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John the Baptist

(The Courageous Deeds of John the Baptist.)

Setting: Sunday Worship Message

Length of Delivery: 40 minutes for each lesson

Name of Student: Charles (Noel) Dear Student ID: 1477100 Class: NBST 521 Instructor’s Name: Dr. Eric Spano Date Submitted: 7/16/2011

(Outline #1)

The Courageous Deeds of John the Baptist: The Choice of Devotion

I. Introduction

A.

John the Baptist’s life was characterized by three rare yet courageous deeds.

1.

He chose a life of sacrifice and devotion.

2.

He chose to minimize his importance in order to exalt Christ’s importance.

3.

He chose to risk everything to tell the truth.

B.

In this first lesson, his choice of a life of sacrifice and devotion will be studied.

1. We will learn his lifestyle choices as seen in the Gospels.

2. We will learn the significance of the Nazarite vow in the Old Testament.

C.

The following Scripture passages will get us started in our study.

1. Luke 1:13-15

a) God called John the Baptist to a life of devotion even before his birth.

b) This description would have likely been understood by Zacharias as

referring to the Nazarite vow, considering that John also did not cut his

hair. 1

b) A distinction is made in God’s call that John the Baptist would be great

in the sight of the Lord as opposed to necessarily great in the sight of the

world.

2. Matthew 3:1-4

1 Darrell L. Bock, Luke Volume 1: 1:1-9:50, Baker exegetical commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 1994), 85.

a) John the Baptist followed through with the commitment that he was

called to in the beginning.

b) The outward nature of the commitment can be seen in his dress and his

diet.

Transition: Now let us begin to investigate further this courageous choice of devotion.

II. Body of Lesson

A. What is the nature of the Nazarite vow?

1. It stood as an outward symbol of a consecrated life. 2

2. There were three parts of this outward symbol (Numbers 6:2-21).

a) The Nazarite would abstain from drinking alcohol.

b) The Nazarite would not cut his hair.

c) The Nazarite would refrain from touching dead bodies.

3. Some very notable people took the Nazarite vow or something like it. 3

a) Samson (Judges 13:4)

b) Samuel (1 Samuel 1:11)

c) Paul (Acts 18:18; Acts 21:23-36)

B. What kind of lifestyle choices did John the Baptist make?

1. John the Baptist made a number of lifestyle choices to give outward evidence

of his inward commitment of devotion to the Lord.

2. In addition to those choices involving his Nazarite vow, other choices are

found in Matthew 3:1-4.

a) He was clothed in camels hair and wore a leather belt.

2 Walter A. Elwell and Barry J. Beitzel, Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 1988), 1531. 3 M.G. Easton, Easton's Bible Dictionary (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996).

(1) These were clothes most often worn by very poor people.

(2) These clothes also pointed to his connection with Elijah (2

Kings 1:8). 4

b) He ate locusts and wild honey.

(1) Locusts are large grasshoppers and are still eaten in the East. 5

(2) Wild honey is what it purports to be.

(3) These were the foods of very poor people.

C. What lessons can we learn from John the Baptist’s choice of devotion?

1. There should be some outward expression of our inward commitment to

devotion.

a)

John the Baptist’s devotion was clearly evident to those around him.

b)

Even John’s enemies could see his devotion (Mark 6:20).

c)

Often people today claim deep devotion, but there is no outward

evidence in their life.

2. A successful life is not about ease and comfort.

a) John the Baptist would not be considered successful by the standard of

the world.

b) Jesus however said that John the Baptist was the greatest man born of a

woman (Matthew 11:11).

c) We should reevaluate our definition of success from a Kingdom

perspective.

3. We should seek to impress only the Lord.

4 D. A. Carson, "Matthew" In , in The Expositor's Bible Commentary, Volume 8: Matthew, Mark, Luke, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1984), 102. 5 Ibid.

a) John the Baptist did not present himself as an impressive person to

most who would have seen him.

b) John the Baptist did not seem to gain his esteem from people.

c) John the Baptist lived to impress only the Lord (Luke 1:15).

Transition: Those lessons are important, but they only have power in our lives if there is

implementation. Let us make some decisions today.

III. Conclusion

A. To choose a life of devotion and sacrifice is difficult.

1. We can see this in the difficult lifestyle choices of John the Baptist.

2. The normal American life demonstrates very few signs of sacrificial living.

B. To choose a life of devotion and sacrifice honors the Lord.

1. It honors God because of what it produces in us.

a) Passion for God

b) Hatred for sin

c) Transformation

2. It honors God because of what it show to others.

a) Salt

b) Light

3. It is time to choose.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bock, Darrell L. Luke Volume 1: 1:1-9:50. Baker exegetical commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 1994.

Easton, M.G. Easton's Bible Dictionary. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996.

Elwell, Walter A. and Barry J. Beitzel. Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible. Grand Rapids, Mich.:

Baker Book House, 1988.

Elwell, Walter A. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology: Second Edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2001.

Freeman, James M. and Harold J. Chadwick. Manners & Customs of the Bible. Rev. ed.]. North Brunswick, NJ: Bridge-Logos Publishers, 1998.

Gaebelein, Frank E., D. A. Carson, Walter W. Wessel and Walter L. Liefeld. The Expositor's Bible Commentary, Volume 8: Matthew, Mark, Luke. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1984.

Simeon, Charles. Horae Homileticae Vol. 2: Numbers to Joshua. London, 1832-63.

MacLeod, David J. “Herald of the King: The Mission of John the Baptist.” Emmaus Journal Volume 9, No. 1 (Summer 2000): 5-37.

(Outline #2)

The Courageous Deeds of John the Baptist: The Choice of Second

I. Introduction

A.

John the Baptist’s life was characterized by three rare yet courageous deeds.

 

1.

He chose a life of sacrifice and devotion.

2.

He chose to minimize his importance in order to exalt Christ’s importance.

3.

He chose to risk everything to tell the truth.

B.

In this second lesson, his choice to minimize his importance in order to exalt Christ’s

importance will be studied.

C. The following Scripture passages will get us started in our study.

1. Matthew 3:11

a) John the Baptist considers Jesus mightier than himself.

(1) This does not refer to physical strength. 6

(2) Rather this refers to authority and importance. 7

b) John the Baptist considers himself unworthy to carry Jesus’ sandals.

(1) John the Baptist putts himself in the position of the meanest of

servants. 8

(2) Among the Jews, Greeks, and Romans, the business of

carrying a person’s sandals was for the lowest rank of slaves. 9

6 Barclay Moon Newman and Philip C. Stine, A Handbook on the Gospel of Matthew, UBS helps for translators; UBS handbook series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1992), 68.

7 Ibid.

8 Marvin Richardson Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2002), Mt 3:11.

9 Ibid.

c)

John the Baptist considers Jesus’ method of baptism to be superior to

his own. 10

2. John 3:30

a) He must increase.

(1) Jesus’ authority and influence must grow and spread. 11

(2) The word “must” is a strong affirmation of the importance of

this exchange of priority. 12

b) I must decrease.

(1) The purpose of John the Baptist’s ministry is to point men to

Jesus. 13

(2) The time of John the Baptist’s honor was temporary. 14

Transition: Now let us see why this was such a difficult yet crucial decision on John’s

part.

II. Body of Lesson

A. John’s previous popularity

1.

John’s ministry began first.

2.

The Bible speaks of the “crowds” that were going to see John.

3.

It would have been easy for John to see himself as primary.

B. John’s understanding of his role

10 A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, 1997), Mt

3:11.

11 Albert Barnes, Notes on the New Testament: Luke & John, ed. Robert Frew (London: Blackie & Son, 1884-1885), 211.

12 Robert James Dr. Utley, vol. Volume 4, The Beloved Disciple's Memoirs and Letters: The Gospel of John, I, II, and III John, Study Guide Commentary Series (Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International, 1999), 38.

13 Ibid., Notes on the New Testament, 211.

14 Jean Calvin, John, The Crossway classic commentaries (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 1994), Jn 3:30.

1. John’s role was to prepare the way for Jesus.

a) Isaiah 40:3

b) John 1:26-27

2. John’s role was to point people to Jesus.

C. John’s choice of second

1. John accepted his role (John 1:1:19:20).

2. John exalted Jesus (John 1:27).

3. John sought to make his life and ministry subordinate (John 3:30).

Transition: How does this impact our lives? What should we understand about our

relationship with God? Let us see how this intersects with our daily lives.

III. Conclusion

A. We should understand our role like John’s is to point people to Jesus, not ourselves.

1. We are commanded to be fishers of men.

2. We are commanded to preach the Gospel.

3. We are commanded to see ourselves as debtors to those who do not know

Christ.

B. We should understand our role like John’s is to glorify God, not ourselves.

1. Matthew 5:16

2. 1 Corinthians 6:20

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Calvin, Jean. John. Crossway Classic Commentaries. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1994.

Elwell, Walter A. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology: Second Edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2001.

Elwell, Walter A. and Barry J. Beitzel. Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible. Grand Rapids, Mich.:

Baker Book House, 1988.

MacLeod, David J. “Herald of the King: The Mission of John the Baptist.” Emmaus Journal Volume 9, No. 1 (Summer 2000): 5-37.

Newman, Barclay Moon and Philip C. Stine. A Handbook on the Gospel of Matthew. UBS helps for translators; UBS handbook series. New York: United Bible Societies, 1992.

Harrison, Everett F. “The Son of God among the Sons of Men: John the Baptist.” Bibliotheca Sacra Volume 102, No. 405 (January 1945): 74-84.

Robertson, A.T. Word Pictures in the New Testament. Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems,

1997.

Vincent, Marvin Richardson. Word Studies in the New Testament. Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2002.

(Outline #3)

The Courageous Deeds of John the Baptist: The Choice of Truth

I. Introduction

A.

John the Baptist’s life was characterized by three rare yet courageous deeds.

 

1.

He chose a life of sacrifice and devotion.

2.

He chose to minimize his importance in order to exalt Christ’s importance.

3.

He chose to risk everything to tell the truth.

B.

In this third lesson, his choice to tell the truth regardless of the personal consequences

will be studied.

1. We will learn the background of the political-relational situation John

addressed.

2.

We will see what John had to say about the situation and to whom he said it.

3.

We will briefly glimpse John in prison.

3.

We will briefly observe the final consequences of his courageous stand.

C. The following Scripture passages will get us started in our study.

1. Matthew 14:3-5

a) Herod was already suspicious of anyone who might stir up the crowds

with predictions of a coming messianic ruler. 15

b) Herod entered into an inappropriate marriage.

(1) Herod visited his half-brother Herod Philip in A.D. 29. 16

(2) Herod fell in love with Herodias (Herod Philip’s wife). 17

15 Walter A. Elwell and Barry J. Beitzel, Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 1988), 1203. 16 Ibid., 969.

(3) She agreed to marry him if he would divorce his current

wife. 18

(4) This marriage violated Mosaic law. 19

(a)

Leviticus 18:16

(b)

Leviticus 20:21

c)

John speaks boldly against Herod’s decision. 20

d)

John was arrested for his boldness.

2. Matthew 11:2, 11

a) According to Josephus, Herod imprisoned John the Baptist in the

fortress of Machaerus, east of the Dead Sea. 21

b) The implication from Scripture is that John was in prison for a period

of time more than just a few days.

c) Even though at this point it seemed John’s ministry had failed since he

was in prison, Jesus said he was the greatest man ever born up to that

point. 22

3. Matthew 14:6-12

a) Kings were accustomed to observe the day of their birth with much

pomp. 23

b) The daughter was likely Salome her daughter by her former husband. 24

17 Ibid.

18 Ibid.

19 A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, 1997), Mt

14:3.

20 John MacArthur, Matthew (Chicago: Moody Press, 1989), Mt 11:2.

21 Flavius Josephus and William Whiston, The Works of Josephus : Complete and Unabridged (Peabody:

Hendrickson, 1996), Antiquities 18.119.

22 Ibid., Matthew, Mt 11:9.

23 Albert Barnes, Notes on the New Testament: Matthew & Mark, ed. Robert Frew (London: Blackie & Son, 1884-1885), 151.

c)

Herodias’s darkest desire and Herod’s cowardice became the death of

the man whose offense had been telling the truth. 25

Transition: Now let us see what life lessons we can learn from what we have learned

from our study of these passages.

II. Body of Lesson

A. Truth telling should not be influenced by risk.

1. John took a significant risk in speaking against Herod.

a) It was a significant risk because of the person nature of John’s

comments.

b) It was a significant risk because of the power and authority Herod had.

2. John never compromised the truth.

a) He did not water it down.

b) He did not share it indirectly.

3. John never recanted his telling of the truth.

a) He did not recant when arrested.

b) He did not recant when he was killed.

B. Greatness is not determined by outcome.

1. John’s life and ministry ended in defeat and failure measured by the standard

of most.

2. Jesus’ assessment of John the Baptist at the end of his life and ministry was

that he was the greatest man ever born.

C.

Often, the reward for faithful living and serving will come only after this life is over

(2 Corinthians 4:17). 26

Transition: How can we make life application of these principles to our lives? We can

do this in at least two ways.

III. Conclusion

A. We should resolve to be truth tellers regardless of the potential consequences.

B. We should hold on to the truth that our reward will come, if not in this life, then in the

one to come.

26 J. C. Ryle, Matthew, The Crossway classic commentaries (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 1993), 117.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Barnes, Albert. Notes on the New Testament: Matthew & Mark. Edited by Frew, Robert. London: Blackie & Son, 1884-1885.

Elwell, Walter A. and Barry J. Beitzel. Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible. Grand Rapids, Mich.:

Baker Book House, 1988.

Elwell, Walter A. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology: Second Edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2001.

Gaebelein, Frank E., D. A. Carson, Walter W. Wessel and Walter L. Liefeld. The Expositor's Bible Commentary, Volume 8: Matthew, Mark, Luke. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1984.

Harrison, Everett F. “The Son of God among the Sons of Men: John the Baptist.” Bibliotheca Sacra Volume 102, No. 405 (January 1945): 74-84.

Josephus, Flavius and William Whiston. The Works of Josephus : Complete and Unabridged. Peabody: Hendrickson, 1996.

MacArthur, John. Matthew. Chicago: Moody Press, 1985.

MacLeod, David J. “Herald of the King: The Mission of John the Baptist.” Emmaus Journal Volume 9, No. 1 (Summer 2000): 5-37.

Robertson, A.T. Word Pictures in the New Testament. Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems,

1997.

Ryle, J. C. Matthew. Crossway Classic Commentaries. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1993.