Tag Archives: John the Baptist

Soul-ed Out for Jesus

Text: Mark 1:4-11

ticketsProp: Some movie or theater tickets.

Summary: John the Baptist was completely committed to preparing the way for Jesus. He pointed others to Jesus.

Have you ever been to a movie or theater play that was so popular that all the tickets sold out? People stand in line for hours to get tickets to great performances or events. Today I want to tell you about the person who was the warm-up act for Jesus. His purpose in life was to get people ready for Jesus. His name was John, and he became known as John the Baptist.

(Read Mark 1:4-7.) Large crowds came from all over the land of Judea to hear John preach. John had sell-out crowds because he was sold out for Jesus. John drew large numbers of people because he was completely committed to the task God had given him. He urged people to repent of their sins. He baptized them with water. This was a visible way of cleansing people, of washing away their sins. He was preparing their hearts for a very important person: Jesus!

John the Baptist used every chance to tell others that Jesus was coming. He pointed others to Jesus. He did not try to take credit for himself. In fact, he was so humble that he didn’t even consider himself worthy to be a servant to Jesus and carry his sandals (verse 7). The people were eager to hear what this wild man in the wilderness had to say. John was wearing clothes made from camel’s hair and living off the land, eating locusts and wild honey. John did not try to change his message to suit his audience. He boldly proclaimed the message God told him to give. He stayed focused on his mission of preparing the way for Jesus.

(Read Mark 1:8.) John baptized with water but he knew Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit. John prepared their hearts so Jesus could change their lives. We are called to give our lives and our souls to Jesus. We need to be sold out for Jesus like John the Baptist was, or you might say, Soul-ed out for Jesus. If we do that, then Jesus will change our lives. The servant who is totally committed to God’s will and following Jesus will be used in a mighty way by God.

Dear Lord Jesus: Help me to dedicate myself to following you more closely each day. Amen.

©2002 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.

Prepare the Way

He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias. – John 1:23

Text: Isaiah 40:3-5; John 1:23, 29

Prop: toy bulldozer, a cardboard box filled with sand and a few large rocks to remove

Summary: The prophet John the Baptist announced that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah. He fulfilled the words spoken by the prophet Isaiah of a voice in the wilderness clearing the way for the Lord.

Do you ever play in a sandbox? When I was your age I used to play in the sand a lot. Sometimes I played with Tonka® toys like this toy bulldozer. I could pretend to build roads and highways. Whenever I came to some rocks in the path I would have to remove them. [Demonstrate clearing a road in the dirt, having to remove some rocks in the way.) That made the road smooth so toy cars could ride on them. Today I want to share how a prophet spoke about preparing the way for Jesus to come.

A long time ago the prophet Isaiah spoke some words about making a highway in the wilderness. Let’s read about it. (Read Isaiah 40:3-5.) The wilderness around the Judean hills in Israel is very rugged and rocky. They have lots of rocks and are full of little hills and valleys. Even if you had lots of real bulldozers it would be very hard to make a highway. You would have to clear out a lot of rocks and boulders (big rocks), then spend a great amount of time cutting paths in the hills and filling in the valleys. It would be a huge task. So what was he talking about?

Isaiah said God’s messenger would announce that the Messiah was about to come to Jerusalem. God was coming to town! It was big news and a big event! If someone really important was coming to your house, you would probably make sure the pathway leading to your house was picked up. No tricycles or skateboards would be left in the way to trip over. John the Baptist was the messenger Isaiah spoke about. (Read John 1:23.) He told everyone to prepare their hearts because God’s chosen one, the Messiah, was coming to see them. John the Baptist told the poor and humble people that God cared about them. He told the religious leaders (Pharisees), who thought they did not need to repent, that God was not pleased with them. He urged everyone to repent and get ready for God’s visit. Repent means to turn around from doing bad things, and turn toward God and do what is right.

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. (John 1:29) John was a witness for Jesus. John the Baptist said that Jesus would offer his life as a sacrifice for everyone who sinned. John was bold in telling others that Jesus was the Son of God. We should be like John and tell others about Jesus also. We should prepare the way for Jesus in our hearts and repent of our sins.

Let’s pray. Dear Lord Jesus, I’m sorry for the bad things I’ve done. Help me to tell others about you. Amen.

©2002 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.