"I tell you, among those born of a woman there is no one greater than John." Luke 7:28a
Who was this man?
a. He was a prophet and spoken about in the Old Testament.
b. He prepared the way for Jesus.
c. During his ministry, he mentored men in the faith and called people to repentance.
d. He challenged the practices of the religious elite of his time and the moral conduct of political heavy weights.
e. He had the honor of baptizing Jesus.
f. He was arrested, imprisoned and beheaded.
He may seem as an unlikely model for contemporary Christians. But his call to repentance and holiness can inspire us and resonate with us today. He was a real man filled with the Holy Spirit with a three-fold message to repent, show fruit of repentance and prepare the way for Jesus.
a. Repent means to turn toward God in an act of obedience.
b. Repentance is living a life of continually surrendering to God and showing evidence of the commitment to God.
c. Preparing the way can mean just about anything but begins with a heart of humility toward God and a desire to serve others by helping them find their way to Jesus.
People from all over the region of Judea made their way to the desert where John preached and baptized. Many turned away from their former lives to live a life dedicated to God. Some of those men became disciples of John. The religious leaders called scribes and Pharisees also made their way to John and received a very public rebuke for their attitude and lack of spiritual authenticity. John's simple message had a profound effect on people. He ushered in a new way of understanding the spiritual life. His message inspired people to take personal responsibility for their spiritual life and live life with a God-honoring conscience. Maybe it is time we all listened a little closer to John's message, produced evidence of the God-honoring life and helped someone else find their way to Jesus. My prayer is this series will inspire you to do just that.
He will bring back many of the People of Israel to the Lord their God and he will go before the Lord, in spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous - to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. Luke 1:16 NIV