Baptist John Baptises them with Water as the forerunner of the Messiah

Posted by admin on 16 January 2022 in Ezekiel, John, Luke, Matthew |

John 1:24–28 (NIVUK):

24 Now the Pharisees who had been sent 25 questioned him, ‘Why then do you baptise if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?’

26 ‘I baptise with water,’ John replied, ‘but among you stands one you do not know. 27 He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.’

28 This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptising.

After priests and Levites got the answer from Baptist John (19-23), the Pharisees (24) asked a further question. See v25.

‘Why then do you baptise if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?’

Passages such as Ezekiel 36:25 and Ezekiel 37:23 let the Jews expect a cleansing of the people [1]. Baptism is related to the cleansing and this cleansing would be a role of Messiah (=the Prophet) or his forerunner (e.g., Elijah). This question arose when Baptist John denied his being any of them. What is Baptist John’s answer? See v26-27.

26 ‘I baptise with water,’ John replied, ‘but among you stands one you do not know. 27 He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.’

Baptist John’s answer indicates that the Messiah (27b) is already among them (26) and Baptist John is his forerunner (27a). Baptist John gives water baptism as the forerunner of the Messiah. This answers their question. The Messiah baptises them with the Holy Spirit and fire (John 1:33, Matthew 3:11, Luke 3:16).

References

[1] Lenski, R.C.H., The Interpretation of St. John’s Gospel

I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness

Posted by admin on 10 January 2022 in 2 Timothy, Isaiah, John, Luke, Malachi |

John 1:22–23 (NIVUK):

22 Finally they said, ‘Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?’

23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, ‘I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, “Make straight the way for the Lord.” ’

Baptist John’s answer is based on Isaiah 40:3.

A voice of one calling:

‘In the wilderness prepare

the way for the LORD; (Or A voice of one calling in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way for the LORD)

make straight in the desert

a highway for our God. (make straight the paths of our God)

The ‘voice’ emphasises not the speaker but the mission and message. What is the mission and message of the voice? The voice calls out to people to prepare the way for the LORD and make straight the paths of our God. That is, the voice asks them to be ready to receive Jesus the Saviour in their heart. This is illustrated in Isaiah 40:4.

Every valley shall be raised up,

every mountain and hill made low;

the rough ground shall become level,

the rugged places a plain.

Every valley shall be raised up:

the poor and lowly are raised up [1]

Every mountain and hill made low:

the proud and self-righteous depressed [1], all self-confidence, pride in national privileges, hypocrisy and irreligion removed [2]

The rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain:

the crooked and dishonest induced to change their ways for those of simplicity and integrity [1], the rude, rough, and harsh rendered courteous and mild [1]

More about Baptist John’s mission can be read from Malachi 4:6 and Luke 1:17.

He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.’ (Malachi 4:6)

And he will go on before the Lord, in the 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 1:17)

2 Timothy 3:16-17 says,

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 shows how to be thoroughly equipped to serve God for every good work as a Baptist John or an Elijah! As illustrated in Isaiah 40:4, the mission to prepare people ready for the LORD may require teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, too. The Holy Bible is God-breathed and is useful for these.

References

[1] Spence, H. D. M., The Pulpit Commentary: Isaiah (Vol. II)

[2] Brown, David; Fausset, A.R.; Jamieson, Bobby. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

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Jesus, the Prophet, the Messiah

Posted by admin on 3 January 2022 in Acts, Deuteronomy, John, Luke, Mark, Matthew |

John 1:21b ‘Are you the Prophet?’ He answered, ‘No.’

The Prophet

Moses has foretold in Deuteronomy 18:15, 18, 19.

15 “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him.”

18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him. 19 I myself will call to account anyone who does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name.

Jews have been thinking this Prophet might be the Messiah or a forerunner of the Messiah. In John 7:40-41, people distinguished the Prophet from the Messiah.

Jesus and the Prophet

Some people thought Jesus was the Prophet (John 7:40, John 6:14). Baptist John in prison wondered whether Jesus was the Messiah or just one of the forerunners (Luke 7:19). People wondered whether Jesus was the Messiah or one of the looked for prophets (Mark 8:28, Matthew 16:14) [1].

After Jesus was glorified, Saint Peter (Acts 3:22) and Saint Stephen (Acts 7:37) said this Prophet was Jesus, the Messiah.

Baptist John’s Answer

Baptist John denied being the Prophet (21b).

References

[1] Robertson, Archibald T., Word Pictures in the New Testament

Three Wise Men Worshiped and Presented Jesus with Gifts

Posted by admin on 26 December 2021 in Genesis, Matthew, Numbers |

Matthew 2:1-12

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem (1) and asked,

‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.’ (2)

‘Magi’ is sometimes translated to ‘wise men’. They might likely be Babylonian astrologers. They knew things from studying the stars [3]. [1] reports regarding astrological tablets with formulas: when this or that occurs, a great king will arise in the west; then justice and righteousness, peace and joy will rule in all lands and bless all nations; and other similar expressions [2]. So, they were looking for this great king born in Israel and asked the authorities to find out where he was. This event reminds us Genesis 1:14.

And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years,

Also, this event reminds us of the Gentile prophet Balaam’s prophecy written in Number 24:17.

‘I see him, but not now;

I behold him, but not near.

A star will come out of Jacob;

a sceptre will rise out of Israel.

He will crush the foreheads of Moab,

the skulls of all the people of Sheth.

They worshipped Jesus and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh (11).

This event teaches us that the wise Gentile had wisdom to seek and find the Messiah and faith to worship and present him with gifts. When Jesus was born, he was the Messiah not only foretold in the Old Testament but also recognised by the wise Gentile. Our saviour is born, hallelujah, merry Christmas!

References

[1] Rawlinson, H. C., The Cuneiform Inscriptions, 3, 51–64

[2] Lenski, R. C. H., The Interpretation of St. Matthew’s Gospel, Mt 2:2

[3] Stine, Philip C., Newman, Barclays M., A Handbook on the Gospel of Matthew, Mt 2:1

Baptist John in the spirit and power of Elijah

Posted by admin on 19 December 2021 in James, John, Luke, Malachi, Matthew |

Let us study John 1:21a about Baptist John to learn what is important to us as evangelists.

John 1:21a They asked him, ‘Then who are you? Are you Elijah?’ He said, ‘I am not.’

Prophet Malachi foretold God would send the prophet Elijah. See Malachi 4:5-6.

5 ‘See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. 6 He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.’

Elijah means “Yahweh is God”. 1 King 17-19, 21 and 2 King 1-2 record the ministry of Prophet Elijah.

James 5:17-18 describes the spirit and power of Elijah through an example.

Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.

The angel of God foretold Zachariah, the father of Baptist John, in Luke 1:17.

And he will go on before the Lord, in the 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.’

Based on Juke 1:17, Baptist John works in the spirit and power of Elijah.

Jesus said about Baptist John in Matthew 11:14.

“And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come.”

“If you are willing to accept it” indicates that Baptist John is an Elijah only if people would perceive him as a spiritual and powerful prophet like Elijah. So, Baptist John works in the spirit and power of Elijah, but he is not identical to the prophet Elijah lived in the Old Testament. He is not Elijah but an Elijah. Therefore, Baptist John answered, “I am not Elijah.”, in John 1:21a.

An evangelist acts as Baptist John for unbelievers. He/she prepares the ways for the Lord in their hearts. Therefore evangelists are encouraged to be spiritual and powerful as prophet Elijah.

Standing guard against undue respect

Posted by admin on 12 December 2021 in Acts, John |

In the past few weeks, we studied John 1:1-18. The true light came to the world (9) and made dwelling among us (14). But, the Baptist John is not the light but a witness to the light (8) and the light is greater than John because He existed from the eternity before the creation (15).

Let us continue to study John 1:19-20 and learn what is important to us as witnesses of Christ.

See John 1:19-20.

19 Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, ‘I am not the Messiah.’

Priests and Levites sent by Jewish leaders in Jerusalem asked the Baptist John who he was (19). The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah (Luke 3:15). But John did not entertain their thoughts. Without hesitation, he confessed freely, ‘I am not the Messiah.’ (20). He spoke out so as not to leave anyone in doubt [1].

Here we learn that God’s witness should stand their guard against undue respect rather than unjust contempt [2]. By accepting the undue respect, we become denying Christ. The apostles Barnabas and Paul also tore their clothes and stopped the crowd when the crowd treated them as God (Acts 14:14).

The following elaborates on the above conclusion (“not to accept undue respect”).

Quoted from [2]:

“Note, The ministers of Christ must remember that they are not Christ, and therefore must not usurp his powers and prerogatives, nor assume the praises due to him only. They are not Christ, and therefore must not lord it over God’s heritage, nor pretend to a dominion over the faith of Christians. They cannot create grace and peace; they cannot enlighten, convert, quicken, comfort; for they are not Christ. Observe how emphatically this is here expressed concerning John: He confessed, and denied not, but confessed; it denotes his vehemence and constancy in making this protestation. Note, Temptations to pride, and assuming that honour to ourselves which does not belong to us, ought to be resisted with a great deal of vigour and earnestness. When John was taken to be the Messiah, he did not connive at it with a Si populus vult decipi, decipiatur—If the people will be deceived, let them; but openly and solemnly, without any ambiguities, confessed, I am not the Christ; hoti ouk eimi egō ho Christos—I am not the Christ, not I; another is at hand, who is he, but I am not. His disowning himself to be the Christ is called his confessing and not denying Christ. Note, Those that humble and abase themselves thereby confess Christ, and give honour to him; but those that will not deny themselves do in effect deny Christ.”

References

[1] United Bible Societies Handbook: John

[2] Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible:Complete and Unabridged in One Volume

Baptist John’s testimony about Jesus (John 1:29)

Posted by admin on 6 December 2021 in Exodus, Isaiah, John, Leviticus, The Book of Romans |

The Baptist & Witness John testified about himself (John 1:19-23) and Jesus (John 1:24-34).

Today, let us study John 1:29.

The next day John saw Jesus coming towards him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29)

Why is Jesus called ‘the Lamb of God’? ‘The Lamb’ represents ‘the Passover lamb’ (Exodus 12:21) sacrificed during the ‘Passover’ event written in Exodus 12:1-30. The Israelites put the blood of the lamb on the sides and tops of door-frames of the houses (Exodus 12:6-7, Exodus 12:21-22) and when God saw the blood, he ‘passed over’ them without striking them with the destructive plague (Exodus 12:12-13, Exodus 12:23).

In the Law, God let us forgiven by sacrificing an animal(s) (e.g., bull, sheep) without defect (e.g., Leviticus 4, 5, 7, 14).

Jesus (the Lamb of God) who was without sin (without defect) died for us to take our sin away! Because he received the punishment we deserve (Isaiah 53), we are forgiven when we believe him (Romans 10:9-13). He did this because he loves us. This is a good news of salvation for all humanity.

More about “Glory”

Posted by admin on 29 November 2021 in Hebrews, John, Luke, Mark, Matthew, The Book of Romans, Uncategorized |

See Hebrews 1:3a (NIVUK). “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.”

Jesus revealed his glory through the first of the signs (changing water into wine) (John 2:11)

Jesus does not accept glory from human beings (John 5:41). Jesus has come in his Father’s name (John 5:43). We should seek the glory that comes from the only God (John 5:44).

Jesus received honour and glory from God the Father when the voice came from the Majestic Glory on the sacred mountain (2 Peter 1:17-18, Matthew 17:1-9, Mark 9:2-10, Luke 9:28-36)

Jesus healed a man blind from birth, which displayed the works of God in him (John 9:3).

Jesus raised Lazarus dead for four days for God’s glory and Jesus was glorified through it  (John 11:4, 40, 43-44).

During the Last Supper, when Judah has gone to bring people to arrest Jesus, Jesus said this. John 13:31–32 (NIVUK): 31 When he was gone, Jesus said, ‘Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once.

Jesus prayed to be glorified (John 17:1-5) after the last supper and before the arrest and crucifixion. ‘Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you (John 17:1b). And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began (John 17:5).

Jesus prayed for all believers. John 17:24 (NIVUK): Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

Jesus was glorified (John 7:39b) through the crucifixion and resurrection after which Jesus sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven (Hebrews 1:3b).

Romans 8:17 (NIVUK): Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

What is glory and how glory is important to our faith (John 1:14c)

Posted by admin on 14 November 2021 in 1 Peter, 2 Corinthians, Acts, Exodus, Genesis, Hebrews, John, The Book of Romans |
@johnsharingthegospel

John 1:14 (NIV): We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father ##glory ##crownofglory ##ministeroflife ##godofglory

♬ original sound - John

Reference

John 1:14c (What is Truth?)

Posted by admin on 31 October 2021 in John |
@johnsharingthegospel

John 1:14c (What is truth?) All references used are shown in https://comnc.org/defining-truth ##truth ##reality ##divinethought ##revelationofGod ##faith

♬ original sound - John

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