John spoke with very deep conviction and knowledge of Jesus. John cherished no jealousy nor in any way sought to blur the true purpose and intention of God for the coming Messiah. Purpose constrained him to walk with integrity and to fully cooperate with the Holy Spirit in the manifestation of the plan of God.
“I baptize with water those who repent of their sins and turn to God. But someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I am not worthy even to be his slave and carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire”
John the Baptist was the forerunner of Jesus. He came to prepare the way for the Messiah. He was born out of a miracle. The angel Gabriel made the announcement to his father while he was in the service in the temple. We read a beautiful story about his parents in Luke 1:5-7
“When Herod was king of Judea, there was a Jewish priest named Zechariah. He was a member of the priestly order of Abijah, and his wife, Elizabeth, was also from the priestly line of Aaron. Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God’s eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments and regulations. They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to conceive, and they were both very old”.
Luke 1:13-17 detailed the circumstances surrounding his miraculous conception and birth.
“But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John. You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He must never touch wine or other alcoholic drinks. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. And he will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God. He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly.”
The angel made some outstanding declarations regarding the nature and ministry of John the Baptist (John the Baptizer). He will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He will be under the Nazarite vow and the Holy Spirit will fill him even while yet in his mother’s womb. He will operate in the spirit and power of Elijah. He will restore the families in Israel and he will prepare the hearts of the people for the Messiah.
And John the Baptist came into the world fully loaded with credentials from heaven. A man approved by God for a task no other can fulfill. He spent most of his ministry life in the wilderness. John and Jesus were cousins; he was about six months older than Jesus was and knew exactly what his mission was in the world.
There were several times when John the Baptist endorses the ministry of Jesus. In Matthew 3:3, we were informed by Matthew that John the Baptist came as a forerunner to Jesus. He came to prepare the hearts of the people for the Lord. He executed his ministry with much passion and fervency, challenging the people to confession and repentance and preparing their hearts for the One who will baptize them with the Holy Spirit.
John spoke with very deep conviction and knowledge of Jesus. In Matthew 3:11, he spoke of the elevated position of Jesus in relation to his own life and ministry.
“I baptize with water those who repent of their sins and turn to God. However, someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I am not worthy even to be his slave and carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire”
John cherished no jealousy nor in any way sought to blur the true purpose and intention of God for the coming Messiah. Purpose constrained him to walk with integrity and to fully cooperate with the Holy Spirit in the manifestation of the plan of God.
“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29
John saw the redemptive purpose of God and the promised Messiah even before he personally met with Jesus at His baptism. His declaration to the people regarding the prophetic ministry of Jesus that He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world found a fulfillment at the baptism of Jesus. He brought to the attention of the people that the promised Messiah is now walking among them.
Further endorsement of Jesus came when John spoke of the pre-existence of Jesus. Although John was about six month older than He was, yet he declared that Jesus existed long before him. A very powerful confirmation of divinity and pre-existence.
“He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me” John 1:30
Perhaps the most powerful endorsement of the Messiah came from an interesting declaration John made about the engagement of the Father and Holy Spirit at the baptism of Jesus.
“Then John testified, “I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him. I didn’t know he was the one, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Chosen One of God”
In Acts 2:22, the apostle Peter said that Jesus was a man approved by God by doing powerful miracles.
“People of Israel, listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus the Nazarene by doing powerful miracles, wonders, and signs through him, as you well know.”
John the Baptist confirms the greatness of Jesus by His redemptive work on the cross.
Paul Mursalin from Guyana is a member of the International Board of Barnabas Fund
Photo contributed by Good News Productions Int.