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Scripture Reading: Matthew 11:7-15
Matthew 3: The Messiah's Messenger
1. John the Baptist is a hero of faith, Lk. 1: 15-16, 76-79; 3:18-20.
2. John had a vital part in Godís scheme of redemption - Announced the coming king and prepared the peopleís hearts to receive Him.
3. The kingís kingdom is approaching and John is sent to get people ready for it, Matthew 3.
I. JOHNíS MESSAGE AND LIFE, Matt. 3:1-10.
A. John Fulfilled Prophecy:
1. Voice in wilderness, Matt. 3:3 (Isa. 40:3-5); Lk. 3:4-6.
2. Messenger of preparation, Mal. 3:1.
3. Elijah of promise, Mal. 4:5-6 (Matt. 11:14)
a. Clearly identified, Matt. 11:14.
b. Spirit and powerÖ, Lk. 1:16-17.
c. "Restore all things" (Matt. 17:11; cf. 1 Kgs. 18:37).
B. The Kingdom is Near, Matt. 3:2 (Mk. 1:15).
1. The expectation of Israel, Dan. 2:44; 7:13-14, 17-18.
a. Mk. 9:1 (Acts 1:8; 2) Ė Fulfills Dan. 2:44.
b. Heb. 12:28 Ė Fulfills Dan. 7:18.
C. Message of Repentance, Matt. 3:2.
1. Turn people back to Godís law, Mal. 4:6; Lk. 1:16-17, 77.
2. Warned of wrath to come, Matt. 3:7, 10; Mal. 4:5-6.
3. Baptism of repentance, Matt. 3:5-6; Mark 1:1-5 (Lk. 3:3).
4. Fruits of repentance, Matt. 3:7-10; Lk. 3:10-14 (Acts 26:20).
D. Johnís Life of Self-Denial, Matt. 3:4; Matt. 11:7-8.
1. Austere, rugged and self-denying in both food and clothing; Reminiscent of Elijah (2 Kgs. 1:8).
2. His self-denying lifestyle (food/clothing) was a living protest against the selfishness and self-indulgence of his day.
#1: God keeps His word (fulfilled prophecy).
#2: The kingdom exists now (Col. 1:13).
#3: Repentance is crucial (Lk. 13:3, 5; 2 Pet. 3:9).
#4: We must deny ourselves to live for God (Lk. 9:23).
II. SOME CONTRASTS WITH JOHN, Matt. 3:11-12.
A. With Jesus: Jesus was Mightier than John, 3:11; cf. Jno. 3:28-30.
1. Johnís reverence for Jesus, Matt. 3:14.
2. John rejoiced in being a servant of the Christ, Jno. 3:29.
B. With Mankind: None Greater than John, Matt. 11:9-11a.
1. Much more than a prophet; Messiahís messenger, 11:9-10.
2. None greater because of his work and humility, 11:11.
-What a commendation from Son of God!
C. With Kingdom Citizens: Not as Great as these, Matt. 11: 11b-12.
1. John was not an immediate participant in the kingdom (Calvary, Pentecost), 11:11b.
2. Forceful endeavor to enter the kingdom was the result of Johnís work, 11:12 (Lk. 16:16).
#1: Should rejoice in being servants of Christ (1 Tim. 1:12; 1 Pet. 5:5).
#2: Be faithful in our work and receive Christís commendation (Lk. 16:10; Matt. 25:21).
#3: Cannot sleep your way into the kingdom (Lk. 13:23-24).
III. JOHNíS SERVICE, Matt. 3:13-17.
A. He Helped to Fulfill All Righteousness when He Baptized Jesus, Matt. 3:13-15.
1. Jesus came to do the will of God (Jno. 6:38; Heb. 10:7).
2. It was Godís will that men receive Johnís message and baptism.
a. Therefore, righteousness was served.
B. John Helped Spread the Gospel by Identifying Jesus, Jno. 1:29-34.
-Once identified, John pointed others to Christ, Jno. 1:35-36; 3:25-31
#1: We must serve righteousness through obedience (Rom. 6:15-18).
#2: We must point others to Jesus, Jno. 1:40-42 (43-46).
1. John knew his role and did his work (Jno. 3:28).
2. John was a great man of faith.
3. You can be greater by serving righteousness in the kingdom of Christ! (Born of water and the Spirit greater than ďborn of womenĒ) Heb. 12:28.