John was asked "Why baptize?”

A Methodist church contacted the pastor of a large downtown Baptist church and made an unusual request. They had several who had recently joined their church who wanted to be baptized by immersion rather than sprinkling, the church’s normal mode of baptism. Their minister request … More

Baptism

The Sanhedrin is alarmed at the ministry of John the Baptist, so they send a delegation of theologians to question him. Their first question was, “Who art thou?” (v. 19). His answer was short and simple; “I am not the Christ” (v.20). Then they asked him; “Art thou Elias (Elijah)?” (v. 21). The prophet Elijah was expected because of Deuteronomy 18:15. John stated that he was not any of the expected prophetic figures. He explained, however that his ministry was described in the Old Testament. (Isaiah 40:3) and that he was a fulfillment of that prophecy.

The Pharisees then asked, “Who are you? We need an answer for those who sent us. What do you have to say about yourself” (v. 22)? John replied in the words of the prophet Isaiah: “I am a voice shouting in the wilderness, Clear the way for the Lord’s coming’ ” (v. 23)!

It is evident that this investigating committee is also very concerned about all the people John is baptizing so they ask “Why baptizest thou then?” (vv. 24-25). John explains that his baptism was in water, but Jesus would come and baptize with a Spiritual baptism. What he was doing is only a sign of what Christ will do with the cleansing power of the Holy Spirit (Mark 1:8). John told them, “There is someone in our presence that I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandal” (vv. 26-27). This took place in Bethany, an area east of the Jordan River near where John was baptizing (v. 28).

Application

John came to point people to Jesus. I need to think of people I know who need someone to point them to Jesus Then I need to be willing to be that pointer,

John 1:19-28 (English Standard Version)


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