In this message, we will learn about John the Baptist and how Jesus felt about Him. We will also find out what God desires for our lives also. Now John the Baptist was a great man of God, however, even God’s messengers can fall into the wrong hands and be killed. This was the case for John, for he was captured and then beheaded, while in prison. Herod did not want to kill him for fear, but was tricked into doing do. However, this was his fault as he allowed Herodias’s daughter to dance before him. In this moment, 2“he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask” as he was very pleased at what he saw. It was in this moment that he gave into his lusts. Now, her desire from Herod was not what he expected, for she said 2“give me here John Baptist’s head”. Though, 2“the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath’s sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her.” To make the story short, she got the head and John died. It was then that 2“his disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus. When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart.” Jesus, as it seemed, was speechless but knew in his heart that a righteous man was killed. You can imagine how He must have felt inside, because of His love for John. We will learn what Jesus thought of John the Baptist as we continue reading.
Speaking of John the Baptist, Jesus said that 3“there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist.” He was His messenger and prepared the way for Him. This is what he said of John, right before he went to prison. 3“But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet. This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” What a great thing to say about a man. Wouldn’t it be great if God could say the same about you? Well, as it turns out, God has much to say about all of us that truly believe in Him. Jesus talked about being least in His kingdom, and how that is greater than John, but to understand what that means we need to look back at something else Jesus said about keeping His commandments. He said, 1“Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” So we can still enter his kingdom but either be least or great, depending on how we kept and taught God’s laws. This is very important to understand.
Speaking of entering the kingdom of heaven, Jesus said, 1“except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” So we know that our righteousness matters. We may be on different playing fields when it comes to those in His kingdom, but anyone in it has been made righteous through Christ the Lord. Some are more vigilant and keep and teach people to obey God’s commandments, while loving the Lord and their neighbor with all their hearts. These are great people in God’s kingdom. Others that are saved, believe, but don’t keep all of God’s commandments. The same people don’t teach the importance of the commandment that they breaking. For how can they. They’d be a hypocrite in doing so. So, what do we learn from all of this? We learn that God does have accountability in His kingdom. That people are at different levels with Him. Now, speaking of what Jesus told John’s disciples, he said something pretty important. Allow this to sink in a little. 3“blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.” Does keeping God’s commands make you feel uncomfortable with your friends or other people in this world? If so, then there is an issue. For to not obey the Lord based on an insecurity in our faith is also being offended in Jesus. Jesus said, 4“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Therefore live for Him and not the world. Don’t barely make it in heaven but go all in and become great for God.
Let us pray:
Oh Lord, I pray that more people will have an interest in doing much more than believing in You but also obey You. From Your Words, I know that keeping Your commandments is what will make us great in Your kingdom. However, I also have learned that those that keep some and disregard others are least. This does make me wonder about all the so-called Christians in this world. Do they truly love You, Lord, with all their hearts and their neighbors also? Are Your teachings in their hearts and do they teach them to their children? Is sharing their faith a part of who they for You, God? I know that I am not offended to witness my faith to the world but this confidence has come from You and not myself. I have put my faith in You and You have done the rest. You have built me up and have helped me overcome the things of this world. Even Your commands have become a delight to follow. I now love every commandment and love to teach them. I do not do so to look better than anyone else, Lord, but to simply do Your will. To obey my Father, and my God, is what I most desire. My hope is in You, Jesus. I love You. Amen.
Let us read the Bible:
Note: Any Numbered References, found above, are listed below.
1Matthew 5:13-20 (KJV)
13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
2Matthew 14:1-13 (KJV)
1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus,
2 And said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him.
3 For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife.
4 For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her.
5 And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet.
6 But when Herod’s birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod.
7 Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask.
8 And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist’s head in a charger.
9 And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath’s sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her.
10 And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison.
11 And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother.
12 And his disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus.
13 When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities.
3Luke 7:18-29 (KJV)
18 And the disciples of John shewed him of all these things.
19 And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?
20 When the men were come unto him, they said, John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?
21 And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight.
22 Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.
23 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.
24 And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind?
25 But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings’ courts.
26 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet.
27 This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
28 For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.
29 And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John.
4John 14:12-19 (KJV)
12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.