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The First Baptist #2; Jesus said, "There hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist."

Discussion in 'Fundamental Baptist Forum' started by Alan Gross, Nov 21, 2020 at 2:21 PM.

  1. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

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    DIVINELY PRAISED

    Jesus said, "There hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist."

    from: THE FIRST BAPTIST

    Superlatives are common and most of them are difficult to support with proof. But the Lord Jesus spoke here as always with the voice of divine authority. We have, then, a surprisingly challenging statement about a great man, made by One infinitely greater. For Jesus spoke in Matthew 11:11 with emphasis:

    "Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he."

    In seeking answers to certain live questions, the meaning of Christ’s lavish praise of John the Baptist may be discovered.

    DID CHRIST CALL JOHN THE BAPTIST THE GREATEST MAN IN HISTORY ?

    An angel of the Lord had announced to Zacharias, John’s aged father, that John was to be "great in the sight of the Lord" (Luke 1:15). Some men are great in their own eyes, some in the eyes of their contemporaries, but John was to be great in the sight of the Lord.

    The Baptist was to be "filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb" (Luke 1:15). Of whom else, in all sacred or secular literature, is such a statement made? This natal endowment, retained through life, would enrich his words and works with divine authority.

    John was destined to turn many of his countrymen to accept the Lord as their God; he was to be "an horn of salvation"; and he would "give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins" (Luke 1:16, 69, 77).

    This first New Testament man of distinction (a teetotaler!) was to have "the spirit and power of Elijah" (Luke 1:17), who was an Old Testament prophet of great renown. For John was "to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just" (Luke 1:17).

    John the Baptist was "sent from God" (John 1:6) to "make ready a people prepared for the Lord" (Luke 1:17). This was a big order indeed. Among the multitudes whom John prepared for the Lord were the twelve disciples (Acts 1:22) and at least some of the "five hundred brethren" who saw the resurrected Lord Jesus (1 Cor. 15:6). That the total number was immense is indicated by the vast crowds who came to him, believed his message about Christ, and then were baptized by him (Matthew 3:5, 6). If Christian workers now had the spirit and power of John the Baptist, and if they used his techniques, they could also prepare multitudes for the Lord.

    Among the many services John rendered to his Lord were these: "to make his paths straight" and the "rough ways" smooth (Luke 3:4, 5). Here was a man who made real the proverb, "But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day" (Prov. 4:18). For all those who followed John sincerely were led straight to the Lord Jesus Christ. (Here is ample reason for a book on John: to lead people to Christ). The forerunner thrust aside the rough ways of the legalistic Pharisees with their onerous demands. And to humble souls he heralded the good news that their long-awaited Messiah was at hand, bringing with Him divine salvation.

    John had the unique honor of being the first to point out Christ as the Lamb of God and the Son of God, clothed with full deity (John 1:29, 34). He described Christ in words inspired by the Holy Spirit (Luke 3:16, 17).

    Lasting honor belongs to John for his exalted privilege of having baptized his Lord (Matthew 3:13-17). This distinction is the more deserved because John felt unworthy to officiate at this divine service where, for the first time in recorded history, the Triune God appeared at the same time and place.

    The humility of John, despite his high honors, is repeatedly stated in beautiful language. He said of Christ, "whose shoes I am not worthy to bear" (Matthew 3:11); "there cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose" (Mark 1:7); "He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30).

    John was not "a reed shaken with the wind" (Matthew 11:7f). He was more like a mighty oak. He was not "a man clothed in soft raiment"; instead, he wore camel’s hair clothing. Jesus said of him, "A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet."

    The Baptist was faithful unto death. He could have been one of King Herod’s courtiers, "for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly" (Mark 6:20). But John chose righteousness rather than fame. And because he preached Christian ethics fearlessly, without compromise or hedging, he became the victim of wicked Herodias’ murderous hatred (Mark 6:24-28).

    John the Baptist resembled Christ, apparently more than any other man in history. He was taken for Christ, and Christ was taken for John. When Christ became widely known, and after John’s death, Herod thought that Christ was John risen from the dead (Matthew 14:1, 2). Still later, some said that Christ was John the Baptist (Matthew 16:14). This was superlative praise of John: some who knew both John and Jesus mistook one for the other. And those who thought that John had risen from the dead (no one had, before) thereby indicated how great they thought he was. The moral grandeur of the Baptist stands out all the more when it is recalled that "John did no miracle" (John 10:41), and that Jesus did many astounding miracles; yet John was, in the minds of many, equal to Christ.

    The total number of verses in the Bible concerning John exceeds the total number of verses in each of the thirty-three shorter books. While this is not a criterion by itself, it is an indication that the Spirit of inspiration honored John.

    Emphasizing His words Jesus said, "Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he" (Matthew 11:11).
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  2. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob Administrator
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    Very informative facts. Wonder why you opted to put this in the very limited "fundamental" forum instead of gaining more comments in "general" category. IT is NOT "debate", is it? More of a book summary. Were you looking for discussion on it . . . I don't think many fundamental Baptists will have any question about John and his role :)
     
  3. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Would not call either Jesus or John Baptists though!
     
  4. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

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    I got 'the debate'!
     
  5. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob Administrator
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    Yeah, but just Yeshua and he will debate ANYTHING :) :)
     
  6. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

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    Jeremiah 55:45 Come out of her, My people!
    Save your lives, each of you, from the fierce anger of the LORD.


    Revelation 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying,
    Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

    5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.

    6 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.

    7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.

    8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.
     
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