John the Baptist in Prophecy

Any Hebrew knowing his Old Testament could have expected the ministry of John as a primary measure in the divine plan, paving the way for the Messiah. The prophet Isaiah spoke of “the voice of one that cries out”, indeed, of him who would “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord” and “make straight in the desert a highway for our God” Isaiah 40:3. This was seven centuries before the birth of Jesus. There will be many commentators who will refer to this as a prediction to an immediate reference to Judah’s return from the Babylonian captivity. On the other hand, the New Testament writers see it as a fulfillment in the primary work of John the Baptist. Read: Matthew 3:3; Mark 1; 2-3; Luke 3: 4-6; John 1: 23.

Let’s look at Malachi’s Prophecy of John the Baptist. Look at the difference between the “messenger” who prepares the way, and the “Messenger of the Covenant,” for whom the way is prepared. Also Malachi’s prophecy about the “messenger” parallel with that of Isaiah, which focused in the ministry of John. Then in Malachi 4: 4-5 we see the “messenger” as “Elijah the prophet.” In the New Testament Luke 1: 16 we have the angel Gabriel testimony, and in Matthew 11: 12-15 Christ said that this “Elijah” was none other than John.

John the Baptist Appearance

“There came a man, sent from God, whose name was John” John 1:6.

The description on how John is dressed is brief but memorable. He was dresses in camel’s hair cloths with a leather belt and his diet was locusts and wild honey Matthew 3:4. The camel hair mantel or cloak could have been camel skin or camel hair woven into a rough fabric. We find in the Old Testament that Elijah also dressed similar to this Zechariah 13:4 and 2 Kings 1:8. John’s diet of locust and wild honey was not a wealthy mans diet. I’m sure that the wild honey made the locust go down a lot easier. Another interesting point is that today people are consuming more raw or wild honey because it has been proven to help the digestive system.

Many would say that John was a recluse. “John came neither eating or drinking, and they say, he has a demon” Matthew 11:18. Recluses like John normally did not do a lot of socializing. John appearance and life style was seen demonic by some, like those who were possessed of evil spirits who made their home or roamed those desolate areas Mark 5:2-5.

John did not go out looking for all these people, they came to him. Hundred – thousands of people were baptized by him. Johns success was in the message he proclaimed. Matthew 3:5; John 1:28 ; John 3: 23. John didn’t perform any sign or miracles like Jesus and the apostles did. John 10:41; Matthew 10:1. The power of John’s preaching and the emptiness in Israels hearts was the winning combination. Johns mission was to prepare the people for the coming Messiah. Luke 1:16-17; Luke 1: 76. John came from God in order to “bear witness of the light” of Christ, John 1: 7-8. John accomplished his mission.

Take a look back to your baptism and reconnect with those feelings, the lessons and studies you did to prepare, look at the desire you had to be baptized. That is part of your foundation. We need to look back at those moment to remember and to be re-grounded.

May the Peace of Jesus Christ be with you

 

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John the Baptist

 

Birth of John the Baptist
Read Luke 1: 5-25, 39-80

John’s name was divinely given (Luke 1: 13). In Hebrew the meaning is “Jehovah is gracious.” John was also know as “the Baptist”, which simply means “an immersion, one who administers the rite of immersion.”

Jesus testimony of John is important in the divine scheme of things is best summed up in Matthew 11:11 “Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist…..”

John’s parents, Zachariah and Elizabeth were past the age to conceive a child. Elizabeth was unable to conceive a child through out her married life. I can just imagine Zachariah praying all those years to God for Elizabeth to have their son. And now after all these years God has answered his prayer.

Q. Why do you think it was important for Elizabeth to have been barren all those years?
Q. Zachariah shows us that we should never give up on prayer. What prayers have you given up on and how can you reword those prayers and offer them up again to tho the Lord?

It was foretold that John would be filled with the Spirit of God even from his mother, Elizabeth womb, and that he would be raised under the strict code of the Nazirite.
Read Numbers 6:1-12.

The scriptures don’t mention anything about John’s parents death. But from what I have learned, that legend has it that Zachariah was slain by Herod the Great, which forced Elizabeth to flee into Judea’s wilderness.

John grew and became strong in the spirit and was in the wilderness until the day he appeared publicly to Israel (Luke 1:80). The wilderness or desert stretches from Jerusalem to Bethlehem some 20 miles down to the Jordan River and the Dead Sea.

Ascension

May 28 2017

Read: Acts 1: 1-11; Psalm 47; Ephesians 1: 15-23 Luke 24: 44-53

The ascension of Christ, the risen Jesus departs into heaven after his final appearance to his disciples.

Acts describes the ascension. The disciples are called to live obediently and faithful lives, they are called to witness, they are disciples of Christ.

In Luke we find a shorter version of the ascension. In these scriptures we have an understanding of the Messiah and his destiny, we are to witness of these things, and we are to worship.

In Ephesians the connection between the ascended Christ and the church as a body in Christ already found in 1 Corinthians, changes so that the church itself is the body of Christ. This grounds the church in the power of God.

In Psalms we see the festival of Ascension, but its not about the body of Jesus into heaven. It’s a celebration of Jesus ascending to the throne. It is also a celebration of Jesus’ presence in the church

May the peace of Jesus Christ be with you.