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John the Baptist (The Courageous Deeds of John the Baptist.

Setting: Sunday Worship Message Length of Delivery: 40 minutes for each lesson

Name of Student: Charles (Noel) Dear Student ID: 1477100 Class: NBST 521 Instructors Name: Dr. Eric Spano Date Submitted: 7/16/2011

(Outline #1) The Courageous Deeds of John the Baptist: The Choice of Devotion

I. Introduction A. John the Baptists life was characterized by three rare yet courageous deeds. 1. He chose a life of sacrifice and devotion. 2. He chose to minimize his importance in order to exalt Christs importance. 3. He chose to risk everything to tell the truth. B. In this first lesson, his choice of a life of sacrifice and devotion will be studied. 1. We will learn his lifestyle choices as seen in the Gospels. 2. We will learn the significance of the Nazarite vow in the Old Testament. C. The following Scripture passages will get us started in our study. 1. Luke 1:13-15 a) God called John the Baptist to a life of devotion even before his birth. b) This description would have likely been understood by Zacharias as referring to the Nazarite vow, considering that John also did not cut his hair.1 b) A distinction is made in Gods call that John the Baptist would be great in the sight of the Lord as opposed to necessarily great in the sight of the world. 2. Matthew 3:1-4

Darrell L. Bock, Luke Volume 1: 1:1-9:50, Baker exegetical commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 1994), 85.

a) John the Baptist followed through with the commitment that he was called to in the beginning. b) The outward nature of the commitment can be seen in his dress and his diet. Transition: Now let us begin to investigate further this courageous choice of devotion. II. Body of Lesson A. What is the nature of the Nazarite vow? 1. It stood as an outward symbol of a consecrated life.2 2. There were three parts of this outward symbol (Numbers 6:2-21). a) The Nazarite would abstain from drinking alcohol. b) The Nazarite would not cut his hair. c) The Nazarite would refrain from touching dead bodies. 3. Some very notable people took the Nazarite vow or something like it.3 a) Samson (Judges 13:4) b) Samuel (1 Samuel 1:11) c) Paul (Acts 18:18; Acts 21:23-36) B. What kind of lifestyle choices did John the Baptist make? 1. John the Baptist made a number of lifestyle choices to give outward evidence of his inward commitment of devotion to the Lord. 2. In addition to those choices involving his Nazarite vow, other choices are found in Matthew 3:1-4. a) He was clothed in camels hair and wore a leather belt.
Walter A. Elwell and Barry J. Beitzel, Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 1988), 1531. 3 M.G. Easton, Easton's Bible Dictionary (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996).
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(1) These were clothes most often worn by very poor people. (2) These clothes also pointed to his connection with Elijah (2 Kings 1:8).4 b) He ate locusts and wild honey. (1) Locusts are large grasshoppers and are still eaten in the East.5 (2) Wild honey is what it purports to be. (3) These were the foods of very poor people. C. What lessons can we learn from John the Baptists choice of devotion? 1. There should be some outward expression of our inward commitment to devotion. a) John the Baptists devotion was clearly evident to those around him. b) Even Johns enemies could see his devotion (Mark 6:20). c) Often people today claim deep devotion, but there is no outward evidence in their life. 2. A successful life is not about ease and comfort. a) John the Baptist would not be considered successful by the standard of the world. b) Jesus however said that John the Baptist was the greatest man born of a woman (Matthew 11:11). c) We should reevaluate our definition of success from a Kingdom perspective. 3. We should seek to impress only the Lord.
D. A. Carson, "Matthew" In , in The Expositor's Bible Commentary, Volume 8: Matthew, Mark, Luke, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1984), 102. 5 Ibid.
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a) John the Baptist did not present himself as an impressive person to most who would have seen him. b) John the Baptist did not seem to gain his esteem from people. c) John the Baptist lived to impress only the Lord (Luke 1:15). Transition: Those lessons are important, but they only have power in our lives if there is implementation. Let us make some decisions today. III. Conclusion A. To choose a life of devotion and sacrifice is difficult. 1. We can see this in the difficult lifestyle choices of John the Baptist. 2. The normal American life demonstrates very few signs of sacrificial living. B. To choose a life of devotion and sacrifice honors the Lord. 1. It honors God because of what it produces in us. a) Passion for God b) Hatred for sin c) Transformation 2. It honors God because of what it show to others. a) Salt b) Light 3. It is time to choose.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bock, Darrell L. Luke Volume 1: 1:1-9:50. Baker exegetical commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 1994. Easton, M.G. Easton's Bible Dictionary. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996. Elwell, Walter A. and Barry J. Beitzel. Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 1988. Elwell, Walter A. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology: Second Edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2001. Freeman, James M. and Harold J. Chadwick. Manners & Customs of the Bible. Rev. ed.]. North Brunswick, NJ: Bridge-Logos Publishers, 1998. Gaebelein, Frank E., D. A. Carson, Walter W. Wessel and Walter L. Liefeld. The Expositor's Bible Commentary, Volume 8: Matthew, Mark, Luke. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1984. Simeon, Charles. Horae Homileticae Vol. 2: Numbers to Joshua. London, 1832-63. MacLeod, David J. Herald of the King: The Mission of John the Baptist. Emmaus Journal Volume 9, No. 1 (Summer 2000): 5-37.

(Outline #2) The Courageous Deeds of John the Baptist: The Choice of Second

I. Introduction A. John the Baptists life was characterized by three rare yet courageous deeds. 1. He chose a life of sacrifice and devotion. 2. He chose to minimize his importance in order to exalt Christs importance. 3. He chose to risk everything to tell the truth. B. In this second lesson, his choice to minimize his importance in order to exalt Christs importance will be studied. C. The following Scripture passages will get us started in our study. 1. Matthew 3:11 a) John the Baptist considers Jesus mightier than himself. (1) This does not refer to physical strength.6 (2) Rather this refers to authority and importance.7 b) John the Baptist considers himself unworthy to carry Jesus sandals. (1) John the Baptist putts himself in the position of the meanest of servants. 8 (2) Among the Jews, Greeks, and Romans, the business of carrying a persons sandals was for the lowest rank of slaves.9

Barclay Moon Newman and Philip C. Stine, A Handbook on the Gospel of Matthew, UBS helps for translators; UBS handbook series (New York: United Bible Societies, 1992), 68. 7 Ibid. 8 Marvin Richardson Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2002), Mt 3:11. 9 Ibid.

c) John the Baptist considers Jesus method of baptism to be superior to his own.10 2. John 3:30 a) He must increase. (1) Jesus authority and influence must grow and spread.11 (2) The word must is a strong affirmation of the importance of this exchange of priority.12 b) I must decrease. (1) The purpose of John the Baptists ministry is to point men to Jesus.13 (2) The time of John the Baptists honor was temporary.14 Transition: Now let us see why this was such a difficult yet crucial decision on Johns part. II. Body of Lesson A. Johns previous popularity 1. Johns ministry began first. 2. The Bible speaks of the crowds that were going to see John. 3. It would have been easy for John to see himself as primary. B. Johns understanding of his role

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A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, 1997), Mt

3:11.

Albert Barnes, Notes on the New Testament: Luke & John, ed. Robert Frew (London: Blackie & Son, 1884-1885), 211. 12 Robert James Dr. Utley, vol. Volume 4, The Beloved Disciple's Memoirs and Letters: The Gospel of John, I, II, and III John, Study Guide Commentary Series (Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International, 1999), 38. 13 Ibid., Notes on the New Testament, 211. 14 Jean Calvin, John, The Crossway classic commentaries (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 1994), Jn 3:30.

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1. Johns role was to prepare the way for Jesus. a) Isaiah 40:3 b) John 1:26-27 2. Johns role was to point people to Jesus. C. Johns choice of second 1. John accepted his role (John 1:1:19:20). 2. John exalted Jesus (John 1:27). 3. John sought to make his life and ministry subordinate (John 3:30). Transition: How does this impact our lives? What should we understand about our relationship with God? Let us see how this intersects with our daily lives. III. Conclusion A. We should understand our role like Johns is to point people to Jesus, not ourselves. 1. We are commanded to be fishers of men. 2. We are commanded to preach the Gospel. 3. We are commanded to see ourselves as debtors to those who do not know Christ. B. We should understand our role like Johns is to glorify God, not ourselves. 1. Matthew 5:16 2. 1 Corinthians 6:20

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Calvin, Jean. John. Crossway Classic Commentaries. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1994. Elwell, Walter A. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology: Second Edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2001. Elwell, Walter A. and Barry J. Beitzel. Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 1988. MacLeod, David J. Herald of the King: The Mission of John the Baptist. Emmaus Journal Volume 9, No. 1 (Summer 2000): 5-37. Newman, Barclay Moon and Philip C. Stine. A Handbook on the Gospel of Matthew. UBS helps for translators; UBS handbook series. New York: United Bible Societies, 1992. Harrison, Everett F. The Son of God among the Sons of Men: John the Baptist. Bibliotheca Sacra Volume 102, No. 405 (January 1945): 74-84. Robertson, A.T. Word Pictures in the New Testament. Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, 1997. Vincent, Marvin Richardson. Word Studies in the New Testament. Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2002.

(Outline #3) The Courageous Deeds of John the Baptist: The Choice of Truth

I. Introduction A. John the Baptists life was characterized by three rare yet courageous deeds. 1. He chose a life of sacrifice and devotion. 2. He chose to minimize his importance in order to exalt Christs importance. 3. He chose to risk everything to tell the truth. B. In this third lesson, his choice to tell the truth regardless of the personal consequences will be studied. 1. We will learn the background of the political-relational situation John addressed. 2. We will see what John had to say about the situation and to whom he said it. 3. We will briefly glimpse John in prison. 3. We will briefly observe the final consequences of his courageous stand. C. The following Scripture passages will get us started in our study. 1. Matthew 14:3-5 a) Herod was already suspicious of anyone who might stir up the crowds with predictions of a coming messianic ruler.15 b) Herod entered into an inappropriate marriage. (1) Herod visited his half-brother Herod Philip in A.D. 29.16 (2) Herod fell in love with Herodias (Herod Philips wife).17
Walter A. Elwell and Barry J. Beitzel, Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 1988), 1203. 16 Ibid., 969.
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(3) She agreed to marry him if he would divorce his current wife.18 (4) This marriage violated Mosaic law.19 (a) Leviticus 18:16 (b) Leviticus 20:21 c) John speaks boldly against Herods decision.20 d) John was arrested for his boldness. 2. Matthew 11:2, 11 a) According to Josephus, Herod imprisoned John the Baptist in the fortress of Machaerus, east of the Dead Sea.21 b) The implication from Scripture is that John was in prison for a period of time more than just a few days. c) Even though at this point it seemed Johns ministry had failed since he was in prison, Jesus said he was the greatest man ever born up to that point.22 3. Matthew 14:6-12 a) Kings were accustomed to observe the day of their birth with much pomp.23 b) The daughter was likely Salome her daughter by her former husband.24
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Ibid. Ibid. 19 A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, 1997), Mt 14:3. John MacArthur, Matthew (Chicago: Moody Press, 1989), Mt 11:2. Flavius Josephus and William Whiston, The Works of Josephus : Complete and Unabridged (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1996), Antiquities 18.119. 22 Ibid., Matthew, Mt 11:9. 23 Albert Barnes, Notes on the New Testament: Matthew & Mark, ed. Robert Frew (London: Blackie & Son, 1884-1885), 151.
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c) Herodiass darkest desire and Herods cowardice became the death of the man whose offense had been telling the truth.25 Transition: Now let us see what life lessons we can learn from what we have learned from our study of these passages. II. Body of Lesson A. Truth telling should not be influenced by risk. 1. John took a significant risk in speaking against Herod. a) It was a significant risk because of the person nature of Johns comments. b) It was a significant risk because of the power and authority Herod had. 2. John never compromised the truth. a) He did not water it down. b) He did not share it indirectly. 3. John never recanted his telling of the truth. a) He did not recant when arrested. b) He did not recant when he was killed. B. Greatness is not determined by outcome. 1. Johns life and ministry ended in defeat and failure measured by the standard of most. 2. Jesus assessment of John the Baptist at the end of his life and ministry was that he was the greatest man ever born.

Ibid. D. A. Carson, "Matthew" In , in The Expositor's Bible Commentary, Volume 8: Matthew, Mark, Luke, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1984), 338.
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C. Often, the reward for faithful living and serving will come only after this life is over (2 Corinthians 4:17).26 Transition: How can we make life application of these principles to our lives? We can do this in at least two ways. III. Conclusion A. We should resolve to be truth tellers regardless of the potential consequences. B. We should hold on to the truth that our reward will come, if not in this life, then in the one to come.

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J. C. Ryle, Matthew, The Crossway classic commentaries (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 1993), 117.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Barnes, Albert. Notes on the New Testament: Matthew & Mark. Edited by Frew, Robert. London: Blackie & Son, 1884-1885. Elwell, Walter A. and Barry J. Beitzel. Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 1988. Elwell, Walter A. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology: Second Edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2001. Gaebelein, Frank E., D. A. Carson, Walter W. Wessel and Walter L. Liefeld. The Expositor's Bible Commentary, Volume 8: Matthew, Mark, Luke. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1984. Harrison, Everett F. The Son of God among the Sons of Men: John the Baptist. Bibliotheca Sacra Volume 102, No. 405 (January 1945): 74-84. Josephus, Flavius and William Whiston. The Works of Josephus : Complete and Unabridged. Peabody: Hendrickson, 1996. MacArthur, John. Matthew. Chicago: Moody Press, 1985. MacLeod, David J. Herald of the King: The Mission of John the Baptist. Emmaus Journal Volume 9, No. 1 (Summer 2000): 5-37. Robertson, A.T. Word Pictures in the New Testament. Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, 1997. Ryle, J. C. Matthew. Crossway Classic Commentaries. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1993.