The Greatest Prophet

Born miraculously out of godly aged parents, John the Baptist is fully dedicated to his calling. Jesus marks him out as the greatest man that ever lived. Yet barring Christ himself, there would be many greater than him? What is greatness in Christ’s eyes?

Overview

Objective

Birth of John

Promise of God

Ministry

  Message

  Baptism

  Forerunner

  Cost

Discussion

Passages

Matt 3:1-12; 14:1-12; Mark 1.1-8; 6:14-29;  Lk 1:1-26; Lk:1:39-3:20; Luke 9:7-9; John 1:15-28

Cross References: Matthew 14:1-12; Mark 6:14-24; Luke 3:19, 20

THEME VERSE: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way”

“a voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him’”

Mark 1:2-3

Objectives

To understand:

  • The requirements of godly parents
  • The benchmark message we need to communicate
  • The benchmark lifestyle of a disciple
  • The cost and rewards of discipleship

God's choice of parents

Both of them were upright  in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commandments  and regulations blamelessly. Luke 1:6

Angelic Announcement

Luke 1:11 And an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. 12 Zacharias was troubled when he saw the angel, and fear gripped him.

Angelic Announcement

Luke 1:13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John.

Father's unbelief

Luke 1:18 And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an  old man, and my wife well stricken in years.

19 And the  angel answering said unto him, I am  Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.

20 And, behold, thou shalt be  dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou  believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.

Anointed in the Womb

Luke 1:41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit

John, the prophet:

  • Was great in God’s eyes
  • Had no alcoholic drinks
  • Was filled with the Holy Spirit from birth
  • Turned many to the Lord
  • Turned fathers to children
  • Turned rebellious to accept wisdom.
  • Had spirit and power of Elijah.
  • Prepared the way for the Lord.

Luke 1:14-17

John's Ministry - Message

John with his unique persona unlike the leaders of that time:

  • Preaches repentance.
  • Confronts King Herod
  • Exposes hypocrisy of the pharisees and sadducees.
  • Warns about judgement.
  • Teaches sharing, excellence, fairness, contentment, etc.

John's Ministry - Message

His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his  wheat into barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Matt 3:12

How different are most of the “so called” prophets of today from John? What can we learn?

John's Ministry - Baptism

  • Traditionally used to convert Gentiles into Jews.
  • Done in the Jordon river (where God renewed his covenant before Israelites entered the Promised Land. -Joshua 3:14-17)
  • Jesus was also baptized before he starts his ministry.

Luke 1:14-17

John's Ministry - The Forerunner

Points to:

  • The Messiah
  • Inwards to their own slavery to sin.
  • Reconciliation with God

Points away from himself

Matt 3:11

John's Ministry - The Forerunner

  • He must become greater, I must become less.
    John 3:30
  • Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. John 1:29

 

John's ministry - The cost

  • Herodias plans to kill John
  • So also the religious leaders
  • Eventually, John is beheaded by King Herod

Matthew 14:1-12; Mark 6:14-24; Luke 3:19, 20

Our ministry - The cost

  • God does not guarantee an easy or safe life to those who serve him.
  • Standing for the truth is more important than life itself.
  • Christians today face a world of moral compromise.
  • Show the compromised church and world a little of John’s stubborness, fortitude and faith.

Discussion

Can people discover what you believe by observing the way you live?

How productive are you for God?

How can you prepare the way for a person to approach Christ?

Can we like John, put our egos and profitable work aside in order to point others to Jesus?

What have you done with the truth you read in God’s word?

“The greatness of one’s faith is determined by what it’s strong enough to accomplish”

Related Posts

True Greatness

Christ gives his testimony of the greatest man born till date – John the Baptist. He confirms that he is Elijah who is to come. He commends him for his powerful advancement of God’s kingdom. He indicates what it takes to attain true greatness.[embeddoc...

The Golden Rule

The golden rule – treat others the way you want to be treated. Summarizing the sermon on the mount – this powerful principle covers much. Matt 7:12; Luke 6:31 Introduction With God’s commandments Worldwide harmony As Sermon Summary Discussion To understand how the...

The Key Differentiator

What differentiates true Christians and non-Christians? How can we love our enemies? Where do we err in our classification and perception of “good” and “bad” people? How can we demonstrate Christlike love towards others?Matt 5:43-48,  Luke 6:27-36 Objectives Theme...

Lust and Immorality

What is the danger of making promises to people or God? How do we unknowingly at times, deceive others and let others deceive us? How do we shield ourselves from deception? How do we discern deception in us and others?Matt 5:21-26, Matt 18:15-17, Luke 12:57-59, John...

Signs of the Messiah

Why does John the Baptist ask Jesus “Are you the Messiah”? Christ systematically highlights unquestionable evidence witnessed by John’s own disciples. He points out to prophecy and reaffirms John’s faith and mission.[embeddoc...

Be True to Yourself

What is the danger of making promises to people or God? How do we unknowingly at times, deceive others and let others deceive us? How do we shield ourselves from deception? How do we discern deception in us and others?Matt 5:21-26, Matt 18:15-17, Luke 12:57-59, John...

Anger and Hurt

What are the consequences of anger and hurt to ourselves? To others? Why is anger compared with murder? How can we avoid these feelings and overcome them? How do we replacing anger and hurt with love and compassion like Christ did?Matt 5:21-26, Matt 18:15-17, Luke...

Fulfilling the Law

Is the old testament relevant today? What new dimensions of the law did Jesus fulfil and highlight? What is grace? How do we truly appropriate it in our lives? What changes in our lives when we live under grace as opposed to living under the law?Matt 5:17-20; Luke...

Jesus Delivers

When God appears silent, a miracle may be happening. When storms are raging prepare to witness the power above all storms. The only requirement is to ensure Christ is in the boat with us. He will take us through.Matt 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-20; Luke 8:26-39; Objectives...

Salt and Light

What are the inherent properties of salt and light that Christians need to demonstrate? What did salt and light mean in Christ’s days? What do we learn? How do we achieve inherent characteristics that have the power and influence salt and light have?Ref: Matt 5: 13-16...

Averting Anxiety

Why do we worry? What are matters we worry about? How do we overcome anxiety? What are positive worries we can have? How can we switch from negative to positive anxieties? What assurances does Jesus give when we are anxious?Matt 6:25-34; Luke 12:22-32 Introduction...

Permanent Wealth

Compare and contrast Kingdom wealth with earthly wealth. How do perspectives change our choices and guide our path? How do we get an enlightened perspective? How do we strike the right balance between wealth in this world and the next?Matt 6:19-24; Luke 12:33-34,...

Fasting

When and why should we fast? What changes when we fast? How are fasting and prayer related? Biblically fasting represents true sorrow for sin. Without that it is not a fast. Fasting is affliction of the soul in true repentance Matt 6:16-18 Objectives Bible Passages...

Soul Rest

Simple yet profound. What are the steps to achieve true rest for the soul? This is the real reason Jesus came – to help us seek and attain soul rest. Many want it, but are we prepared to do what it takes to achieve it?[embeddoc...

Foolishness of the Wise

Simple yet profound. What are the steps to achieve true rest for the soul? This is the real reason Jesus came – to help us seek and attain soul rest. Many want it, but are we prepared to do what it takes to achieve it?[embeddoc...