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Dictionary of Bible Themes – 5098 John the Baptist
5098 John the Baptist

5098 John the Baptist

The forerunner of Jesus Christ, born to elderly parents of the Aaronic line. His public ministry began in the Judean wilderness with a call to repentance and baptism. His ministry is seen as a fulfilment of OT prophecy, in preparation for the ministry of Jesus Christ. He was executed by Herod.

John’s birth and early years

His birth and naming Lk 1:57-60 See also Lk 1:5-13,61-66

Prophetic words over his life Lk 1:14-17 See also Lk 1:76-79

He was related to Jesus Christ Lk 1:36

His early years Lk 1:80

John’s ministry

His simple lifestyle Mt 3:4 pp Mk 1:6; Mt 11:18 pp Lk 7:33; Lk 7:24-25

His call for repentance Lk 3:3 pp Mt 3:1 pp Mk 1:4

He fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy Mt 3:3 pp Mk 1:2-3 pp Lk 3:4-6 Just as roads were improved in the ancient world in preparation for the visit of a king, so John calls for people to prepare spiritually and morally for the imminent coming of the Messiah. See also Isa 40:3; Jn 1:23

His practice of baptism Mk 1:4-5 pp Mt 3:5-6 See also Jn 3:23; Jn 10:40

His challenge to established religion Mt 3:7-10 pp Lk 3:7-9 See also Lk 3:10-14

The contrast of his own baptism with that which the Messiah would bring Lk 3:15-17 pp Mt 3:11-12 pp Mk 1:7-8

His testimony to Jesus Christ Jn 1:15 See also Jn 1:6-8,21-27; Jn 10:41

He recognises that his own ministry must decrease, while that of Jesus Christ will increase Jn 3:27-30

John’s baptising of Jesus Christ

See also Mt 3:13-15 pp Mk 1:9 pp Lk 3:21 John’s reluctance to baptise Jesus Christ lay in his recognition of who Jesus was and the apparent inappropriateness of such a baptism; Jn 1:29-34

John and his disciples

John had disciples Jn 1:35-37; Jn 3:25; Jn 4:1

He taught them to pray Lk 11:1

His disciples become envious of Jesus Christ Jn 3:25-26

He sends his disciples to question Jesus Christ Mt 11:2-6 pp Lk 7:18-23 Locked up in prison, John needed reassurance that his expectations about Jesus Christ had been well-founded.

John’s disciples and the first Christians Ac 18:24-19:7

John’s imprisonment and death

His confrontation with Herod leads to his imprisonment Lk 3:19-20 See also Mt 14:3-5 pp Mk 6:17-20

His execution Mt 14:6-12 pp Mk 6:21-29

Some thought Jesus Christ to be John risen from the dead

Mk 8:27-28 pp Mt 16:13-14 See also Mt 14:1-2 pp Mk 6:14-16 pp Lk 9:7-9

Jesus Christ’s estimation of John

Jesus Christ honours him Mt 11:11 pp Lk 7:28

Jesus Christ sees him as marking the end of the old covenant and the arrival of the kingdom Lk 16:16 See also Mt 11:12-13

Jesus Christ sees him as the promised Elijah Mt 11:14 On the basis of Malachi’s prophecy (Mal 4:5), it was widely accepted that Elijah must come before the Messiah could appear. This identification would have been reinforced by John dressing like Elijah (see 2Ki 1:8). See also Mt 11:10; Mal 3:1; Mt 17:11-13 pp Mk 9:11-13

See also

2510Christ, baptism of
3242Holy Spirit, baptism with

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