“Who is the greatest preacher in all the world?” Have you ever asked this question? The disciples grumbled about this even at the feet of the Lord. Jesus named one . . . John the Baptist. What was it about John the Baptist that led Jesus to this conclusion?
Several Illustrations from John that prompted Jesus to make this conclusion
1. John was unimpressed with who he was.
- He could have been proud about the prophecy that was made about him . . . but he was not.
- For us today, it’s too early to be polishing our crowns . . . but this was not true about John. He was full of the Holy Spirit even in the womb!
- He could have been proud about what he got to do . . . announce the arrival of the Messiah.
- He could have been proud of his popularity.
- He could have been proud because of his professions. He had baptized “throngs” of people, including Jesus.
- If we are not careful, we are going to believe what our people tell us leading us to forget that we are a servant of God.
2. John was unconcerned with where he was.
- The mark of our ministry is never determined by where you serve and the size of the ministry you have, but by who you are and where you stand in relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ.
- (I could listen to all of his stories all day long.)
3. John was unafraid of what he said.
- He didn’t have any more sense than to preach against the values that were missing in his day.
- He addressed the moral issues of his day . . . directly confronting Herod.
- We are heading out in to a generation where the gospel is met with hostility and outright denial.
- Will we be salt that preserves or will we be sugar that pleases?
“Stand for right, be clean, walk holy, be humble, and maybe one day Jesus will say ‘he was a great man.'”
I wish that we were going to be teaching our SS class this coming Sunday. While the Lifeway material skirts over John the Baptist to cover the tempations of Jesus, this message would have been great to incorporate into the lesson. We have talked alot in our Young Singles class about how to be different in a world that looks for actions to back up what we say. John the Baptist is a great example of this; while not only applying to ministers, these three points would make great application to all Christians in the “real” world.