Devotional - 2004-12-03 - John the Baptist
The Christmas Characters Series, Part 5
Revised from 1998-12-06
Since we are in the Advent season, we will be looking for the next several
weeks at related topics. This week we will see what the Bible has to say
about John the Baptist. John, who was the son of Elizabeth and Zechariah
(a priest), announced the coming of Jesus the Messiah, and preached the necessity
of repentance from sins. John was remarkable, if you think about it. Let's
be honest; if we saw someone today wandering around eating locusts and honey,
and prophesying, we would probably try to get him psychological help. Yet
our Lord said that there was no greater human being.
(Mat 3:1-6 NNAS) Now in those days John the Baptist came,
preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, 2 "Repent,
for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." 3 For this is the
one referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said, "THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING
IN THE WILDERNESS, 'MAKE READY THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT!'"
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.
5 Then Jerusalem was going out to him, and all Judea and
all the district around the Jordan; 6 and they were being
baptized by him in the Jordan River, as they confessed their sins.
(Isa 40:3-5 NNAS) A voice is calling, "Clear the way
for the LORD in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our
God. 4 "Let every valley be lifted up, And every mountain
and hill be made low; And let the rough ground become a plain, And the rugged
terrain a broad valley; 5 Then the glory of the LORD will
be revealed, And all flesh will see it together; For the mouth of the LORD
Spoken by John the Baptist: (Mat 3:11 NNAS) As for me,
I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is
mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize
you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
(John 1:26-27 NNAS) John answered them saying, "I baptize
in water, but among you stands One whom you do not know.
27 "It is He who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal
I am not worthy to untie."
(Mat 11:11-15 NNAS) "Truly I say to you, among those
born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist!
Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
12 "From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom
of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force. 13
"For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John.
14 "And if you are willing to accept it, John himself is
Elijah who was to come. 15 "He who has ears to hear, let
(Mat 14:3-10 NNAS) For when Herod had John arrested,
he bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, the wife of his brother
Philip. 4 For John had been saying to him, "It is not lawful
for you to have her." 5 Although Herod wanted to put him
to death, he feared the crowd, because they regarded John as a prophet.
6 But when Herod's birthday came, the daughter of Herodias
danced before them and pleased Herod, 7 so much that he promised
with an oath to give her whatever she asked. 8 Having been
prompted by her mother, she said, "Give me here on a platter the head of
John the Baptist." 9 Although he was grieved, the king commanded
it to be given because of his oaths, and because of his dinner guests.
10 He sent and had John beheaded in the prison."