Summary: John was a spiritual Giant
By: Dr. Dennis Deese
There have been many who claimed to be great and the world has claimed many people to be great. But God’s claim of greatness is true greatness.
ETS: John was a great man
ESS: We need great men today (spiritual giants)
Matthew 11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
Matthew 11:11 A greater: 3187 meizon mide’-zone: greater, larger, elder, stronger.
He didn’t say he was the greatest. He said, "there hath not risen a greater" - thus, we too can be great. We can reach the same spiritual level as John. He was a spiritual giant and you can be one too.
How does the Lord measure true greatness?
There are at least three things that made John great:
I. HIS FAITH
What type of faith makes a person great in the eyes of God?
A. His faith was active
John 10:41 And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true.
Habakkuk 2:4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.
Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
Hebrews 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
John 1:32-33 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
Most people have to see it then they will believe it. He believed it then he saw it.
B. His faith was consumed
Luke 1:15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.
Luke 1:41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
Filled with Greek 4137, play-ro’-o; to make replete, i.e. (literal) to cram (a net), level up (a hollow), to furnish, satisfy.
C. His faith was influential
John 1:35 Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;
II. HIS FOCUS
A. God’s Call
Luke 1:15-16 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.
Luke 3:2 Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.
2 Timothy 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called [us] with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
B. God’s Message
John 1:15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.
John 1:19 And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?
John 1:23 He said, I [am] the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.
John 10:42 And many believed on him there.
John 1:19 Witness martureo mar-too-reh’-o : to be a witness, to bear witness, i.e. Tto affirm that one has seen or heard or experienced something, or that he knows it because taught by divine revelation or inspiration. To give (not to keep back) testimony to utter honourable testimony, give a good report.
C. God’s Closeness
Mark 6:20 For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.
III. HIS FAITHFULNESS -
In the face of so much striking and discouraging opposition, how did he remain faithful even to the point of becoming martyr?
A. Assured of God’s Son
Luke 7:19-22 And John calling [unto him] two of his disciples sent [them] to Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another? When the men were come unto him, they said, John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another? And in that same hour he cured many of [their] infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many [that were] blind he gave sight. Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.