We are called to prepare people for Jesus’s second coming as John the Baptist prepared people for Jesus’s first coming!
Matthew 11:11-14, “11 Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever 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 has been subjected to violence, and violent people have been raiding it. 13 For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. 14 And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come.”
19 Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.”
21 They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” [Malachi 3:1; 4:5-6, Matthew 11:12-14, & Luke 1:17] “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.” [Deuteronomy 18:15; 18; 34:10-12]
22 Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’” [Isaiah 40:3]
24 Now the Pharisees who had been sent 25 questioned him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”
26 “I baptize with water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. 27 He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.”
28 This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
THREE WAYS TO BE A VOICE
- Know who Jesus is and know who you are (vs. 19-23; 26)
- Call out to people to make straight the way for the Lord (v. 23)
- Be humble (v. 27)
1 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” 3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’”
4 John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. 5 People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan.
6 Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
11 “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
FOUR MORE WAYS TO BE A VOICE
- Preach repentance (v. 1)
- Be different than the world (v. 4)
- Warn people about God’s wrath and encourage them to produce good fruit (v. 8)
- Point people to Jesus and the Holy Spirit’s fire (v. 11)
7 John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.
9 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”
10 “What should we do then?” the crowd asked. 11 John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”
12 Even tax collectors came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?” 13 “Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them.
14 Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?” He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.”
15 The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah. 16 John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” 18 And with many other words John exhorted the people and proclaimed the good news to them.
19 But when John rebuked Herod the tetrarch because of his marriage to Herodias, his brother’s wife, and all the other evil things he had done, 20 Herod added this to them all: He locked John up in prison.
FIVE MORE WAYS TO BE A VOICE
- Preach care for the poor (vs. 10-11)
- Preach against corruption and greed (vs. 12-13)
- Preach against extortion and lies (v. 14)
- Preach the gospel (v. 18)
- Rebuke political immorality (v. 19)
TWELVE WAYS TO BE A VOICE LIKE JOHN THE BAPTIST
- Know who Jesus is and know who you are (John 1:19-23; 26)
- Call out to people to make straight the way for the Lord (John 1:23)
- Be humble (John 1:27)
- Preach repentance (Matthew 3:1)
- Be different than the world (Matthew 3:4)
- Warn people about God’s wrath and encourage them to produce good fruit (Matthew 3:8)
- Point people to Jesus and the Holy Spirit’s fire (Matthew 3:11)
- Preach care for the poor (Luke 3:10-11)
- Preach against corruption and greed (Luke 3:12-13)
- Preach against extortion and lies (Luke 3:14)
- Preach the gospel (Luke 3:18)
- Rebuke political immorality (Luke 3:19)