The Forerunner of Christ

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Sermon Outline:

1. John was a messenger (v. 6)
2. John was missional (v. 7)
3. John was meek (v. 8 )

Sermon Text:

John 1:6-8

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

Sermon Notes

John the Baptizer – A Messenger Sent by God

According to the Gospels, John’s role was to announce the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. In John 1:23 he says,, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord’” (Jn 1:23). John was the first prophet to speak after 400 years of silence. From the time of Malachi, there had not been any prophetic voice speaking for the LORD. His way of life and style of preaching mirrored the great OT prophets: his diet was locusts and wild honey; his message was one of repentance and preparation for the coming of Messiah and his Kingdom. Even his attire was that of a prophet. According to Matthew 3:4, “Now John himself had a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey.” John was the last of the prophets. It was after being baptized by John that Jesus was led to the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. The ruler Herod, as told in Matthew chapter 14, later beheaded John.

In the Gospel of John, John the Baptizer expected One to come after him who is superior and greater than he. John expressed such humility in this way: he considered himself even “unworthy to untie His sandals” (see Mark 1:7-8; Matt 3:11-12; Luke 3:15-18). John would baptize with water; but the One who followed him would baptize with the Holy Spirit: “He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the one who baptizes in the Holy Spirit” (Jn 1:33). John also confesses Jesus’ pre-existence when saying: “He who comes after me has surpassed me because He was before me” (Jn. 1:15) and “After me comes One who has surpassed me, because He was before me” (Jn. 1:30).

To further demonstrate John’s humility before Christ, he says these familiar yet powerful words, “He must increase, I must decrease” (John 3:30). This passage relates a dispute between John the Baptizer’s disciples and Jesus’ concerning Jesus’ increasing popularity. Some of the Baptizer’s disciples saw Jesus as a competitor. John’s reaction is significant for he recognizes that he must become less and less and that Jesus must increase all the more.

We are going to see three aspects of John’s life and ministry in today’s text: 1. He was a messenger (sent by God); 2. He was missional (about the Lord and His gospel); and 3. He was meek (before the Lord and others). “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”