John Lesson 2 Day 2

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John Lesson 2 Day 2

Study of John 1:19-28

3. People from all over Judea went to hear John the Baptist. (Matthew 3:5)

The Sanhedrin (probably) sent a team of Jewish priests and Levites from Jerusalem to investigate. Some scholars think the Jewish leadership was jealous and threatened by John’s popularity. Others think they hoped John was Elijah, the prophet, or the Messiah.

They asked John the Baptist the following questions:

Question 1.Who are you?” John answered: “I am not the Messiah.”

““John completely rejected that claim; but he rejected it with a certain hint. In the Greek the word I is stressed by its position. It is as if John said: ‘I am not the Messiah, but, if you only knew, the Messiah is here.’” (Barclay)

Question 2. “Well then, who are you? Are you Elijah?” John replied, “I am not.”
They asked this question because Malachi prophesied, “I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me.” “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.” Malachi 3:1; 4:5 The Jews took this verse literally because since Elijah did not die, God could send him back.

Question 3. “Are you the Prophet?” Again John replied, “No.” They referred to the prophet mentioned in Deuteronomy 18:15.

“The Jews interpreted these verses incorrectly also. They believed Jeremiah was to return to life and restore the pot of manna, the ark of the covenant, etc., which he had hidden that the Babylonians couldn’t get them. Besides this, they had a general expectation that all the prophets should come to life in the days of the Messiah.” (Adam Clarke)

Question 4. “Then who are you? We need an answer for those who sent us. What do you have to say about yourself?”

John replied by quoting the words of the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 40:3:

A voice of one calling:
“In the wilderness prepare
    the way for the Lord;
make straight in the desert
    a highway for our God.’” (NIV)

John is the voice Isaiah prophesied about.

Question 5. “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”

John told them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know. He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.”

“Jewish people in John’s day practiced baptism. It was an outgrowth of ceremonial washings, but only for Gentiles who wanted to become Jews. In submitting to John’s baptism, a Jew had to identify with Gentile converts. This was a genuine sign of repentance.” (Enduring Word)

4. John the Baptist

John told everyone he came only as the forerunner of Christ, the Messiah, who is the Word, and the Good Shepherd.

“The religious leaders wanted to know who John was, and he wasn’t really interested in answering that question. He wanted to talk about his mission: to prepare the way for the Messiah.” (Enduring Word)

5. John’s example

John’s “example shows that all Christians, and especially all Christian ministers, however much they may be honored and blessed, should be willing to lay all their honors at the feet of Jesus; to keep themselves back and to hold up before the world only the Son of God.” (Barnes)

I should continually seek to discover my unique and specific purpose.

Be obedient to my purpose.

Spend time alone with God in the secret place (my wilderness) to pursue and maintain an intimate relationship with Him.

Ask the Holy Spirit to fill me, lead me, instruct me, empower me, and give me the boldness needed to fulfill my destiny.

Remember it’s not about my honor and glory. To God be all the glory.

My answers to BSF study questions on John Lesson 2 Day 2