife (Judges 13)

3. Elizabeth and Zechariah the priest (Luke 1)

B. All three were NAZIRITES from birth:

Numbers 6:1b-7 … When either a man or a woman makes a special vow, the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to the Lord, he shall separate himself from wine and strong drink. He shall drink no vinegar made from wine or strong drink and shall not drink any juice of grapes or eat grapes, fresh or dried. All the days of his separation he shall eat nothing that is produced by the grapevine, not even the seeds or the skins.

“All the days of his vow of separation, no razor shall touch his head. Until the time is completed for which he separates himself to the Lord, he shall be holy. He shall let the locks of hair of his head grow long.

Judges 13:3-5 And the angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, “Behold, you are barren and have not borne children, but you shall conceive and bear a son [Samson]. Therefore be careful and drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean, for behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. No razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb, and he shall begin to save Israel from the hand of the Philistines.”

I Samuel 1:11, And she [Hannah] vowed a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son [Samuel], then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.”

Luke 1:13-17, “But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.’”

C. All three PREPARED the way for DAVID or David’s Son (Messiah)

1. Samson and Samuel weakened the Philistines, David COMPLETED

2. John prepared the people for salvation, JESUS completed

D. All DIED in seeming defeat

• Seemed like a great start, amazing life, but bleak ending

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