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Summary: John the Baptist prepares the way for Christ the King. Look at John’s message repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand and what that means for us today

Sermon 1/21/07-Matt. 3:1-10- “The King is Coming!”

Intro. –Turn to Matt. 3.

Event coming up that I enjoy watching. State of the Union address. One of the most powerful moments each year is right at the beginning, when in the midst of all the noise and chaos there is a voice that booms out announcing the arrival of the president “Mr. Speaker, the President of the United States.” It is an announcement that rings out and calls for a response. This morn look at another announcement, that rings our with an even greater force, because this isn’t an announcement introducing the president of a country, it is the announcement introducing the King of all Creation.Read Matt. 3:1-10 (ESV)

I. The Messenger

He was….

A. John the Baptist

Most of what we know about John the Baptist comes from Luke.

-son of one of the priests, Zechariah and because of that he would have easily had access into the priesthood, but that was not God’s calling on his life.

-gave up the opportunity to go into the priesthood to go out and live in the wilderness, to live the life of a prophet.

Few things to highlight about John the Baptist.

1-first is evident in his name, baptism was such a major part of his ministry that it became the way that he was identified. Talk more about the specifics of his baptism and what it represented next week when we look at the baptism of Jesus.

2-his clothing-vs. 4 “garment of camel’s hair & a leather belt” the same type of wardrobe worn by Elijah

2 Kings 1:7-8 “He said to them ‘what kind of man was he who came to meet you and told you these things?’ They answered him ‘He wore a garment of hair, with a belt of leather about his waist.’ And he said ‘it is Elijah the Tishbite.’”

Normally the type of clothing worn by poorer people,

-garments of hair were sometimes worn as a protest against luxury and wealth, or as a symbol of distress and affliction, so John’s choice of clothing was probably both a practical choice, given his living situation and a visual statement to reinforce his message. Look at that in a moment.

Also want us to see that John’s ministry was another fulfillment of prophecy, further proof that Jesus is the Messiah that the Jews had been waiting for

3-For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, “the voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.” John was...

B. A herald of the coming King

In that culture the coming of a king required special preparation. To prepare the way for the king a herald was sent ahead with a number of servants to prepare the road on which the king would be traveling. Holes were filled, rough places made smooth and crooked sections straightened. As the group traveled along and worked, the herald would proclaim the kings coming to everyone he encountered. His job was to proclaim and prepare. That is what John’s ministry did for Jesus.

And just as a road had to be cleared of obstacles before a king could come, John was calling for the people to clear the obstacles out of their lives that might hinder their reception of the Lord. He calls for people to get themselves ready-to prepare their heart and life-for the arrival of the Coming One with the Kingdom of heaven.

So let’s look at

II. The Message-3 main ideas from the message of John I want to bring out

Repent-First in John’s message was the call to repent.

-Literally means to change your mind, have a complete change of heart.

-Hebrew word used in the OT for repent is “shub” (to turn away from, return), so John’s audience would have understood that the repentance that John was referring to would require not just their turning from their sins but also their returning to God.

-That’s always the case with repentance because turning away from our sins is impossible unless at the same time we turns to God-otherwise we only turn from one set of sins to another.

So true repentance means more than simply having regret for our sins or being “sorry” for what we’ve done; it literally means to turn around, to change direction, to change the mind and will. And not just any change, but a change from wrong to right, away from sin and to righteousness. Repentance involves sorrow for sin, but sorrow that leads to a change of thinking, a change of desire and a change in our conduct.

-That was the first part of John’s message, repent, but why was John calling people to repent? Because...

B. The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.

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