Good morning everyone.
Welcome to Sunday School.
Our lesson is now on the Bible characters.
We have learned about Adam, Eve, and Abraham from the Old Testament.
Their stories taught us valuable lessons.
Today we will study another character.
This time we will go to the New Testament.
We will study the life of a unique man.
He was the man who proclaimed the coming of the Messiah.
He was bold at preaching.
He even dared to challenge the governor of his immorality.
He was the one who baptized people back then.
He was John the Baptist.
Our key verse for today’s lesson is from [Matthew 11:11].
Let us read it all aloud together.
Matthew 11:11 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.
The story of John the Baptist was predicted in the Old Testament by the prophets, namely Isaiah and Malachi.
Let us go to [Isaiah 40:3].
Isaiah 40:3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
And also read [Malachi 3:1].
Malachi 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.
God is telling the people that He will reveal Himself to them one day.
When that day comes, He will send the messenger to start telling them about the coming of the Messiah.
The Bible tells us that John the Baptist was that messenger who prepared the way to proclaim the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let us go to [Mark 1:2].
Mark 1:2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
If you read [Mark 1:2] in other modern English translations, you will see something like this.
as it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way” (New International Version)
As it is written in Isaiah the prophet,”Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way, (English Standard Version)
As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “BEHOLD, I SEND MY MESSENGER AHEAD OF YOU, WHO WILL PREPARE YOUR WAY; (New American Standard Bible)
Was Isaiah only the prophet who predicted the coming of the Messiah?
The answer is “no.”
The scripture showed us that Malachi foretold the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ as well.
This is one of the reasons that you can be confident in the authorized King James Version of its accuracy.
He is called John the Baptist because he baptized people.
John the Baptist had a unique character.
Let us read [Mark 1:6].
Mark 1:6 And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey;
He was clothed with camel’s hair.
He ate locusts and wild honey.
John the Baptist was a brave man.
He did not compromise with the preaching.
One time he preached against the adulterous marriage of the governor, Herod.
With that, Herod prisoned him.
Let us go to [Mark 6:17-18].
Mark 6:17 For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife: for he had married her.
Mark 6:18 For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife.
Herod had a brother. His name was Philip.
Herod married Herodias, who was his’s brother wife.
Herodias was the name of that woman.
Let us see what Herodias and Herod thought about John in [Mark 6:19-20].
Mark 6:19 Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not:
Mark 6:20 For 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.
Herodias was mad at John the Baptist.
She would like to have him killed, but she did not have a chance yet.
Herod respected John.
He knew that John was a just and holy man.
John spoke the truth concerning the sinful conduct of him.
Next, let us read [Mark 6:21-23].
Mark 6:21 And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee;
Mark 6:22 And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee.
Mark 6:23 And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give itthee, unto the half of my kingdom.
Herod organized his birthday and welcomed captains and high-ranking officials to attend.
Daughter of Herodias came and danced to please him.
Herod promised to do anything for her if she only asked.
He even said he would give half of his kingdom to her.
Next, let us go to [Mark 6:24-25].
Mark 6:24 And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist.
Mark 6:25 And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist.
She went to ask Herodias.
Herodias told the daughter to ask for the head of John the Baptist.
She went back to Herod and demanded the head of John the Baptist on the charger.
Next, please go to [Mark 6:26-28].
Mark 6:26 And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath’s sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her.
Mark 6:27 And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison,
Mark 6:28 And brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother.
Herod could not deny this request.
He must do whatever he has said.
Herod then sent the executioner to behead John the Baptist.
The daughter brought the head of John the Baptist to Herodias.
John the Baptist was the God-appointed messenger to announce the arrival of Jesus.
He was a preacher with the theme of repentance.
He was fearless and uncompromising to confront even the governor.
He was executed because of his preaching against sin!
What are the lessons learned from the story of John the Baptist?
- God does not guarantee an easy or safe life for those who serve him.
- Doing what God wants is the greatest life investment.
- Standing for the biblical truth is more important than life itself.