TEXT: Matthew 11:7-15
7 And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?
8 But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses.
9 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.
10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.
15 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Mary Fairchild said, “Through God’s direction, John the Baptist challenged the people to prepare for the coming of the Messiah by turning away from sin and being baptized as a symbol of repentance. Although he held no power or influence in the Jewish political system, he delivered his message with the force of authority. People could not resist the overpowering truth of his words, as they flocked by the hundreds to hear him and be baptized. And even as he attracted the attention of the crowds, he never lost sight of his mission—to point people to Christ.”
Some people I know are on a holiday working their way through outback roads in Australia. Unfortunately they can’t travel on the dirt roads at the moment because of an unexpected rainy season. They have to stick to the highways because if they get off the track they will sink in the mud and never get out.
A policeman friend of mine told me how he did just that. He said he was driving along one minute and the next he was sinking into the road. He was stuck in the middle of nowhere out in western Queensland. There were no trees to hitch a winch to, just scrub. About 5 or 6 other vehicles got stuck trying to get him out. In the end it took a crane from a nearby mine to get them all out of the mud. By that time the mud was half way up the doors. Not good to be engulfed by the road you are trying to drive on. The only way to survive the wet season in the outback is to drive on the sealed roads..
There’s even a sealed highway through the middle of the Nullarbor Desert in Australia. But what intrigues me is who actually makes roads in the desert? I imagine road workers and crews from the outback to be no-nonsense hard-working men. The only people they would see for miles would be the tourists. Of course they are the best people to ask questions about the way ahead and their survival techniques would be invaluable.
Matthew 11:9 describes such a man. He was a prophet. He knew the road ahead. Jesus described him as “more than a prophet”. What is he getting at? He goes on to describe him in effect as a road worker, preparing the way for Jesus to come.
Out in the middle of nowhere surrounded only by tourists who were trying to make their way through a wasteland created by their own sinfulness and self centred living, John the Baptiser was telling a hardhitting no-nonsense of how to survive such a wilderness and how to get back on the road that leads to you to God.
In our last message, we saw that John the Baptist was the greatest of all time because he stood firm in his message. Here are two more reasons why John was the G.O.A.T.
Second, John the Baptist was the G.O.A.T. because he denied his own comforts and worldly power. The Bible tells us that John lived out in the wilderness, and “had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.” Jesus contrasts John with people who wear soft clothes and lived in the courts of kings. Mark tells us that “Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.“ Like some pastors do today, John could have used His leverage with Herod to compromise himself and gain material comforts and political power. But John rejected this temptation and remained in the wilderness so that He could preach God’s word. We should not aspire to worldly comforts when it compromises our walk with God. We must be willing to cast our lot in with suffering if that is necessary to follow in the steps of Jesus.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 18:8: “Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.