Life Application Study Bible 3rd Edition NLT - Page 22

page 1795
John 3:26; 10:40
Isa 53:7
1 Cor 5:7
1 Pet 1:19

J ohn
28This encounter took place in Beth­a­ny, an area east of the Jordan River, where John
was baptizing.
John the Baptist Proclaims ­Jesus as the Messiah (20)
next day John saw ­Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God
who takes away the sin of the world! 30He 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.’
­Baptist was unique. He wore odd clothes and ate strange
food and preached an unusual message to the Judeans
who went out to the wastelands to see him.
But John did not aim at uniqueness for its own sake. Instead, he aimed at obedience. He knew
he had a specific role to play in the world—announcing the coming of the Savior—and he put
all his energies into this task. Luke tells us that John was in the wilderness when God’s word of
direction came to him. John was ready and waiting. The angel who had announced John’s birth
to Zechariah had made it clear that this child was to be a Nazirite—someone set apart for God’s
service. John remained faithful to that calling.
This wild-looking man had no power or position in the Jewish political system, but he spoke
with almost irresistible authority. People were moved by his words because he spoke the truth,
challenging them to turn from their sins and baptizing them as a symbol of their repentance. They
responded by the hundreds. But even as people crowded to him, he pointed beyond himself, never
forgetting that his main role was to announce the coming of the Savior.
The words of truth that moved many to repentance goaded others to ridicule and resentment.
John challenged even Herod to admit his sin. Consequently, Herodias, the woman Herod had
married illegally, was bent on getting rid of this wilderness preacher. But though she was finally
able to have John killed, she was not able to stop his message. John had accomplished his mission; the Messiah he had announced was already on the move.
God has given each of us a purpose for living, and we can trust him to guide us. John did not
have the complete Bible as we know it today, but he focused his life on the truth he knew from
the available Old Testament Scriptures. Likewise, we can discover in God’s Word the truths God
wants us to know. And as these truths work in us, others will be drawn to him. God wants to use
you in ways he will use no one else. Let him know your willingness to follow him today.
John the Baptist
Strengths and
• The messenger God appointed to announce the arrival of Jesus
• A preacher whose theme was repentance
• A fearless confronter
• Known for his remarkable lifestyle
• Uncompromising
Notable fact:
• The last of the prophets in the Old Testament tradition, calling for repentance in
a ­wilderness of unbelief
Lessons from
his life:
• God does not guarantee an easy or safe life to those who serve him.
• Doing what God desires is the greatest possible life investment.
• Standing for the truth is more important than life itself.
Vital statistics:
• Where: Judea
• Occupation: Prophet
• Relatives: Father: Zechariah. Mother: Elizabeth. Distant relative: Jesus.
• Contemporaries: Herod Antipas, Herodias
Key verse:
“I tell you the truth, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist. Yet
even the least person in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he is!” (Matthew 11:11)
John’s story is told in all four Gospels. His coming was predicted in Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 4:5. He is also mentioned in Acts 1:5, 22; 10:37;
11:16; 13:24-25; 18:25; 19:3-4.
John was the greatest person who had ever lived (Luke 7:28). If such a
great person felt inadequate even to be Jesus’ slave, how much more
should we lay aside our pride to serve him! When we truly understand
who Jesus is, our pride and ­self-­importance melt away.
1:29 Every morning and evening, a lamb was sacrificed in the Temple,
symbolizing that the sins of the people were forgiven (Exodus 29:38-42).
Isaiah 53:7 prophesied that the Messiah, God’s Servant, would be led to
the slaughter like a lamb. To pay the penalty for sin, a life had to be given
and blood shed. In the Old Testament, it was the blood of an animal, but
with the coming of Jesus, God’s Son, God chose to provide the sacrifice
himself. The sins of the world were removed when Jesus died as the
perfect sacrifice. This is the way our sins are forgiven (1 Corinthians 5:7).
The “sin of the world” means everyone’s sin, the sin of each individual.
Jesus paid the price for your sin by his death. If you confess your sin to
him and ask for his forgiveness, you will receive it.
1:30 Although John the Baptist was a ­well-­known preacher who

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