This Sunday is the second Sunday of Advent and I will be preaching from Mathew 3: 1- 10.
This text introduces us to John the Baptist who came to prepare a way for the Messiah.
Leon Morris in his book, ‘the gospel according to John’ states that; “The fact that the birth of Christianity was such a resounding phenomenon, impacting the ancient world tremendously, and echoing marvelously across the centuries, is, in some measure, a commentary on how well John accomplished his mission.”
John the Baptist had burst into the scene in a unique fashion. Different from the Rabbis of his time, he was an Old Testament prophet in a New Testament world.
The description of this prophet is brief and stark. He was dressed in a camel’s hair, secured by a leather belt (Mt. 3:4). In his appearance, he was quite reminiscent of Elijah in the Old Testament.
Although he was born in a well to do family, he lived a very simple life. His diet was that of locust and honey. He stood in bold contrast to the indulgent people of his day.
Lenski in his book, “The interpretation of Mathew’s gospel’ states, “His ascetic life-style appeared almost demonic, like those possessed of evil spirits who apparently frequented the desolate areas (cf. Mk. 5:2-3).”
He did not seek out the multitudes; rather, somehow, he attracted them. The people from Jerusalem and Judea went out to him as he moved about in the Jordan Valley (Mt. 3:5; cf. 13; Jn. 1:28; 3:23). Hundreds, if not thousands, were immersed by him. And his success was only in the message he preached.
The multitudes said that he performed no “miracles,” though they regarded his message concerning Christ as true (Jn. 10:41). The power of John’s preaching, together with the void in the people’s hearts for God, was a winning combination.
“John the Baptist: A voice in the wilderness.”
Join us tomorrow for a deeper exposition of his ministry