John the Baptizer was not your average guy. His wardrobe consisted of fur de desert rat. His diet, grasshoppers and unfiltered honey. His domicile, the desert. His message, repent. His career, ended sometime in his 30’s with jail and execution.
And yet, God said of him, “Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist!” (Matt. 11:11). For most of us, that’s probably not the first thing that would pop into our mind if we encountered a guy like him.
Among other things, something which Jesus identifies in John’s life was his unwavering commitment to God and his truth. John was no spineless man-pleaser: unlike river reeds, he stood firm in the midst of fallen, cultural winds (“What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?”, Matt. 11:7).
We do not have record of everything John every preached, but from that which God has given us in Scripture, we have enough to observe a few characteristics of his preaching. What are some themes you would expect to see in the greatest man’s preaching? And what can we learn from him so that our churches avoid becoming First Church of the Reeds?
Here are a few observations about the preaching of the greatest man born of women: