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Summary: The commission of John was to prepare the way for Jesus, not to seek honour for himself. The message of the gospel is not about us, it is about Jesus!

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THE ENVOY

John 1:6-8

“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.”

John the Evangelist has introduced the Word of God as the Creator (John 1:1-3), and as the source of life and light (John 1:4-5).

This is all building up to a climax in the en-fleshing of the Word (John 1:14), but for now we are introduced to the messenger who goes before Him to prepare the way (John 1:6-8).

This is the man we call John the Baptist (Matthew 3:1-3).

1. JOHN THE BAPTIST WAS COMMISSIONED BY GOD HIMSELF (John 1:6).

Just before Jesus began His public ministry, God sent John the Baptist to the River Jordan (John 1:28).

This was in fulfilment of Old Testament prophecy (Malachi 3:1; Isaiah 40:3).

2. JOHN THE BAPTIST WAS A WITNESS (John 1:7; Acts 1:8).

John preached the baptism of repentance (Mark 1:4).

The baptism administered by John signified a turning away from sin, and a turning toward God. For a while the people were content to submit themselves to the teaching of John, and crowds from all over Judah came down to the River Jordan to be baptised by him.

3. JOHN THE BAPTIST’S TESTIMONY WAS CHRIST-CENTRED (John 1:7; John 1:15).

John was astonished when Jesus came to the River Jordan to be baptised, and even tried to stop Him (Matthew 3:14-15).

Jesus did not have any personal sin to repent of, but His washing with water may have signified the ritual washing of a priest when he is first consecrated.

Jesus was anointed when the Holy Spirit came upon Him in the form of a dove (John 1:32).

God the Father accepted the Person of Jesus with a voice from heaven (Mark 1:11).

4. JOHN THE BAPTIST’S DESIRE WAS TO WIN PEOPLE TO FAITH IN JESUS (John 1:7; John 1:35-37).

John pointed to Jesus as the One who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). Again, he pointed two of his disciples to Jesus, the Lamb of God, and they left John and followed Jesus (John 1:35-37).

5. JOHN THE BAPTIST POINTED AWAY FROM HIMSELF TO JESUS (John 1:8; John 1:20; John 1:23; John 1:29-31).

The people were so impressed with John, that they began to wonder if he was the Christ, the anointed Saviour promised long ago by God.

John responded by pointing away from himself (John 1:20). This is what all true ministers of God will do: the message of the gospel is not about us, it is about Jesus!

John humbly acknowledged that he was unworthy even to stoop down and untie the sandals of Jesus (John 1:27).

John was a popular preacher. Yet John’s commission was to prepare the way for Jesus, not to seek honour for himself.

John spoke of another kind of baptism which Jesus would administer: the baptism with the Holy Spirit (John 1:33).

John proclaimed Jesus as the Son of God (John 1:34).


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