John the Baptist Background:
He was the son of Zachariah and Elizabeth
The cousin of Jesus
and born 6 months before Jesus
John was more than likely raised under the teachings of his father Zachariah. Zachariah was a priest, and John was being groomed for the priesthood. However, John would not end up being a priest. The Spirit of God led John into the wilderness where he would use him in a special way.
John lived off the land. The Bible says that he ate locust and wild honey and had clothes made from camel’s hair. John’s life was far from luxurious, and not what most people would have expected from him. But John used his knowledge of God that was passed down through his father to teach, preach, and lead people in the wilderness.
John gets the name “John the Baptist” because while he was in the wilderness he baptized many people. The theme of John’s message was repentance from sin, and getting baptized was a way to symbolize this turning away from sin.
People came from all over to hear John preach and to be baptized by him. John’s popularity grew and he gained several followers, but another theme of his message was that there was a man who would come after him that was more powerful than he was. And this message was fulfilled with Jesus.
Jesus came to John in the wilderness. Jesus was baptized by John (not because Jesus had sin, but as an example of what we should do). After this, John told his followers that he must decrease and Jesus must increase because he was going to be the savior.
John is known as a forerunner because he paved the way for people to see and accept Jesus as the Messiah.
John was eventually killed by King Herod, but not before Jesus’s ministry was able to take off and gain significant momentum. Jesus himself had many great things to say about John the Baptist. He went as far as to say that John was the greatest prophet and he fulfilled what Scripture lines out in the role of the forerunner.
Many people were expecting the prophet Elijah to return to usher in the Messiah, but John the Baptist filled this role, and according to Jesus, did it with excellence.
Ultimately, we learn from John that we are unworthy of Jesus. We don’t deserve a savior, but God has given us one anyway. And that is why we must decrease and Jesus must increase in our lives.
God uses all kinds of people
Repent and be baptized
We must decrease; He must increase
Parents, 3treesKIDS will also be covering Christmas Part One , both in-person and online this week.
Be sure to check out their lesson at www.3trees.com/kids.
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