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John the Baptist

Of The Priestly Line
John the Baptist was of the lineage of Levi because his father was a priest and his mother (Elizabeth) was also of the tribe of Levi. Because John the Baptists mother was also Jesus’ mother’s cousin(Luke 1:26), we also know that Elizabeth was also a descendant of Judah. John the Baptist, in his flesh was both a descendant of Levi and a descendant of Judah. In the flesh, John the Baptist was both a priest and king, but God knew our salvation could not come through our flesh nor could it come through the law which the tribe of Levi represented. Jesus did not have Levitical blood. If Jesus did have Levitical blood, we would be required to remain under the old covenant. As it is, Jesus is not a descendant of Aaron and in Him we are not under Levitical Law.
John the Baptist therefore became a type (a living example) of what the Levitical Law was designed to do. John the Baptist showed mankind that he needed to turn back to God. The Levitical Law did the same. It showed that human beings could not follow God through laws.
Proclaimed A Greater Baptism
In Luke 3:16-17 John the Baptist said that he baptized with water, but there was one greater who would baptize with the Holy Ghost (Spirit) and fire. He said that he would separate the wheat (Godly Righteous) from the straw (unrighteous sinners).
Then Jesus came to be baptized by John the Baptist and John said that Jesus didn’t need to be baptized by John the Baptist, but he needed to be baptized by Jesus. John recognized that under the Levitical Law, he was no match for the power that Jesus as High Priest would represent.
Everything that John said was true, however, Jesus told him in Matthew 3:15 that it was necessary for John to Baptize Jesus in order to fulfill all righteousness.

The First Evangelist

John the Baptist announced that God provided a better way than the law had to offer. Unlike the rest of the priests who stayed in the comforts of the temple, John the Baptist shucked his priestly garments of fine white linen and the delicacies of temple food for camel hair clothes, a leather belt and honey and locusts and went out into the wilderness to lead the people to repentance and to baptize with water.
The word for evangelist is euaggelistes in the Greek. The meaning of this word in the original language is a preacher of the good news. Traditionally, an evangelist is a preacher who preaches the gospel in areas in areas where there is no permanent clergy. This technically made John the Baptist the first evangelist because he told of and provided preparation for others to receive the truth of Jesus Christ’s authority.

IMG_8330 final copy

Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


John_the_baptist : Stained glass in Catholic church in Dublin showing a John the Baptist The stained-glass windows are by the famous artist, William Early, who died during the commission

In the previous post we learned that John the Baptist’s baptism was a baptism (immersion) unto repentance. How is John the Baptist’s baptism different than from being baptized unto the name of Jesus Christ? Why is it important to know the difference? Perhaps the reason becomes evident as we look at Acts 19:1-7. Paul asked the people of Ephesus if they had received the Holy Spirit and they said that they had only been baptized into John’s baptism into repentance. They were then baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.

So how do we know whether we are baptized into just John’s baptism of if we are baptized into the name of Jesus Christ? First, it is important to understand what it means to repent. In the Bible eight different words are translated into the English word “repent”. It is important to understand that each of them have different shades of meaning.

Four of the words are Hebrew words in the Old Testament. The first word is nacham which means to breathe hard because you are sorry. This word was used in Genesis 6:6, Exodus 13:17, Job 42:6, and Jonah 3:10. The next Hebrew word is shuwb which means to turn back . It is found in I Kings 8:47, Ezekiel 14:6. Another Hebrew word used in the Old Testament which is translated “repent is nocham which means regret. This word is used in Hosea 13:14. The final Hebrew word for repent is  nichum this word means compassion. This word is found in Hosea 11:8.

All of the four Greek words in the New Testament that mean repent come from the root word meta meaning change as in the word metamorphesis. metamellomai means to regret consequences of sin, not the cause Matthew 27:3, 2 Corinthians 7:8. metanoeo to change the the mind for the better morally, to change the attitude toward sin (See note Luke 13:3)  Metanoia a real change of mind and attitude toward sin and its cause, not merely the consequences of it Matthew 3:8, 11; 9:13, Luke 24:47.  Final word ametameletos irrevocable Romans 11:29; 2 Corinthians 7:10.

What we can get from this study of repentance as we look at John the Baptist’s baptism, we see that John’s baptism in Matthew 3:8 was Metanoia which meant that his baptism was toward a real change of mind and attitude toward sin and its cause, not merely the consequences. Baptism in the name of Christ is something else, something greater than merely recognizing that a person is repulsed by sin and the desire to turn from it. Baptism in the name of Christ requires something greater.

I look forward to continuing this study of Matthew and all of the gospels. I have enjoyed the comments that we have shared so far. I know I have already learned a lot during this study. What is your take on what we have studied so far?

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