Summary: The ministry of John the Baptist.
THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS
Text: Matthew 3:1 – 12
· All the preparations for a new baby
· Preparations by God the Father
· Angels, stars, census, details according to prophecy (virgin, Bethlehem)
· Cap it all off with a special messenger – John the Baptist
A. The Character (vv. 1, 4)
· His life foretold by prophecy
i. Isaiah 40:3
ii. Malachi 3:1; 4:5,6
· His miracle birth
· His childhood (Luke 1:80)
i. Raised by the Essenes?
· His ministry (John 1:6 – 8, 15)
B. The Cry (vv. 2, 3)
· The Messiah is coming
C. The Confession (vv. 5, 6)
· Essenes practiced daily baptism for ritual purity
· John introduced a baptism of repentance (Luke 1:13 – 17)
· We have a baptism of identification
D. The Caution (vv. 7 – 10)
· Vipers – their hypocrisy was dangerous
· Repentance is needed
· Repentance brings a change in behavior
· Being born a Jew was not enough
· Judgment was coming (70 AD)
E. The Coming (vv. 11, 12)
o 1st Coming
· Baptism of fire
o Foreshadowed in 70 AD, 2nd Coming (Revelation 20:11 – 15)
· God will fulfill all prophecies
· Are you faithfully pointing others to Jesus as John did?
· We need to convince our lost loved ones that they need to repent
· We all need to confess and repent
· Repentance should bring about a change in conduct
· Trusting in family or nationality or denomination is not enough
· Judgment is coming
ISAIAH 40:3 – The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
MALACHI 3:1 – Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me:
MALACHI 4:5, 6 – Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
LUKE 1:80 – And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.
EZEKIEL 36:26, 27 – A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.