John the Baptist

7604 - John the Baptist Imprisoned

It was with great tragedy that the courageous life and ministry of John the Baptist came to an end.

In Chapter 3 of the Gospel of Luke we are given much insight into John the Baptist. It is interesting that Luke, being the only Gentile writer in the New Testament, is the one who gives a great deal of insight into the conception, birth and early life of both John the Baptist and his cousin Jesus.

Today we want to focus on the ending of John the Baptist’s public ministry which, came about by his imprisonment.

Luke records this event in two brief verses in Chapter 3:19 and 20.

But when John rebuked Herod the tetrarch because of Herodias, his brother's wife, and all the other evil things he had done, Herod added this to them all: He locked John up in prison.

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7603 - Baptism of Jesus

What an amazing sight it must have been, to be present at the baptism of Jesus.

In Luke 3:21-23 we find a short mention about the Baptist of Jesus by John the Baptist. Let me read these verses:
When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."

Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph,

As we discuss this topic of the Baptist of Jesus we will also make use of John 1 and Matthew 3 to get a larger picture.

Matthew tells us (3:13-17) that Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan where John the Baptist was carrying on his ministry for the explicit purpose of being baptized by John. Notice, this intent was already in the mind of Jesus. Being baptized was not something Jesus did in the emotion of the moment.

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7601 - Foretelling Jesus

John the Baptist helped prepare the people of Israel for something greater that they could understand.

We have been studying through Luke, Chapter 3. We have been looking at the ministry of John the Baptist. Even before birth, God had destined John to be the prophet who would come before Jesus.

Even before he was conceived an angel told Zechariah, his father, that this son of his would be the one to go before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah. His task was to prepare the hearts of the people to recognize and respond positively to the coming Messiah.

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7600 - John Baptist's Message

John the Baptist’s message that he delivered was s simple one that rings true today as well.

When John the Baptist gave up his seclusion in the wilderness and began his ministry, he preached a message of repentance

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7599 - John Enters Ministry

The last prophet of the old Testament time and covenant never appeared in the Old Testament.

In our previous studies in chapters 1 and 2 of Luke’s record of the gospel, we have followed the birth and life of Jesus until age 12. As chapter 3 opens we fast forward for about 18 years; as we find the beginning of the ministry of John the Baptist.

Keep in mind that John the Baptist was a cousin of Jesus, and was approximately six-months older than Jesus. He is understood to have started his public ministry before Jesus started his, as such is the last prophet before the New Testament and new covenant.

Luke, the only Gentile writer in the New Testament, gives some historical details, which shows the time frame of some events. This is true with the beginning of John’s ministry early in chapter 3.

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7585 - Zechariah's Song

Today we will study the first words of a mute man.

At the end of the first chapter of the Gospel of Luke, we find Zechariah’s song of praise. We’ve been studying together through Luke.

Let’s read chapter 1, verses 67-80:
His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied: "Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us - to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant, the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace."

And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the desert until he appeared publicly to Israel.

We should keep in mind that Zechariah was a descendant of Aaron and a priest, serving in the Temple.

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7584 - Birth of John the Baptist

Today we look at the birth of the prophet, John the Baptist.

In our study of Luke’s gospel we have come to verse 57.

Listen as I read Luke 1:57-66:
When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.

On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, but his mother spoke up and said, "No! He is to be called John."

They said to her, "There is no one among your relatives who has that name."

Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone's astonishment he wrote, "His name is John." Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue was loosed, and he began to speak, praising God. The neighbors were all filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, "What then is this child going to be?" For the Lord's hand was with him.

To those who have followed this unfolding drama in this chapter, it is no surprise that Elizabeth gave birth to a baby boy.

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7580 - Announcement to Zechariah

Join us today as we learn about the father of John the Baptist.

It’s often very interesting to notice the events included in scripture, which God considered significant by including their record in Scripture.

Early in Luke 1, God introduces us to the priest Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth. Both were descendants of Aaron, so they were of the priestly line. Verse 6 tells us: “Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commandments and regulations blamelessly.” But they had no child, and prospects were bleak because they both were advanced in years; however, they had been praying for a child.

Many Christians find themselves in similar situations at some point in life. They are devout in their faith and they have lived in obedience to the Lord’s desires; yet, they have an area of heaviness in their life in which it seems God has not heard or else has not paid attention to their longing. Take heart in this excerpt from the lives of Zechariah and Elizabeth.

Rest assured God hears your prayers. More importantly He knows the longing of your heart and He cares. However, God answers according to His omniscience — His all- knowing nature. He knows and plans events to bring them to converge and bless in ways, which bring glory and honor to His name.

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7554 - By Water and Blood

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Let’s seek to understand the meaning of 1 John 5; verse 6. It says, “This is the one who came by water and blood –– Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.”

This is one of the highly debated verses from the Bible. The scholar Dr. Plummer calls this first phrase the ‘most perplexing’ in the letter.

The difficulty is to understand what is meant by the terms water and blood.
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7452 - Jesus, The Messiah - John 1:29-51

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Today we’ll be taking a brief look at some events in the early life of Jesus. In the first chapter of John we see Jesus in Bethany beyond the Jordan.

Listen to John 1, verses 29-34:
John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
John 1:30 This is the one I meant when I said, `A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.'
John 1:31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel."
John 1:32 Then John gave this testimony: "I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.
John 1:33 I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, `The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.'
John 1:34 I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God."