Christianity, Jesus, John the Baptist | The Jesus History Project
The evangelist Luke wrote of a biological relationship between the mothers of Jesus and John the Baptist. Reportedly, the Angel Gabriel told. In Matthew, John initially declares himself unworthy to baptize Jesus (). In Luke, the baptism takes place after John has been incarcerated (Luke ), the. John is unique in the story of salvation. He's the inter-testamental lynchpin: part Hebrew prophet, part Christian missionary. His strange diet and.
And his disciples came and took the body and buried it, and they went and told Jesus. English Standard Version Main article: Since he is described as a priest of the course of Abijah and Elizabeth as one of the daughters of Aaron this would make John a descendant of Aaron on both his father's and mother's side. There is no mention of a family relationship between John and Jesus in the other Gospels, and Raymond E.
Brown has described it as "of dubious historicity". The text briefly mentions that John is imprisoned and later beheaded by Herod, but the Gospel of Luke lacks the story of a step-daughter dancing for Herod and requesting John's head.
His wife, whose name was Elizabeth, was also a descendant of Aaron. They were both righteous people, who lived blameless lives, guiding their steps by all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord.
But they had no child, Elizabeth being barren; and both of them were advanced in years. One day, when Zechariah was officiating as priest before God, during the turn of his division, it fell to him by lot, in accordance with the practice among the priests, to go into the Temple of the Lord and burn incense; and, as it was the Hour of Incense, the people were all praying outside.
And an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right of the Altar of Incense. Zechariah was startled at the sight and was awe-struck.
But the angel said to him: He will be to you a joy and a delight; and many will rejoice over his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; he will not drink any wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit from the very hour of his birth, and will reconcile many of the Israelites to the Lord their God.
He will go before him in the spirit and with the power of Elijah, 'to reconcile fathers to their children' and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, and so make ready for the Lord a people prepared for him. And now you will be silent and unable to speak until the day when this takes place, because you did not believe what I said, though my words will be fulfilled in due course.
When he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they perceived that he had seen a vision there.
- Who Was John the Baptist?
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But Zechariah kept making signs to them, and remained dumb. And, as soon as his term of service was finished, he returned home. After this his wife, Elizabeth, became pregnant and lived in seclusion for five months. Her name was Mary. Gabriel came into her presence and greeted her, saying: And now, you will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will give him the name Jesus.
The child will be great and will be called 'Son of the Most High,' and the Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David, and he will reign over the descendants of Jacob for ever; And to his kingdom there will be no end.
Soon after this Mary set out, and made her way quickly into the hill-country, to a town in Judah; and there she went into Zechariah's house and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the child moved within her, and Elizabeth herself was filled with the Holy Spirit, and cried aloud: But how have I this honor, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, as soon as your greeting reached my ears, the child moved within me with delight!
Happy indeed is she who believed that the promise which she received from the Lord would be fulfilled. Great things has the Almighty done for me; And holy is his name. From age to age his mercy rests On those who honor him. Mighty are the deeds of his arm; He scatters the proud with their own devices, he casts down princes from their thrones, and the humble he uplifts, the hungry he loads with gifts, and the rich he sends empty away.
He has stretched out his hand to his servant Israel, Ever mindful of his mercy As he promised to our forefathers For Abraham and his race for ever.
Who Was John the Baptist? : Christian Courier
When Elizabeth's time came, she gave birth to a son; and her neighbors and relations, hearing of the great goodness of the Lord to her, came to share her joy. A week later they met to circumcise the child, and were about to call him 'Zechariah' after his father, when his mother spoke up: Asking for a writing-tablet, he wrote the words — 'His name is John. All their neighbors were awe-struck at this; and throughout the hill-country of Judea the whole story was much talked about; and all who heard it kept it in mind, asking one another — "What can this child be destined to become?
Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit, and, speaking under inspiration, said: This was the oath which he swore to our forefather Abraham — That we should be rescued from the hands of our enemies, and should serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness, In his presence all our days. And you, child, will be called prophet of the Most High, For you will go before the Lord to make ready his way, to give his people the knowledge of salvation In the forgiveness of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God, Whereby the Dawn will break on us from heaven, to give light to those who live in darkness and the shadow of death, And guide our feet into the way of peace.
And John went through the whole district of the Jordan, proclaiming baptism on repentance, for the forgiveness of sins.
This was in fulfillment of what is said in the writings of the prophet Isaiah — 'The voice of one crying aloud in the wilderness: Every chasm will be filled, Every mountain and hill will be leveled, The winding ways will be straightened, The rough roads made smooth, and everyone will see the salvation of God.
Who has prompted you to seek refuge from the coming judgment? Let your lives, then, prove your repentance; and do not begin to say among yourselves 'Abraham is our ancestor,' for I tell you that out of these stones God is able to raise descendants for Abraham! Already, indeed, the axe is lying at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that fails to bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. And when some soldiers on active service asked "And we — what are we to do?
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing-fan is in his hand so that he may clear his threshing-floor, and store the grain in his barn, but the chaff he will burn with a fire that cannot be put out. But Prince Herod, being rebuked by John respecting Herodias, the wife of Herod's brother, and for all the evil things that he had done, crowned them all by shutting John up in prison. Now after the baptism of all the people, and when Jesus had been baptized and was still praying, the heavens opened, and the Holy Spirit came down on him in the form of a dove, and from the heavens came a voice — "You are my dearly loved son; you bring me great joy.
So he summoned two of them, and sent them to the Master to ask — "Are you 'the coming one,' or are we to look for some one else?
So his answer to the question was: And blessed is the person who finds no hindrance in me. A reed waving in the wind? Just what is this violence? I believe we find clues in the Book of Acts and also in the Gospels: He was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and nothing came of it. He too was killed, and all who followed him were scattered. For all who take hold of the sword will die by the sword.
And the one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one. The events surrounding the births of both John and Jesus may have helped to fuel some of this eschatological enthusiasm.
Then, too, the political situation in Israel at that time may have played a role. Even the disciples seemed ready and willing if it came to a show of arms Luke I see a rather clear chronological scheme laid out here: Jesus seems to be saying that a certain element of Israelites who tended toward violence was attracted to John, his ministry, and his message.
Why would this be the case? For one thing, it would seem as though John were the only prophet in those days. Before that, there were a substantial number of Old Testament prophets who prophesied.
The law, too, had its prophetic aspects.
I do not believe that Jesus is seeking to be critical of John or of his ministry. No wonder John had some doubts. Jesus did not seem to be playing out the script John and others had for Messiah in their minds. I am reminded of a television commercial that ran a number of years ago. The other statement in verse 15 underscores the qualification in verse This is an exhortation for the reader to think more deeply than merely on the surface. It is not a challenge to think literally, but to think beyond what is literal — that is what parables are about.
They are not meant for everyone to understand. John is Elijah in a more symbolic sense. John was Elijah-like in his appearance. This was hardly an accident. John purposed to take on this look. Both John and Elijah spent time living in more remote places, eating food that was different from typical folks. John made it clear that Jesus was far greater than he Matthew 3: Elijah was more a man of violence; Elisha was more a man of peace.
Elijah had his doubts, when his spectacular confrontation on Mount Carmel seemed to fail. Is this the way John also felt? It was through others, whom he was to designate, that God would bring about significant changes in the nation 1 Kings My point is that the similarities between John and Elijah are numerous, I believe. These two really were alike. Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
No, you will be thrown down to Hades! For if the miracles done among you had been done in Sodom, it would have continued to this day. Think of the way Matthew has crafted this Gospel to show the building excitement and the enthusiastic expectation that Messiah would soon appear. The disciples have been sent out two-by-two, and they have apparently returned.
As I mentioned earlier, no Gospel actually records what happened when the twelve went out, performing miracles and proclaiming that the kingdom of heaven was near. The closest we come is a brief description of the response of the seventy-two when they returned from a similar mission: Yes, Father, for this was your gracious will. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son decides to reveal him.
John the Baptist
Notice that the seventy-two give no account of the success of their mission. That is, they mention nothing about how many actually repented in response to their ministry. When they return to Jesus, all these disciples can talk about is how much power they had — even the demons had to submit to their authority! The words which follow are quite similar to those we find in Matthew 11 in our text.
Up until now, Matthew has given us reports as to how people responded to Jesus Matthew 4: It is not a good report; indeed it is a shocking assessment of how men have responded to the gospel.
In spite of the popularity of Jesus with the crowds, very little repentance is evident. Jesus sent His disciples out to proclaim the approaching arrival of the kingdom of heaven. Now, Jesus indicts those Israelite cities who had most frequently witnessed the presence, preaching, and miracle-working power of Jesus, and now of His disciples. Jesus likened that generation to children who complained because He would not dance to their tune. These were fickle folks.
Notice how our Lord continues the theme of His relationship to John the Baptist. The two of them were very different, but that generation rejected them both.
Then Jesus and His disciples came along, both eating and drinking, and they accused Him of being a glutton and a drunkard, and worse yet! One who associated with sinners. The link between John and Jesus was buttressed by the fact that this generation rejected them both.
It was not to draw large crowds or to attract a huge following, but rather to call sinners to repentance. Jesus names specific cities. We know almost nothing about Chorazin. It is mentioned only here and in Luke From what our Lord says here, it is apparent that this city saw a great deal of our Lord, and yet they did not repent. Bethsaida is a different story.
Jesus may very well have been in or near Bethsaida as He spoke these words of rebuke see Luke 9: We know from John 1: Jesus very clearly assumes that there are degrees of punishment in verses Greater punishment is due those who have been given greater revelation, and then have rejected it. Less punishment goes to those who have acted with less revelation. This same principle is taught in Luke Thus, Chorazin and Bethsaida two predominantly Jewish towns where Jesus did much of His ministry will be subject to greater judgment when the Messiah returns than will Tyre 10 and Sidon verses Tyre and Sidon get a fair amount of attention from the Old Testament prophets Isaiah 23; Jeremiah This was the home of the Canaanite woman who asked Jesus to cast the demon from her daughter Matthew These were, by and large, Gentile towns seldom touched by the ministry or message of Messiah.
Our Lord next draws the same contrast between Capernaum and Sodom in verses 23 and Many of His miracles and a good part of His teaching were done there.
No city had more exposure to Jesus, His preaching, and His infinite power than Capernaum. And yet the city did not repent. Because of this, Jesus indicated that it would be better for Sodom than for Capernaum on the day of judgment.
Why does Jesus ask the city of Capernaum if it expects to be exalted to heaven? What was it about Capernaum that led to this kind of arrogance?
Two thoughts come to mind here. First, Capernaum may have taken great pride in being the headquarters of Jesus. The tourist business must have really been booming in Capernaum with all the people flocking there to get a glimpse of Jesus — better yet, to get healed by Jesus.
Second, the arrogance of Capernaum is reminiscent of the arrogance of Tyre, as described by Isaiah and Ezekiel: Thus John the Baptist came calling on people to repent of their sins, but he also introduced the symbol of baptism to show that the guilt of their sins had been washed away. There were other prophetic religious figures from Galilee who attracted considerable followings before falling foul of the Roman authorities or their client kings, the most famous being John the Baptist.
His upbringing as a member of the Jewish elite and his status as a Roman citizen made him an unusual convert to Christianity, and he started to take the fledgling religious group in a completely new and ambitious direction. Paul began missionary work across Syrian, Asian Minor and Greece, and it had a galvanizing effect; by the time of his death in the 60s the sect was still small, although well established in many of the larger cities in these areas.
Perhaps because of the hostility they faced, originally from the Jewish elite and later form the Roman authorities, the Christians organised themselves well. They had a clearly hierarchy and strong leadership from bishops and priests.
Their community had an ethos of charity that made it very attractive to the poorer sections of Roman urban society, who always looked favourably on any one who fed them and buried their dead. And his central concerns fit comfortably into the continuing debate within the Judaism of the day, often characterized as they are with reformist tendencies: The story of Jesus was certainly not a unique one in first century Judaea.
Indeed, many scholars assign sayings that express an admiration for John the Baptist Matt The message of the Baptist was political and utopian, elements which are definitely present in the missionary activity of followers of Jesus and in the tradition of sayings used by them. Helmut Koester — Professor Harvard The Jewish historian Josephus tells us a number of stories about characters whose career could be crudely summarised as following: So a whole bunch of people may go with him, maybe thousands go with him out to this deserted, unsecured place and they wait for what Josephus calls the tokens of their deliverance.
And the Romans send a vicious police action out there and kill everybody.
Who was John the Baptist? (11 things to know and share)
When that kind of police action is perpetrated against what we might consider harmless fanatics the Romans are really giving us a very good historical lesson in how domination works.
Justin Meggitt — Cambridge No person is more important for understanding the historical figure of Jesus than John the Baptist. Justin Meggitt — Cambridge There is, however, some disagreement between the New Testament sources as to exactly what kind of forerunner John was.
Although the synoptic gospels present him as a prophet like figure Matt In the Fourth Gospel the baptismal events are recounted by John after they have taken place.
They may also have been concerned that the act of baptism by Jon could have been interpreted as indicating that the one baptized was in fact inferior to the one doing the baptism. Paul, for example makes no reference to him.