Biblical Story Of John The Baptist And The Lessons To Learn
TEXT: Luke 1:5-25 ;57-80 ;3:1-23, Matthew 3:1-16 ,Matthew 14:1-12
INTRODUCTION : John the Baptist, a man who was set to be the forerunner of the Messiah. He was born into the Family of Zechariah the Priest and Elizabeth. Let’s consider his life and ministries from the following scriptures and the lessons to learn.
THE BIRTH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST FORETOLD
Although Zechariah the priest from the division of Abijah and Elizabeth from the descendant of Aaron were both upright in the sight of God and observing all of His commands blamelessly, they had no child for they were barren, yet old in age.
One day while Zechariah was carrying out his priestly duties in the temple, an angel of the Lord appeared to him standing at the right side of the altar of incense, announcing that Zechariah should not be afraid because his prayers of childbearing has been answered for his wife will bear him a son and they shall call his name JOHN.
For this John shall be a delight to his parents and many will rejoice because of his birth, he will be great in the sight of the Lord, he will be filled with the Holy Spirit from birth ,he will bring back many of the people of Israel back to God, he will go on before the Lord in the spirit of Elijah to turn the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to turn the hearts of fathers to the children, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord but he shall never take wine or any other fermented drink.
Zechariah being human was doubtful of what the angel had revealed for good reasons. Why? He and his wife, Elizabeth were old in age So he asked the angel “how shall these things be?”
But the angel of the Lord declared that he shall dumb for disbelieving the good news until John was be born. From thence ,Zechariah could only make signs languages even to the congregation outside the temple as he completed his service at the temple.
After this encounter, Elizabeth became pregnant and was hidden for five months, thanking the Lord for showing her favour and taking away her disgrace among the people.
- There is a set time for everything to happen in life and for a specific purpose. A time to be conceived, a time to be born, a time to grow, a time to fulfill purpose and a time to die.
- God designs the purpose of every man. Everyone born is designed to fulfil God’s designed purpose for their lives. The assignment for everyone is to find out what that purpose is.
- Delay is never denial. Things happen at God’s own time and not at our own time. We must prayerfully wait for God’s time for our lives.
- After prayerfully waiting, we must be strong in faith so that we do not miss out of the expected miracle when it finally comes. We must be careful to not ever doubt God.
- In Gods kingdom, their is a consequence for every action. When we doubt God, we stand the chance of being punished. We must therefore desist from doubting so that we do not attract punishments to ourselves.
THE BIRTH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST
Elizabeth gave birth to her son and everyone came to rejoice with her. On the eight day when it was time for the baby’s circumcision the people agreed that they were going to call him by the fathers name but Elizabeth refused and said his name shall be called John but they were worried that no one amongst her relatives who has ever been called that.
The immediately made signs to the father to asking for what name to give the child and he wrote John, to everyone’s astonishment since he and his wife had no previous agreement as to that name.
Immediately he had written his son’s name, his mouth was opened, his tongue was loosed and he began to speak, praising God and the news went all about the place, leaving people wondering about what the Lord would do through him because God’s hand was obviously went him.
Zechariah full of the Holy Spirit began to prophesy, thanking the Lord.
He prophesied that the child will be called the prophet of the most high who will go on before the Lord to prepare a way for him, to give Hus people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness if their sins because of the tender mercy of their God by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death to guide our feet unto the oath of peace.
And the child grew and became strong in the spirit but he lived in the desert until he appeared publicly to Israel.
LESSONS TO LEARN
- The calling of the Lord is not a walk in the park neither is it bread and butter. John the Baptist living in the desert was not for play. It was for growth and preparation for the mission ahead and until he was fully ready ,he remained in the place of preparation. Many people do not wait for God to certify them ready before they go all out into ministry. When people do this, they eventually lose savor in no time because they were not fully refined in the place of prayer and preparation
- The calling of the Lord is not for showmanship as many consider it today. It is daily walk of separation, sanctification and readiness. Believers who are called must be fully equipped before announcing themselves to the world.
- Names are prophetic and must be carefully chosen because they go a long way in shaping a child’s life. Christian parents must therefore do well to seek the face of God before naming their children. As much as we want to name our children by tribe and good meanings, we must also listen to specific instructions from God about naming our children. No one must be a voice over our children than us.
- Parents are also prophetic gatekeepers in the life of a child. We must hear God enough to be able to relay God’s messages to them in clear terms. God must be able to speak to our children through us. We have the power in God to help them build a life in God as we daily show them the way to go. After God, no none is a stronger force in the life of our children than us. Therefore, public opinion in naming our children must never over rule what the Lord has revealed to us.
- Husband and wife must be in spiritual tandem with one another. Agreement between couples is a powerful that the devil respects. Over our children, businesses, finances and careers, we must be be in agreement with each other even spiritually for smooth running of our home and marital affairs.
JOHN THE BAPTIST PREPARES THE WAY
During the reign of Tiberius Caesar when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judah and Herod Tetrarch of Galilee, the word of the Lord came unto John in the desert, commanding him to go into all the country around Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
John the Baptist preached repentance and turning away from sins so as to avoid the wrath to come. He also encouraged the people to produce fruit in keeping up with repentance. He told them that only repentance from sin and not whether you have Abraham as a father. He preached day and night that God is ready to cast off any tree that does not bring forth fruit and cast it into the fire that will burn forever.
He preached without fear to both the tax collector, the soldier man and the rich man. He preached to all leaving them with questions as “what should we then do?”
He warned them a about greediness, taught them not to extort others neither should they accuse others falsely. He taught them to share and to not take more than is required from anybody.
The people wondered if this was Christ that had been prophesied but John replied that he has only come to baptise them with water but someone greater than him is coming who would baptize them with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
John continued to preach these words, daily exhorting them and preparing the way for Jesus.
LESSONS TO LEARN
- The message of God is repentance from sin and all wickedness, no more, no less. The message of God is not meat or drink or riches or fun. The message of God is turning away from sin and bearing fruit that are meet for repentance. Salvation experience is not only of the heart. It must be evident in the fruit we bear,for all to see. Believers who say today that salvation is only of the heart are missing the message because repentance means to turn away from something bad into something good.
- Preachers must be courageous enough to face anyone with the message of repentance. Shying away from preaching the truth because of the fame and position of individuals should be far from us. We must stand to preach the truth always no matter whose horse is gored.
- Like John, men of God must learn to stick to their unique calling. If God has God you to baptise people with water then that should be your focus. Do not envy another man’s assignment who has been called into something different. Understand your calling and stick to it in humility of heart while also regarding anyone who is greater than you.
JOHN BAPTIZES JESUS
Jesus understanding the ministry of John the Baptist also came to be baptized by John the Baptist in Jordan from Galilee. John the Baptist also recognizing who Jesus is tried to not baptize him but Jesus replied “Let it be so now for it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness”. Then John agreed.
As soon as Jesus had been baptized, he came out of the water and at that moment he saw the heavens opened and he saw the Spirit of God like a dove descending upon him with a voice from heaven saying ” this is mg beloved son in who I am well pleased”.
- Ministers of God must be humble enough to respect the gifts a and calling of God in the lives of others We must respect other ministers of God, support their ministry and reach out to them when we need help. Every minister must feel secured in their own calling with zero competition.
THE DEATH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST
Now, Herod, the tetrarch of Judah, wanted to have his brother, Phillip’s wife(Herodias) but as a fearless prophet of the land and a man of influence, John warned that it was very unlawful for him to want his brother’s wife. Herod was angry with John but for fear of the people couldn’t kill John because they considered him a prophet.
Then on Herod’s birthday ,the daughter of Herodias danced so well that Herod was so pleased and asked her to request for anything she wants and it it shall be granted. Prompted by her mother who was not also pleased with John the Baptist refusal of her relationship with Herod, the daughter requested for the head of John the Baptist. Even though the King was sore displeased about this request he had no choice than to grant because he already made an oath. John had his beheaded and presented to Herodias on a platter of gold. John’s disciples came and carried his body.
LESSONS TO LEARN
- Whether we are courageous in preaching the truth to all and sundry no matter their position in the society, we shall all die.
John no doubt will have his reward for being consistent with his message of repentance.
What about us?
If we fail to tell others the truth because we want a slice of favour from them for our ministry’s growth, we shall also have our reward.
- Ministers of God must be careful to not get themselves involved in the dirty politics of the world that would make them unfit to courageously preach the truth across board.