Books of the Book: John

The Baptist & the Early Disciples of John

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Deyvy Rodriguez & Jon Paulien


Series Code: JBOTB

Program Code: JBOTB00005B

00:01 And welcome back.
00:02 Well, Dr. Jon Paulien,
00:04 we are studying that the John, the Baptist,
00:07 he is denying these questions.
00:09 He said, "No, I'm not Elijah.
00:11 No, I'm not the prophet. No, I'm not the Christ."
00:13 He is almost putting himself down.
00:16 Whereas in other gospels, he is this great prophet.
00:19 And even Jesus said he was a great prophet.
00:21 Where he calls him Elijah? Right.
00:23 Here John denies he is Elijah
00:26 even when Jesus had called him.
00:28 And so why does John do that?
00:30 Why does he deny?
00:31 Why can't he just clearly go direct
00:34 to the answer who he is?
00:36 Well, the impression you gave
00:38 when you study carefully the history in the background
00:41 is that the Baptist movement didn't die when Jesus came.
00:45 Apparently, a lot of people didn't get the message that--
00:48 And by Baptist movement, you mean they were followers?
00:51 People who followed him.
00:52 I mean, you see even in these stories
00:54 as crowds of people coming to him.
00:56 You know, to hear his preaching.
00:57 In all the gospels, you have--
00:59 that's one of the things all four gospels has in common.
01:01 John's out in the desert. He is preaching.
01:04 Crowds of people are coming to him.
01:06 He is a sensation.
01:07 He is a rock star, you know, in their kind of world.
01:11 So John is this great figure
01:14 and he becomes great in order to point out the Messiah
01:17 when he comes 'cause the Messiah will not be
01:20 as obviously great as John when he first appears.
01:24 So he is there
01:25 to get the people's attention and then point him out.
01:28 But here in the Gospel of John happens what didn't happened.
01:34 Apparently, in the years between Matthew, Mark, and Luke,
01:38 which were probably written in '50s, '60s something like that,
01:41 now we are about 30-40 years later.
01:44 In the intervening time, something has happened.
01:47 Apparently, the Baptist movement didn't end when Jesus came.
01:54 For example, in the Book of Acts,
01:56 you have Apollos who was a follower,
01:59 who'd never even heard about the spirit,
02:01 he was a follower of the Baptist.
02:03 He missed a lot of the memos about Jesus.
02:06 Then you have also in the gospel--
02:08 in the Book of Acts,
02:10 there are stories about some people
02:13 who are following the Baptist.
02:15 They didn't baptized by John,
02:16 but they didn't know anything about Jesus.
02:18 So they evidently were continuing
02:21 the follower of the Baptists
02:23 until they ran into Paul and his companions.
02:26 And then there is a group of people
02:28 in ancient times called Mandaeans,
02:31 who continued to follow Baptist and they still exist today.
02:35 A many of them are in Iran.
02:38 You know, modern day Persia.
02:41 And they still continue
02:43 to worship the Baptist as the chief guy.
02:47 So, when you realize the Baptist movement continued
02:51 suddenly some of this makes sense.
02:54 Even what the Baptists says in this gospel made sense.
03:00 And it would seem reasonable
03:03 that this Baptist movement actually got kind of radical
03:06 because John lost his head for political reasons.
03:10 Do you remember the story?
03:12 He was saying stuff about the king and his wife.
03:15 Now that will get you in trouble, you see.
03:18 So he was taking a strong political kind of role,
03:23 and so it's possible that the followers of the Baptist
03:26 might have even gotten a bit challenging.
03:30 And the John, the Baptist was careful
03:31 not to draw people to himself.
03:34 That's what the Gospel of John is telling us. Right.
03:37 But evidently, there were some people
03:39 who after John, the Baptist was gone
03:41 were seeing him as a Messiah, seeing him as the light,
03:46 seeing him as Elijah, etcetera.
03:49 And the Gospel of John is correcting this
03:52 by bringing data to fore
03:54 that they'd overlooked about the Baptist.
03:57 And you asked the question,
04:00 who in his right mind would see the John as any rival to Jesus,
04:05 was a couple of things you need to know.
04:07 First of all, the Jews of that time
04:10 were expecting more than one Messiah.
04:13 When you go to the writings
04:15 between the old and New Testament,
04:16 you discover that they actually had two Messiahs.
04:20 One would be from the tribe of Judah
04:22 and the other from the tribe of Levi.
04:25 And so when you have the idea of two Messiahs,
04:28 where Jesus is from the tribe of Judah,
04:30 John is a priest, so he is from the tribe of Levi.
04:34 So that fits perfectly with the expectation
04:38 that they had at that time.
04:40 In the Old Testament, you had the king and the high priest.
04:45 You had Zerubbabel and Joshua.
04:49 You had the priestly Messiah
04:52 and the kingly Messiah at Qumran,
04:54 you know, where the Dead Sea scrolls were found.
04:56 You have this kind of a concept.
04:58 So the idea was the two Messiah.
05:01 So the question is which of these is greater?
05:04 And in Judaism, there is another concept that comes here
05:07 and that is that earlier is better.
05:10 Earlier is better.
05:12 If you come later, you're not as good as what came earlier.
05:16 I think of Jesus, when he says,
05:18 you know, they said Moses allowed us to divorce our wives
05:20 and Jesus says, "I know He did."
05:22 But in the beginning it wasn't so.
05:24 Jesus is appealing back earlier as authority for them.
05:28 He is accepting there the kind of concept that they had.
05:32 So to convince them that really he shouldn't divorce.
05:36 When it comes to Sabbath, you know, people say,
05:39 "Well, the Sabbath is something at the Jews did."
05:42 And Jesus said, "No, wait a minute.
05:44 In the beginning, man was made not for the Sabbath,
05:48 the Sabbath was not made from-- that was ago.
05:51 Sabbath was made for man
05:52 not man for the Sabbath, you see."
05:54 And that man is speaking of Adam.
05:57 So you see Jesus had a tenancy to go back earlier
06:00 to establish the thing and say,
06:03 if you want to reform something,
06:04 you go back to an earlier period when it was good.
06:06 So it makes sense what the Jews were saying.
06:10 The high priest was there for 400 years
06:13 before there was a king.
06:15 The high priest anoints the king and puts the crown on his head.
06:19 So they were thinking that if John came first
06:23 and he was from the Levi, he was greater than Jesus.
06:26 And so, what does the text here tell us?
06:30 How does it respond?
06:32 And for the gospel writers, Jesus is both priest and king.
06:36 He is the sacrificial lamb,
06:38 He is that the priest of ancient Israel,
06:42 and He is also the king
06:45 and the model for Jesus was guy name Melchizedek.
06:48 You remember Melchizedek in the Book of Hebrews?
06:50 He is both king and priest.
06:52 And he is before Aaron.
06:54 So he trumps the priestly line.
06:56 He is the king and priest that came before Aaron and David.
07:00 So the New Testament writers are arguing
07:04 with some of these concepts, these reveals to Jesus.
07:08 And what is John's answer in the prologue?
07:12 How does he answer?
07:13 Who came first? Jesus.
07:17 How would you know that he came first?
07:19 'Cause He was in the beginning from eternity was God.
07:24 So the prologue sets the table for these statements.
07:28 When John says, "He is greater than me
07:30 because he came he was before me."
07:34 That made no sense to the people here in John talk.
07:36 Obviously, 'cause some of them didn't even follow it, you know.
07:40 But the reader of the gospel with the prologue and my--
07:44 now he understands, "Oh, Jesus was earlier.
07:48 He was greater than the Baptist."
07:51 So the Gospel of John is trying to restore the Baptist
07:55 to the place that God actually intended for Him to be,
08:00 and this chapter 1,
08:02 you won't find it in Matthew, Mark, or Luke,
08:04 but it's building on the story that's going on
08:08 behind the scenes in that first century.
08:12 And then He says He makes that answer now.
08:16 He says, "I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness."
08:20 So He then--after He denies three times then he says,
08:24 "Okay, that's not who I am, but let me tell you who I am.
08:27 I am that voice of one crying in the wilderness,
08:30 make straight the way of the Lord."
08:33 So his only mission is to point out Jesus.
08:38 He is not be a rock star, that's what happened.
08:41 But John, he was deferring all of that praise
08:44 and all the glory, so he can point that Jesus.
08:47 Why don't you read verses 29-34 because it is there
08:52 that John actually carries out His mission?
08:55 "The next day John saw Jesus coming told him he said,
08:58 'Behold the Lamb of God,
09:00 who takes away the sin of the world
09:03 this is he of whom I said,
09:05 after me comes a man who is preferred before me,
09:08 for he was before me.
09:11 I did not know him but that he should be revealed to Israel,
09:14 therefore I came baptizing with water.
09:18 And John witness saying,
09:20 I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove,
09:23 and he remained upon him.
09:26 I did not know him,
09:27 but he who sent me to baptize with water, said to me,
09:30 upon whom you see the Spirit descending,
09:33 and remaining on him,
09:34 this is he who baptizes with the Holy Sprit.
09:38 And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God."
09:44 So here he accomplishes his mission
09:46 that is what he came for when Jesus comes to be baptized.
09:50 It even says John didn't know him.
09:53 They apparently were somewhat related,
09:56 but it maybe that they were separated,
09:58 you know, from a very early time and so the adult Jesus,
10:01 the adult John did not know each other.
10:03 John would not have recognized Jesus
10:06 if he saw him on the street,
10:07 but the Holy Spirit said to him, "This is the one.
10:11 This is the one that you where to point out."
10:13 And so John points to Jesus.
10:16 He is setting the table for Jesus here.
10:20 And in the rest of this chapter that's what we see happening.
10:24 The disciples of John start coming to Jesus.
10:28 You're seeing the transition between the two.
10:32 So let's take a look at verses 36 and 37,
10:35 we can see that transition.
10:36 "And looking at Jesus as he walked,
10:39 he said, 'Behold the Lamb of God.
10:42 The two disciples heard him speak,
10:44 and they followed Jesus.'"
10:46 Now one could ask the question, which Lamb of God?
10:50 You know, is it the past over lamb?
10:52 Is it the sacrificial lamb? Is it the lamb of Isaiah 53?
10:56 You know, you have all these different options.
10:58 I think in John particularly is a passover lamb.
11:02 Because it mentions at the crucifixion
11:05 that no bone was broken because in the passover,
11:10 they came at passover time.
11:12 So that's more of a technical question,
11:14 but you'll notice that when John identifies Jesus
11:19 some of His disciples immediately follow
11:22 and they go on their way.
11:25 And then notice verse 46.
11:28 "And Nathanael said to him,
11:30 'Can anything good come out of Nazareth?'
11:32 Philip said to him, 'Come and see.'"
11:35 So first of all, these two disciples John points to,
11:40 they find the couple of more,
11:42 Peter and Philip and then Philip finds Nathaniel,
11:46 and so the thing is kind of cascading
11:49 and they're coming to Jesus.
11:50 So it's drawing the transition
11:53 between the time of John and the time of Jesus.
11:57 Just a note on this,
11:58 can any good thing come out of the Nazareth?
12:01 You had three types of towns in Galilee.
12:04 There were strict Jewish towns.
12:07 There were loose Jewish towns
12:11 where they didn't follow laws all that great.
12:14 And then there were Gentile towns,
12:16 your Greek towns like, Sepphoris, so Tiberias.
12:22 So you have these three types of towns.
12:24 Cana and Nazareth were actually not far apart.
12:28 I could imagine that Cana was an observing town
12:32 and Nazareth seems to be loose area,
12:34 you know, not so serious about the Jewish faith.
12:37 I can imagine when Nathan was a little child,
12:40 you know, his father would say,
12:41 "Boy, I tell you, when Messiah comes,
12:43 he is definitely not gonna be coming from Nazareth."
12:47 They probably-- Anywhere but Nazareth.
12:48 Yeah, and exactly,
12:49 they're probably pretty frustrated with Nazareth.
12:52 So, you know, underlying here you see the skeptic Nathaniel
12:57 and yet he is really the faithful one, you know.
13:00 He is not easy to persuade,
13:02 but once he finds, Jesus is truly who He is.
13:06 He falls behind 100%.
13:09 Well, Dr. Paulien, we want to thank you
13:10 for being with us again and do some Bible study.
13:13 And thank you too friends for joining us.
13:16 I hope that you also make that decision
13:18 to follow Jesus Christ always. God bless.


Revised 2014-12-17