Text: Mark 1 "In this (salvation) you greatly rejoice..." 1 Peter 1:6
"In this (salvation) you greatly rejoice..." 1 Peter 1:6
THE FOCUS OF JOHN
John’s task was “to prepare the way of the Lord”. That task saw him preach on the theme of repentance from sins. As people were deeply convicted and moved John gave them baptism.
Some stayed on and became the disciples of John. They liked what he symbolized. They also liked his teachings. To all who have heard him, the major theme of his preaching ministry was his focus on the Messiah.
“And he preached saying,
‘There comes One after me who is mightier than I,
whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose.
I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you
with the Holy Spirit.”
1. Greatness compared
Many must have thought that John was a great prophet, and thus they followed him as his disciples. He was indeed a great prophet. But John knew that he would absolutely pale in comparison to the Messiah! He reminded his disciples that there was “One mightier”.
2. Abject humility
In the ancient days, the rich and the powerful owned slaves. Some had many slaves in their households. Slaves were ranked. Those who were skilled could become managing stewards of the household. Among the lowest levels were those whose task was to take off the shoes of the master when he comes home. This slave would have to take off the sandals of his master and then wash his feet.
As John thought about the Messiah, he considered himself unworthy to even be given this role. What tremendous humility John displayed.
3. Recognition of the Messiah’s greater ministry
John had a clear understanding of the doctrine of baptism.
a) The baptism of repentance
This was only a preparatory thing. Those who would one day come to faith in Jesus would have to be baptised in His name. This was what John did.
b) The baptism that Jesus instituted
All who belonged to the Lord would be baptised in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This was what the disciples of Jesus would do.
c) The Baptism of the Spirit
This was something that Jesus alone could perform. Only He can give the Spirit of God to those who belonged to His kingdom.