I.   John’s Witness to himself
   John 1:19-28
  19. And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him,
          Who art thou?
   20. And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.
   21. And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet?
          And he answered, No.
   22. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us.          
          What sayest thou of thyself?
   23. He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as
         said the prophet Esaias.
   24. And they which were sent were of the Pharisees.
   25. And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor
         Elias, neither that prophet?
   26. John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom
         ye know not;
   27. He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy
         to unloose.
   28. These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.

   [A]  Verse nineteen -         
           [1] In verse nineteen, John states that the Jews sent Priest and Levites out to ask John
                   who he was.
           [2] The word, Jews, occurs about seventy times, in the Gospel of John -
                   [a]   It is used numerous times by referring to the people as Jews.         
                   [b]   More often it is used as it is here, by referring to the Jews as the Religious leaders, in
                           Jerusalem, who has sent out Priest and Levites to determine who John was and what
                           he was doing
                           [1]   Was he the Messiah
                           [2]   Was he the long awaited Elijah whom the Jewish people believed return in the
                                   time the Christ would arrive.
                           [3]  Who was this man preaching and baptizing in the wilderness?

   [B]   Verse 20
           [1]  John told the Jewish leaders from Jerusalem, that he was not the Christ.

   [C]   Verse 21
           [1]  The leaders then asked him, If you are not the messiah, then who are you, are you Elijah?
                   [a]  The Jews remembered that Elijah had not died, but had been taken up to heaven in     
                           a whirlwind
                   [b]   They also believed that Elijah would return and announce the end of time.
     Malachi 4:5-6
                            5.   Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great  and
                                   dreadful day of the Lord:
                            6.   And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of           
                                    the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
           [2]  John denied that he was Elijah
Matthew 11:12-14
                   12. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth       
                           violence, and the violent take it by force.
                   13. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
                   14. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.
   Matthew 17:10-13
                   10. And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first        
                   11. And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all
                   12. But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have       
                           done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of       
                   13. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.
                   [a]   Jesus meant that John was a fulfillment of the prophecy that we find in Malachi,
                   [b]   The Jewish people expected a Prophet who was Elijah, not one who was a             
                          fulfillment of a prophecy.
                   [c]   John’s ministry was to tell people about Jesus and to get them prepared for his             

   [D]  Verse twenty-two
           [1]  The Jews were persistent in their asking who he was,
           [2]  They needed some answer to tell those who sent them

   [E]   Verse twenty-three
           [1]   The answer he gave them was a quote from Isaiah 40:3
                   Isaiah 40:3
                   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.

   [F]  Verse twenty-four
           [1]  Pharisees - Does anyone know what a Pharisee was?
                   [a]  A Pharisee was one of he Religions and Political parties in Israel during the New            
                           Testament times.
                   [b]   The Pharisees were known for insisting that the Law of God be observed as the           
                           Scribes interpreted it and for their special commitment to keeping the laws        
                           thithing and religious purity.
                   [c]  The Pharisees believed in the resurrection of the dead and of angels and demons       
                           whereas the Sadducees did not  believe in the resurrection.    
           [2]  One of the most known of the Pharisees was Paul, who was a very strict Pharisee until          
                   Jesus struck him down in the road to Damascus.
           [3]  It was these Pharisees who were sent out to see what was going on

   [G]   Verse twenty-five
           [1]  The Pharisees were persistent in their questioning of John
           [2]  If you are not Elijah of the Messiah then why do you baptize people
                   [a]  In other words, if you are not Elijah who we are expecting to come again, and of            
                           you are not the Christ, then by whose authority and what is the reason that you           
                           baptize people

   [H]  Verse twenty-six and twenty-seven
           [1]   John announced to the Pharisees that there was one standing among the people who was   
                   not known by them, but who was greater than anyone else on the earth.
                   [a]   John had not as of yet met Jesus, and did not know who he was.
                   [b]   How did John know that Jesus was there among the crowd?
           [2]  It is he who cometh after me
                   [a]   John’s sole purpose in this life was to be the forerunner for Jesus
                   [b]   John was to proclaim Christ coming and warn people to prepare their life and                
                           make straight their ways.         
           [3]   He is preferred before me
                   [a]   What was John’s attitude towards the coming of Jesus?
                   [b]   Was John feeling threatened knowing that Jesus was on the scene?
           [4]  Whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose
                   [a]   The people in the time of John knew what John was talking about, but do we?
                   [b]   What did John mean when he said he was not worthy to unloose the shoe latchet         
                           of Jesus?
                           [1]  Loosing the thongs on a sandal, or unloosing the latchets on a shoe, was              
                                   considered a menial task. It was performed by a lowly servant or a slave
                           [2]  A Disciple would do all manors of task for a Rabbi, but even his Disciple         
                                   would not stoop low enough to loosen a sandal for his master  
                   [c]  What John was saying was that he was not even worthy to do such a task for Jesus.      
                           He was not great enough to be a servant to him, or even be his slave.
                   [d]  What does this tell us about John?

   [I]  Verse twenty-eight
           [1]   The location of Bethabara, is not know, other then it was on the other side of the Jordan,     
                   on the east side.
           [2]  It was at Bethabara that John was baptizing when Jesus came on the scene.

II.  John’s Witness to Jesus
   John 1:29-34
    29. The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which
           taketh away the sin of the world.
    30. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was
           before me.
    31. And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing  
           with water.
    32. And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode  
           upon him.
    33. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon      
           whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which
           baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
    34. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.

   [A]   Verses twenty-nine through thirty-one
           [1]   How did John know that Jesus was the son of God?
           [2]   How did he recognize him when he arrived?
           [3]   How did John know that Jesus was to take the sins of the world away?        
           [4]   How did John know that Jesus was before him? And preferred before him?
           [5]  God told him through the Holy Spirit didn’t he?
                   [a]   John spend a number of years in the wilderness before he began to preach, what
                           do you think he was doing while he was there?
                   [b]  How much would God show us, if we only listened to him?
                   [c]  Is it possible for us to hear the voice of God?
                   [d]  What must we do if we are to hear God speak to us?
           [6]  Notice in verse thirty-one that John said he did not know Jesus, only that he was to come.
                   [a]  John  and Jesus were cousins, but apparently did not know each other. If they did,        
                           John was never told who Jesus was, for he relates here that he did not know          
                           who it was that was to come, only that he was to come.
                   [b] John also reveals why he baptized with water
                           [1]  He knew that the Messiah was to come, but he did not know when or who it was.
                           [2]  John also knew that the Messiah who was to come was going to take away  the
                                   sins of the world. Whether he knew how, is not made clear, only that he knew      
                                   that he would take them away
                           [3]   Because he was preparing a way, he baptized with water, for the remission of
                                    sins, the washing away of sins, in preparation or the Messiah’s coming.
                           [4]  It is interesting to me that his baptism continues with Jesus, and the               
                                   disciples and even continues with us today.

   [B] Verses thirty-two through thirty-four
           [1]  Here again is an answer to one of the questions I asked earlier.
                   [a]   Why did John baptize with water,
                           [1]  Because God told him to do so, he sent him ahead of Jesus and he was to            
                                    baptize with water
                   [b]   How did John know Jesus when he arrived on the scene
                           [1]  God told him who to look for
                   [c]  What would be the sign that Jesus was the son of God, the Messiah come down from
                           [1]  He would see the Holy Spirit descending upon him?
           [2]   Did the Holy Spirit descend on Jesus?
                   [a]  Yes it did - in the form of a dove
                   [b]   John seen it descend and bore record to the fact that God has told him what was   
                         going to happen and he seen it happen.
           [3]   The Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus and remained on him.
                   [a]  Prior to the baptism of Jesus, he did no miracles
                   [b]  Prior to his being filled with the Holy Spirit, he displayed no power,
                   [c]  Jesus was God in flesh, but he was 100% man - without the Spirit of God in him,         
                           Christ was powerless, just like we are.
                   [d]  Now here is what I want you to understand, That same Spirit that filled Christ, that        
                           same Spirit who gave him his power, lives in you and I.
                   [e]  Jesus was 100 % human, just as you and I are
                           [1]  How was he able to do all the things he did, and we are not?
                           [2]  When Jesus went back to heaven, the disciples did the same things Jesus did,
                                    why can’t we?
                   [f]  If the disciples, and Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit, was able to heal  the
                           sick, cause the blind the see, and the lame to walk, If they were able to pray  and
                           people was raised from the dead, then why can’t we see those same things happen in
                           the church today?
                   [g]  Was the Spirit that dwelt in them, stronger than the Spirit who lives in us?
                   [h]   Was there some other factor that worked in them that is not working in us?
                   [I]  What can we do, to see the power of God working through us like it did through the        
                   [j]   Third Word countries, are seeing many miracles take place, why do they see things
                           take place and we do not?

  [C]  These things we are talking about is why the church is so weak.
           [1]   There is not a lack of the Holy Spirit in us, instead there is a lack of faith in us
           [2]   There is not a lack of compassion in us, instead we have been convinced that these things   
                   don’t happen today
           [3]  When we hear of great miracles happen in third world countries, or even here in America,   
                   right away we have doubts in our heart, as to whether what we heart is really true
           [4]  If we only believed like the early disciples did, we too  could see wonderful things taking        
                   place around us.
           [5]  If we only believed without doubting, we could see the lame walk, the blind would see,           
                   and the dead would rise up. I have no doubt about this.
           [6]  The church needs to turn their selves over to God and pray for faith, so we can see the        
                   power of God work in and through us.