Abraham is a highly esteemed prophet, who is honoured as the great father of faith, and rightly so for when called he trusted God and it was credited as righteousness. Moses was the great prophet, who is held in honour by the religions of the world, and rightly so, for He was the one who gave God’s perfect Law to the people of Israel.
But John the Baptist is the greatest of all the prophets that have been sent by God, for he was witness to the perfect Word.. witness to the Light – witness to Grace. Grace and truth came by Jesus, the light of the world, and John testified of Him. John was sent to witness of Christ – the light to men, Who was full of grace and truth.
John, whose name means: God is gracious, bore witness of Jesus: God is salvation. John was to point to the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world. John was a witness to the grace of God – that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. John was sent as a moon to reflect the Son – the only true Light of the world.
Though acknowledged by the Lord Jesus as the greatest of all men born of women. John was the one who testified that he must decrease – but Christ must increase. John was not the Light, but he witnessed about the true and only Light of God. John did not bring Grace, but he was to testify of the One Who was full of Grace. John could not forgive sins, but pointed to the Messiah, the only Sacrifice for sin.
But the Baptist was not the only man called ‘John’ that witnessed of the grace of God. The beloved disciple wrote his gospel of John so that we may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and by believing – may have life in His name.
In the gospel of Matthew we see John stride onto the scene with a message to Israel, Repent for the kingdom of the heavens is here – their promised Messiah had arrived. This message to the ‘circumcision’ was to testify to the fulfilment of God’s promises – the King had arrived: the kingdom was near… repent and believe on Christ Jesus.
The Baptist’s message in Matthew was one of judgement that called for penitence. He is calling for all Israel to repent of their sins – to turn to God and His Messiah. The lost sheep of Israel were to bring forth the fruit – which called for repentance.
But in the gospel of John was a witness to the gentile nations of the mercy of God. The true Light that lights ALL men had come into the world – full of grace and truth. This message to all men was to testify of the Lamb of God – the Sacrifice for all sin. The Saviour had arrived - the Light and Life of men… full of grace and truth.
The Baptist’s message in John had its focus on the fullness of the grace of God. He is proclaiming the fullness of grace that alone comes through the person of Christ, For from His abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. The witness of grace, proclaimed by John, emanated from God’s infinite love and grace. It proceeded from the Father through the Son – to sinful man in need of a Saviour.
John’s witness of grace was more than restoration of life for the descendants of Adam. He was presenting the embryonic gospel of grace, which was to be more fully revealed by the ministry of the apostle Paul – to include the Church as the Body of Christ in Union with Him – a new creation and joint-heirs of God’s Son – a heavenly citizenship and the indwelling Holy Spirit as a down-payment from God the Father – our Abba.
Abraham was a highly esteemed prophet and honoured as the great father of faith. Moses was the great prophet – reverenced by the many religions of the world, but John the Baptist is the greatest of all the prophets that have been sent by God. John was no more than a voice crying in the wilderness, prepare the way of the Lord. His witness was to both Jew and gentile – a double message of repentance and grace. The LAW of Moses was given to REVEAL sin... but GRACE through faith in Christ REMOVES sin.
Though among those born of women there is no one greater than John, nevertheless Christ told us that even the least person in the Kingdom of God is greater than John. John was a man sent from God, who came as a witness.. to bear witness about Jesus – the Word of God made flesh; the Messiah and King of Israel; the Saviour of ALL the world – the Light that illuminates every man that comes into the world… so that all might believe – through Him.
There was a very special man sent from God, whose name was John. But he came as a witness.. to bear witness about Jesus:- the Son of – God; the Messiah of Israel; the Light of the world, Who was full of grace and truth, that ALL might believe – through Him.
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