"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.
(Luke 1:13 KJV)
"The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
(Isaiah 40:3 KJV)
John, the Baptist is a wonderful story that tells of his conception and birth and can be found in Luke 1:5-80. While details are sparse, the story is full of prayer, promise and fulfillment. Just like Samuel and Samson, he was a Nazarite (Numbers 6:1-4), and, therefore, he didn't drink wine or strong drink but was "filled with the Holy Spirit".
His relation to Jesus Christ and his divine origin were emphasized even before his birth when he leaped for joy in Elizabeth's womb. His name was JOHN and it was given to him by the angel Gabriel before his birth.
He was the son of a priest and could have worn the ephod and eaten of the portions allotted him, but he grew up in the wilderness (Luke 1:80) wearing a garment of coarse camel hair and a leather girdle. This was how Isaiah described him in Isaiah 40:3..."a voice crying in the wilderness."
John's preaching was also in the wilderness (Matthew 3:1) away from the Temple or Jerusalem with its religious and cultured people.
His message was, "repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 3:2). John baptized his followers to show the burying of their old life and their arising from the water into a new life.
John, like Jesus later, ran into problems with the Pharisees and Sadducees with whom he had sharp words (Matthew 3:7-12). They asked him who he was and he told them He was not the Christ or Elijah, the prophet. He stated that he would be followed by one who would baptize with the Holy Spirit eternal fire (Matthew 3:11-12). When John saw Jesus, he proclaimed Him "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world".
John was better than a prophet, for he surpassed the others in greatness. John's generation did not accept him and called him possessed (Matthew 11:17-18). He was beheaded in 29 AD by Herod Antipas who had him imprisoned for John's saying he had an incestuous marriage with his brother's wife, Herodias. (Luke 3:19-20). But he told of the coming of Jesus Christ and pointed Him out to all who would listen!
Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior? This was His first appearing but He will come again are you ready?
Join us Sunday at 9:30 AM for small group Bible Studies and at 10:30 AM Worship Service in the sanctuary. Sunday evening at 6:00 PM we have Bible Study. On Wednesdays, we meet at 7:00 PM for Prayer Meeting and Bible Study with a Spanish Bible Study and Youth Chapel until 8:00 PM.
Flo & Bill