Friday, August 01, 2014

The Testimony That The Light Is Coming

John was sent to tell us to get ready.

John 1:6-18  God sent a man, John the Baptist,  to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony.  John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light.  The One who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.  10  He came into the very world He created, but the world didn't recognize Him.   

11  He came to His own people, and even they rejected Him.  12  But to all who believed Him and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God.  13  They are reborn--not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.

14  So the Word became human and made His home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen His glory, the glory of the Father's one and only Son.  15  John testified about Him when He shouted to the crowds, "This is the One I was talking about when I said, 'Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for He existed long before me.'"

16  From His abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another.  17  For the law was given through Moses, but God's unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.  18  No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is Himself God, is near to the Father's heart. He has revealed God to us.

It has been four hundred years of silence since the last prophets of the Old Testament shared any information from God. The last prophets were Ezra and Nehemiah, they led the people in the return to Jerusalem and in the rebuilding of the temple and the city walls.

Finally God has something to tell us, he was coming to be with us, he was coming as a man. But first he sent a man named John to announce the beginning of his ministry. John was born with a mission from God, we are all born with a purpose, but John's was spelled out from day one.
Luke 1:15-17 For he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He must never touch wine or other alcoholic drinks. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. 16 And he will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God. 17 He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord.
John was an unusual man, set apart from birth, he took after Elijah for his fashion sense, and he started his ministry out in the wilderness.  He was a simple man, he lived in a remote area, he lived a simple lifestyle. The only ambition that he had was to prepare the way for Jesus. (Matthew 3:1-12, Luke 1:5-25, 57-66)
Matthew 11:11 "I tell you the truth, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist. Yet even the least person in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he is!
Besides being an unusual man John was a great man, Jesus told us so, there were a lot of great men in the history of the Jews and yet John in just a few years of public ministry is said to be the greatest, greater than King David or Abraham or Moses. Some of the people started elevating John above his rightful place and John had his own disciples but John didn't let his ego get out of whack.

John is the greatest man that lived but he told us that he is nothing compared to the next great man that was about to come onto the scene. Even the greatest man in history is nothing compared to Jesus, the light is coming, a huge light, and compared to him John is just a little flicker from a match.

It's Not About Me!

John 3:29 It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the best man is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at His success. 30 He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.
Sometimes the people in ministry get an inaccurate perspective on who they are and how important they are. If the greatest man that ever lived had such a humble attitude then how should we see ourselves in our ministry? We should have the same attitude that Paul had:
1 Timothy 1:12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength to do his work. He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve him.
The spiritually blind crowd needed to have the light shown to them (John 3:19-20), John had to tell them and later he would show them the Messiah, his message was always that people shouldn't look at his greatness but look at the fact that the creator of the universe was soon to be revealed. John knew his place and his purpose.
John 1:6-7 God sent a man, John the Baptist, 7 to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony.
John's whole purpose was to help you believe that Jesus became human and made His home among us. They saw his unfailing love and faithfulness, they saw his glory, the glory of the Father's one and only Son. John knew who Jesus was, do you?