Tag Archives: John The Baptist

Matthew 14- Death of John The Baptist

At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus, And said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him. For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife. For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her. And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet. Matthew 14:1-5

So you want to be a prophet? Many people today and throughout time claimed to be a prophet of God, but be careful what you wish for. Throughout history it’s been well documented the true prophets of God faced intense persecution and usually death. This was the same fate for John the Baptist, as Jesus called him “The greatest of all prophets” (Matthew 11:11)

So why was John the Baptist imprisoned and killed? Because he was preaching the true gospel of Jesus Christ, everyone needs to Repent and become Born Again. Herod didn’t like this message of repentance, when John called out his immoral and invalid marriage he had with his brother’s wife. Most people don’t like to be called out on their sin, this is why Jesus and the Apostles and Prophets received heavy persecution and death.

It’s interesting that Herod believed Jesus was John the Baptist risen from the dead, which makes us understand Herod knew John was a Holy Man from God, but Herod loved his sin more than He loved God, so he killed the messenger of God. This is the same evil spirit and mentality most people have today. People love their sin more than they love God

But when Herod’s birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod. Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask. And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist’s head in a charger. And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath’s sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her. And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison. And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother. And his disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus. Matthew 14:6-12

Now to show you how depraved Herod was , we see this bizarre birthday celebration where the “daughter of Herodias” who is also Herod’s step daughter, dances for him and pleases him to the point he will give her whatever she wants. Now we don’t have to go into detail that this is an immoral and depraved event. Now the girls mother, Herodias, uses this situation as a “power grab” to eliminate John the Baptist, because he has been calling her out on her sin and her conscience is probably pricked. The show Desperate Housewives has nothing on the Bible!

So Herod, knowing John the Baptist is a prophet of God, goes ahead and orders his execution anyway because Herod loves his sin and wants to please people more than fearing God. Many of John’s disciples or students must have witnesses all of these events and then went back and told Jesus what had happened

What can we learn from this story? The love of sin is greater than the love of God in most people. If you want to know why Jesus said we must be Born Again to enter the Kingdom of Heaven (John 3:3) just look at the depravity of the human heart and understand why we need to be reborn

Matthew 11- Greatest Prophet

And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. Matthew 11:7-11

What would you expect the greatest prophet to look like? Would you expect them with great beauty? Would you expect them with the clothing and authority of a King? Well, our preconceived notions are all wrong! John the Baptist was probably a man most of us wouldn’t want to be seen with in public, we lived in the desert, eating bugs, and wearing camel hair. However Jesus Christ said “John is the greatest of all prophets” (v11) 

Just as Jesus identified himself as the Christ, with scripture, Jesus is also identifying who John the Baptist is with scripture. You can’t understand the New Testament until you have a grasp of the Old Testament. If you “unhitch” from the Old Testament, the New Testament would make no sense. Christ is identifying John the Baptist as the “Messenger or Yahweh” to prepare the way for Jesus

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. Matthew 11:12-15

Jesus makes an interesting statement here “For all The Prophets and Law prophesied until John”  A couple things can be taken away from this , John the Baptist was the last of the Prophets as all prophecies are foretelling about Christ. Secondly The Law is fulfilled with Christ (Matthew 5:17) Everything from the Old Testament was pointing to the coming and the fulfillment of Jesus Christ! (Luke 24: 44)

But what happened to John the Baptist? He was rejected and eventually killed by beheading. What happened to Jesus Christ? He was despised and rejected and crucified on a cross (Isaiah 53) As Jesus said “They who have ears, let them hear” Most of the world has no spiritual discernment, even though God foretold about the coming of Christ, most of the world has rejected God’s salvation

If you want to know the real Jesus, read your Bible, pray without ceasing to God, and ask for the Holy Spirit , Amen!

Matthew 3- Prepare The Way

In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. Matthew 3:1-6

Again we are seeing more fulfillment of prophecy, John the Baptist was the fulfillment of the Messenger of The Messiah. “A voice of the one calling in the Wilderness, to prepare the way for The Lord” (Isaiah 40) John is the messenger for Jesus, to prepare Israel for the coming of the Christ. 

So how did John the Baptist prepare everyone for Jesus? By a strong message of repentance and baptism “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” John is telling Israel, get ready the Christ has come, turn away from your sins, confess your sins to God, and be cleansed. Of course preaching a strong message of repentance goes either way, either people are pricked to the heart to turn to God or people harden their hearts and reject God

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Matthew 3:7-10

 The New Covenant is coming through Christ, John begins by calling out the false religious system and its leaders. “O generation of Vipers” , John addressed the religious leaders, “Who has warned you for the wrath to come”? Many believed they were saved just because they were descendants of Abraham, but salvation comes only through Jesus Christ alone!

The ax is laid at the root, meaning judgment is coming, those who don’t produce good fruit, those who are not Born Again, will be chopped down and thrown in the eternal Hell fire. Obviously John the Baptist never sugar coated his message, He was here for one reason , to announce the Messiah and lead people to Christ. 

Even today, the message must remain the same “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” , Jesus is coming back again soon, those who remain dead in their sin will not inherit eternal life, Amen!

Luke 7- The Greatest Prophet

And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings’ courts. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet.This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. Luke 7:24-27

In our reading today, Jesus teaches us about who John the Baptist is and why he came here. At first glance many probably thought John the Baptist was just a crazy guy, wearing camel hair clothes and eating locusts. However John was a prophet, and not just a prophet but Jesus called him “the greatest of all prophets” (verse 28) 

So what was the big deal about John? Besides his strange appearance and very strong message of repentance, why was John so important? Well Jesus quoted the prophecies about John in Isaiah and Malachi, John was the prophet to prepare the way for the Messiah. John’s mission was to prepare everyones hearts for the coming of Jesus, by baptism of repentance, and reveal who the Christ is!

For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he. And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John.But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him. Luke 7:28-30

If John came upon the scene today, imagine what most people would say or think about him. However Jesus said “there was no greater prophet born among women” John didn’t care what the world thought about him, he had a mission from God and he was going to fulfill it, even to the point of death, when Herod cut his head off for rebuking his sin

The religious leaders rejected John, not because of his appearance, but because they felt they were already righteous and didn’t want to repent for their sins. These men believed they were so religious, yet didn’t even recognize a prophet from God in front of them. They were all blinded with pride and self righteousness

For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil. The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners! But wisdom is justified of all her children. Luke 7:33-35

The religious leaders claimed John the Baptist was possessed by demons, even though he was a holy prophet of God. Just as the religious leaders killed their own Messiah, crucified him on a cross, because they love their sin and religion, more than they love God

The reason people reject God, is not an evidential issue but its a moral issue. Nobody wanted to repent and change, so they killed off John and Jesus. Unfortunately their delusion forgot that Jesus is the Son of God, and He is Risen forever. One day they will bow their knee to Christ and be sentenced to Hell forever, Worthy is the Lamb , Amen!

Luke 3- Ministry of John The Baptist

Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God. Luke 3:2-6

Today we take a look at the ministry of John the Baptist, as we discussed earlier John the Baptist was the fulfillment of the coming of Elijah. This was affirmed by Jesus himself (Matthew 17:12) and now we see the fulfillment of Isaiah prophecy (Isaiah 40) as the messenger who will prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah

Now John’s ministry was not a watered down, sugar coated ministry we see mostly today, John preached the requirement of repentance and baptism. Prepare for the coming of Jesus by turning away from your sin with Godly sorrow. John also taught the importance of making a public profession of your faith through baptism. Hence why John was known as the Baptiser. 

Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then? Luke 3:7-10

John called out the religious leaders and the corruption of their religious system. You see, Jesus is not about a religion, Jesus is about having a personal relationship with God. John also pointed out that salvation doesn’t come from being a Jew, it comes from Christ alone!

So what happens to those who reject Jesus? As John states “every tree that doesn’t produce fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire (Hell)” The peoples response was “What shall we do then”? 

He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do? And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you.And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages. Luke 3:11-14

So you might ask “What is the fruits of repentance, that John was referring to earlier” The fruits are to live like Christ, because he loved us first! Saying your a Christian is not just a statement, its a lifestyle, its a way of life. John the Baptist was like a farmer, tilling the ground and sowing the seed of God. This was his purpose to prepare people for Jesus Christ!

Are you ready? Have you received Jesus Christ yet? Have you repented of your sin and been baptised? Prepare for the return of Christ, because He is coming in the clouds soon Amen!

Luke 1- John The Baptist Foretold

And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. Luke 1:11-15

As we begin the gospel of Luke, the first event we see is the foretelling of the birth of John the Baptist. This should tells us the importance of John’s appearance and his ministry. The first thing we notice here, is Zechariah was a high priest, therefore John was also from the line of high priest. Often when we think of John the Baptist, we think of a crazy guy wandering the wilderness. But this was not the case, as John the Baptist was not only from the line of high priests, but Jesus called John “The greatest of all prophets” (Matthew 11:11)

John the Baptist was also the fulfillment of prophecy as foretold by Malachi (3:1) and Isaiah (40:1) John was the one who was preparing Israel for the coming of The Messiah by a message of repentance, and he was the one who baptized Jesus in the Jordan River, to signify that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God

An interesting note is John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit from birth, and was great in the sight of The Lord. We can probably assume, John was also taught the scriptures by his father Zechariah since he was a high priest. John the Baptist whole mission in life was to reveal the Messiah to Israel

And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. 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. Luke 1:16-19

John the Baptist was also a fulfillment of the coming of Elijah. Jesus confirmed this in Matthew 17:12-13. Many Jews today are still waiting for Elijah to come, but Christ confirmed it is already fulfilled. As the angel Gabriel revealed this messenger was to prepare the way for The Lord, the same as Isaiah foretold about John the Baptist

Notice what the Angel Gabriel says in verse 19, “to bring you this good news (glad tidings) meaning the gospel. Jesus is the gospel message, the salvation for the world, this is the good news!

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. And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple. And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house. Luke 1:20-23

 However Zechariah didn’t believe the angel Gabriel, and because of his disobedience he would not be able to speak until John the Baptist was born. Zechariah was an old man at this time, and he didn’t see how it was possible for God to fulfill his promise, however as the angel say “With God all things are possible”

I find it interesting the similarity between Abraham and Zechariah, the fulfillment of the Messiah is coming into place. John the Baptist will be the messenger to prepare the way for Jesus, for everyone to come to repentance and receive Christ, Amen!