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The Witness

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The Witness

Introduction.
We have learned of the word and light.
The preexistent divine son of God. Who created all and who has come in to the world in flesh, to bring light and life into the world.
We learned briefly in the previous text of the witness, the one who prepares the way. Another John separate from the Authors who is called John the baptist.
John the Author is a disciple of Christ. John the baptist was the prophet who prepares the way.
Lets read what John writes about him.
John 1:19–28 ESV
And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” (Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.) They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
This is God’s word lets pray.
John 1:19–27 ESV
And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” (Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.) They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.”
Identity
Who am I? How do others view me? what do they think of me? What is my place in this world? Why am I here? What am I suppose to do? Common questions we ask ourselves.
Like wise we ask these sort questions about others.
We wonder who someone really is, Maybe why they do what they do? Why they act certain ways? say certain things?
We often ask people what they do? Where they came from? What are their goals?
What we have in this text is a story all about Identity.
So Who is John the baptist.
A little back story.
Father: Zechariah Mother: Elizabeth
Mother: Elizabeth
the birth of John was prophesied to his father Zachariah, by the angel Gabriel
while the former was performing his functions as a priest, in the temple of Jerusalem.
John is the miraculous born son of Mary’s Cousin.
John is the miraculous born son of Mary’s Cousin
Virgin and a women too old.
Who was he? The Witness.
1 john 1:6-7
John 1:6–8 ESV
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
1 John 1:6–8 ESV
If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
The Witness more than just a witness.
His Disposition that is worthy of our imitation?
John 1:19 ESV
And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”
We find ourselves in the outskirts of Jerusalem. This is of course God’s city God’s people and they are the people who have had they Holy written word. in the form of the Old testament.
But at this time they are in a period where there has been 400 years of silence.
But then suddenly there is this man preaching in the wilderness.
Off of the beaten path opposite side of Jordan.
He is Unlike anything else being heard.
Unlike anything else being heard.
And the response is people are going out to the desert to hear him.
They are more than that confessing their sin! And baptizing in response.
In the preparation for the coming of another, the messiah.
So they send out a deputation.
They need a clear picture of what is happening.
Who do they send out? Well it seems that it were priests and levites, and verse 24 Pharisees.
Priest worked in the temple leading the worship of the Lord, the levites referenced here are assistants to these priests in worship and operated almost as temple police.
But the Pharisees, who were they? Well these were a new grass movement of a popular, and influential, zealous, passionate, right wing, group.
This group is sent out to find out who is this man? Preaching and Baptizing.
Their first question is Are you the Christ the Messiah .
Johns Response.
John 1:20 ESV
He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.”
He is clear in his statement. I am not the Messiah.
John 1:21 ESV
And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.”
Are you Elijah or the Prophet.
Why would they ask this?
Elijah?
Malachi 4:5–6 ESV
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”
This was a well known prophecy, and the people of Israel were always looking for the return of Elijah because it would signal the subsequent arrival of the Messiah.
Elijah had been taken up. and he is suppose to return. 2 Kings 2
John responds “I am not” Which is puzzling.
Jesus said in that John was the return of Elijah.
Interesting
Gabriel said to Johns father he will go out in the Spirit and power of Elijah.
John is not a liar.
Option 1.
I am not the Elijah of your popular expectations. (Literal and in fire from heaven. ) Because he did not come from heaven on a chariot he came as a baby like the rest of us.
Option 2.
More consistent with his personality.
He thought of himself as small.
He did not fully recognize the significance of is role in the story of redemption. John was unclear of his exact purpose in all of this.
Many of the greatest evangelists in history were not ver self aware. They did not have any pride. They viewed themselves much smaller than they really were.
Opposite of the world today. It is all about SELF.
The closer we are to God and the more we are like Christ, the less we should be concerned about self.
The Prophet?
Why would they ask this?
Deuteronomy 18:18–19 ESV
I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him.
There was debate at the time if this was a prophecy about another important prophet that would come or if this was about the messiah.
The answer is that this is a prophecy about the Messiah or the Christ.
We know this because we are told so by Peter in when he quotes prophecy as one about the messiah.
Acts 3:23 ESV
And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.’
John’s answer is No I am not that Prophet.
John is getting shorter with each answer. He does not beat around the bush.
He is also not comfortable talking about himself. He seems to only want to talk or witness about the one to come, the messiah.
John 1:22 ESV
So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
John 1:
They realize that making suggestions is not working.
Interesting to learn about assumptions.
John 1:23 ESV
He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”
He quotes Isaiah.
I am a voice. Crying out in this very witness that we are standing in. The message Make straight the way of the Lord.
This prophecy in its original context is about the Israelites returning home after their exile.
This prophecy is about returning the promise land.
But it is clear as it often is with these prophesies that there was a second part. Another fuller understanding of it.
John not only understood but saw his role to pronounce it.
Make straight they way of the Lord, because we are returning the promise.
He is the voice saying repent because we can go to our home of promise. Which is all being made possible my the messiah, by Jesus.
He is coming to free us not from a physical enslavement to another country but instead a to free us from the spiritual slavery in sin.
John 1:24 ESV
(Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.)
John 1:24-
John 1:24–25 ESV
(Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.) They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”
john 1:25
John 1:25 ESV
They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”
They clearly do not see significance of what john is saying here.
Because they are then upset about the baptisms.
Baptism was a regular practice but not in the way that john was doing it.
For Gentile converts, but john isn't baptizing gentiles he is baptizing jews in repentance to make straight the way of the lord.
Again this is because this is about a spiritual freedom not a physical.
John however has no desire to get caught up in a debate about the purpose of baptism or his own identity.
He knows his mission, to be a voice and a witness.
John 1:26–27 ESV
John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.”
john 1:26-27
He points it all back to Jesus to the messiah.
John seems to be saying to them, you have no idea whats going on, It isn't about me.
He knows his mission, to be a voice and a witness.
The messiah is here!
Matthew 11:11 ESV
Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
John 1:28 ESV
These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
What it means to be a witness.
john 1:26
John 1:26 ESV
John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know,
What it means to be a witness.
Talk about what Jesus has done and will do.
Two things we can learn about witnessing from The Witness.
1. Humble before God
2. Bold before the world
3. Always on point
Why is john a witness worthy of our imitation.
Rightly recognizes his role in relationship to Jesus.
Greatest Prophet or man.
John never wrote scripture or preform miracles.
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