Matthew 3 introduces John the Baptist
- John's Message
In those days John the Baptist came. His message is REPENT.
What does repent mean, …sorry? Means to change your mind about yourself, God and Jesus.
Repentance makes you realise you are not as good as another and when you compare yourself with God everyone must repent but its hard. We instead admit regret or remorse or apologise. Things didn’t work out the way you meant it to. Repentance is a total change of mind. We must repent of our attitude toward God. Repentance gives us a glimpse of the holiness of God. Repentance shows in our behaviour.
- His Mandate, his authority. The voice of one calling in the desert, Isaiah. Scripture spoke of him as the messenger
- Manner, very unconventional. What he wore or what he ate.
- Menace or challenge or warning. John was not a guy you could be comfortable with. You need to show evidence. You brood of vipers. Today would be considered hate speech. He condemned the religious leaders. You need to produce fruit. Religious heritage cannot save you. Just because Abraham was their father this will not save you. Wrath that is coming. God’s judgment on this world is still coming. The wrath of God was satisfied on the cross.
Saying these things does not win friends or make you popular.
- Motive. Pointing to the Lord Jesus who is coming after him. Not even willing to carry Jesus sandals.
Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Spread to all God’s people. We are baptised into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit. Brought into one fellowship. If you know Jesus Christ as your personal saviour then you are baptised into the body of Christ with the HS.
With Fire. Like tongues of fire. Fire refers to judgment. Chafe and wheat, one is for burning and one is for storing away. Judgment on the world has not come yet but it will come.
Johns motive was to point to the Lord Jesus Christ. He must increase but I must decrease. I want to magnify the Lord Jesus.
Do this to be seen to be right. To fulfil all righteousness. Sometimes we need prompting to do the right thing.
- Message one of repentance.
- Mandate was the scripture
- Manner was unconventional
- Menace: Show the evidence, don’t just say it
- Motive: to point to Jesus
- Moment: when he saw the heavens opened.
What is our message? Repentance toward God, faith in Jesus Christ. Many people believe they are Christians because they believe only. So too do the demons believe. I’m not going to change. Both are essential. Repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
Mandate: Jesus said go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Tell the good news. You can be saved from the coming wrath through Him.
Manner: by all means to save some
Motive: we always point to the Lord Jesus Christ, we don’t point to ourselves. He wants us to be more and more conformed to the Lord Jesus Christ. Is Christ magnified in your life more now than last year?
Moment: What was your moment when you were acutely aware of God revealing himself to you. When sis God speak with clarity into your heart? When have you passed from death into life.
What happened to John? He became less popular. I must decrease. Spoke out about Herod’s adultery. Herod got mad and jailed him. Even if you had your moment, like John, you begin to have doubts. Health changes, lose your job. Matthew 11 records he questions whether Christ is the one. Doubt still happens. John was told that people were being raised to life and the scriptures taught. Jesus said that of men born to women John the Baptist was the greatest. Jesus said the least person was greater than he. John was the best man. the bridegroom. The most important on the day. The least person in the kingdom.
We have the privilege of being united to Christ in the way the bride is to the bridegroom. Sad end. What happens to the messenger happened to the Master? Rejected, Crucified.
An example for us in our Christian lives where Christ increases and magnified in our lives. The we might be hidden in him.