John came from a common family, without wealth or fame; yet John serves as an example of God’s marvelous greatness (Isa. 40:3-5; Mal. 3:1; 4:5-6; Luke 1:13-17; 4:18-22, Matt. 17:10-13).
God named John (lit. “God is gracious”) and set him apart even before he was conceived in his mother’s womb. John was filled with the Holy Spirit, and he grew up and called people to repentance and announced the coming of the Lord.
No wonder Jesus said (Matt. 11:11a), “I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist.”
John was greater than Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, Solomon, anyone except Jesus.
There were 400 years of silence between the OT and NT. John broke that silence!
John had a very special job to do; even so, John is no greater than any other follower of Christ. Jesus said (Matt. 11:11b) “the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he [John]” (Gal. 3:26-29).
John’s life reflects God-honoring greatness:
1. Humility: John was a powerful man, yet he served humbly (cf. Matt. 3:5-6, 11, 13-15). When Jesus’ popularity began to surpass that of his own, John showed no resentment at all (cf. John 3:30).
2. Conviction: John possessed integrity and courage, uncompromising and unchanging in his message and his life (cf. Matt. 3:2, 7-10).
3. Self-Denial: John separated himself from the self-indulgent and corrupt religious leaders of Israel who used their positions to attain personal comfort and pleasure (Luke 16:13-16).
Johns’ life was rugged, some might say ragged; the well-to-do didn’t invite him over for bread and wine (Matt. 3:4).
In Matt. 11:9-10 Jesus asks, “..what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.” This is the one about whom it is written: “`I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.'”
God sent John to prepare the people. His’ life serves as a blueprint for biblical greatness:
He was filled with and controlled by God’s Spirit.
He was obedient to God’s Word.
He was self-controlled and conservative in what he ate, drank, wore, and in how he lived.
He was courageous and faithful to proclaim God’s Word, declaring the people’s need to repent and to
receive God’s forgiveness.
John was humble yet full of God’s power; his convictions were expressed through his courage; his honor and reverence of God displayed by his life.
The greatest thing that you and I can do in this world is to accept, acknowledge, and proclaim through our life, the simple truth that Jesus Christ came to die for our sins and to provide eternal life for everyone who would trust and believe in Him.