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JOHN THE BAPTIST, ALSO KNOWN

AS JOHN THE BAPTIZER, WAS A
JEWISH ITINERANT PREACHER,
ONE
WHO WANDERS FROM PLACE TO
PLACE IN THE EARLY FIRST
CENTURY AD.
SOME SCHOLARS
MAINTAIN THAT JOHN
WAS INFLUENCED BY
THE SEMI-ASCETIC
ESSENES, WHO
EXPECTED AN
APOCALYPSE AND
ANTICIPATED A
MESSIANIC
FIGURE GREATER
THAN HIMSELF.
CHRISTIANS COMMONLY
REFER TO JOHN AS THE
PRECURSOR OR
FORERUNNER OF JESUS,
SINCE JOHN ANNOUNCES
JESUS' COMING.
VERSE:2 REPENT:
“REPENT! FOR
THE KINGDOM
OF HEAVEN IS
AT HAND!”
JOHN THE BAPTIST
CALLS FOR A CHANGE
OF HEART AND
CONDUCT, TURNING
OF ONE’S LIFE FROM
REBELLION TO
OBEDIENCE TOWARDS
GOD.
IT WAS OF HIM THAT
THE
PROPHET ISAIAH HAD
“A VOICE OF ONE
CRYING OUT IN
THE DESERT,
‘PREPARE THE WAY
OF THE LORD,
MAKE STRAIGHT
HIS PATHS.’”
VERSE 4:
JOHN WORE
CLOTHING MADE
OF CAMEL’S HAIR
AND HAD A
LEATHER BELT
AROUND HIS
WAIST. HIS FOOD
WAS LOCUSTS
AND WILD
HONEY.
THE CLOTHING OF JOHN
RECALLS THE AUSTERE
DRESS OF THE PROPHET
ELIJAH (2 KINGS 1:8).
THE EXPECTATION OF
THE RETURN OF
ELIJAH FROM HEAVEN
TO PREPARE ISRAEL
FOR THE FINAL
MANIFESTATION OF
GOD’S KINGDOM.
AT THAT TIME JERUSALEM, ALL
JUDEA, AND THE WHOLE
REGION AROUND THE JORDAN
WERE GOING OUT TO HIM AND
WERE BEING BAPTIZED BY HIM
IN THE JORDAN RIVER AS THEY
ACKNOWLEDGED THEIR SINS.
VERSE 7 PHARISEES AND
SADDUCEES: THE FORMER
WERE MARKED BY DEVOTION
TO THE LAW, WRITTEN AND
ORAL, AND THE SCRIBES,
EXPERTS IN THE LAW,
BELONGED PREDOMINANTLY
TO THIS GROUP. THE
SADDUCEES WERE THE
PRIESTLY ARISTOCRATIC
PARTY, CENTERED IN
JERUSALEM. THEY ACCEPTED
AS SCRIPTURE ONLY THE
FIRST FIVE BOOKS OF THE
OLD TESTAMENT, OPPOSED TO
TEACHINGS NOT
FOUND IN THE
PENTATEUCH, SUCH AS
THE RESURRECTION OF
THE DEAD. MATTHEW
LINKS BOTH OF THESE
GROUPS TOGETHER AS
ENEMIES OF JESUS.
VERSE 11: BAPTIZE YOU
WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT
AND FIRE:
THE WATER BAPTISM OF
JOHN WILL BE
FOLLOWED BY AN
“IMMERSION” OF THE
REPENTANT IN THE
CLEANSING POWER OF
THE SPIRIT OF GOD, AND
OF THE UNREPENTANT
IN
THE DESTROYING
POWER OF GOD’S
JUDGMENT. HOWEVER,
SOME SEE THE HOLY
SPIRIT AND FIRE AS
EITHER PURIFICATION
OR DESTRUCTION.
Lesson
JOHN THE BAPTIST
ECHOES THE
WORDS FROM
ISAIAH 40:3 IN THE
WILDERNESS;
PREPARE THE WAY
OF THE LORD!
MAKE STRAIGHT IN
THE WASTELAND A
HIGHWAY FOR OUR
GOD!
“ISANG TINIG ANG
SUMISIGAW SA ILANG:
‘IHANDA NINYO ANG
DAAN NG PANGINOON,
TUWIRIN NINYO ANG
MGA LANDAS NA
KANYANG LALAKARAN.”
THIS REFERENCE FROM
THE OLD TESTAMENT
PROPHET IS FOUND IN
40:3–5 IS A
DESCRIPTION OF THE
RETURN OF THE EXILES
FROM BABYLON TO
JERUSALEM.
THE LANGUAGE USED
HERE FIGURATIVELY
DESCRIBES THE WAY
THE EXILES WILL TAKE.
THE LORD LEADS THEM,
SO THEIR WAY LIES
STRAIGHT ACROSS THE
WILDERNESS.
MAKE YOUR PATH
STRAIGHT IN ORDER
FOR GOD TO WALK ON
IT/ENTER THROUGH IT.
ITUWID MO ANG IYONG
SARILI. HINDI DAAN ANG
TINUTUKOY KUNDI
KALOOBAN/PUSO.
A. TAKE AN HONEST LOOK
AT EXCESSES THAT WE
HAVE DONE. THIS
ADVENT CALLS US TO DO
SOMETHING ABOUT
THINGS OR AREAS IN OUR
LIVES THAT WE HAVE
FOCUSED ON TOO MUCH
OF
OUR TIME AND EFFORT,
TO THE DETRIMENT OF
OTHER THINGS THAT WE
HAVE RELEGATED OR
FORGOTTEN ABOUT.
SAAN TAYO SUMOBRA?
ANONG BAHAGI ANG
DAPAT NATING
BAWASAN?
B. LOOK AT THE
POTHOLES THAT WE
HAVE WITHIN OUR
HEARTS AND IDENTIFY
AREAS WE ARE FOUND
WANTING. ANO ANG MGA
BAGAY NA KULANG NA
KAILANGAN NATING
PUNUAN?