”among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist



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Welcome to this semester’s bible study. We will be doing a character study this semester. This is when we stop and really look at a person that the Holy Spirit has chosen to put into the scriptures. The Holy Spirit has divinely written the Word of God through holy men of God who were yielded to His inspiration. There have been many great examples through the ages but the Lord has chosen certain lives to be preserved in His Word for us to glean from.

John the Baptist is considered a forerunner; someone who prepared the way of Jesus when He came the first time. Jesus has promised to come to this earth again and we are most certainly in a time where we can sense the birth pangs this creation is experiencing awaiting redemption and the revelation of Jesus and His people. We can learn from John’s example of what our place is as the last days’ church.

John did not preach for many years. We have no written evidence of mighty miracles John performed. He removed himself from the crowds and places of notoriety. He ended up dying at the hands of adulterous and wicked people and yet, the Lord says that, ”among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist;” (Matt 11:11).

I pray that John’s complete devotion to Christ and those to whom He was sent will most certainly impact us through this study. I pray that we will admire this man who knew his goal was to decrease and that Christ was to increase. I pray that his example will lead us into being those voices in the wilderness that prepare the way of the Lord.

Week One

“Why Study John the Baptist?”



  1. Take a moment to pray and ask the Lord to help you glean all that the Lord has for you from coming to the study and doing the homework. Ask for discipline in attending and preparing yourself for each time together.



  1. What sort of things had you heard about John the Baptist BEFORE coming to this bible study?



  1. What are some reasons we learned for taking a closer look at John the Baptist?



  1. What do you see about the world that surrounds us now and the climate that surrounded the time of John the Baptist?



  1. What does Luke 1:16-17 say John was going to do before Jesus came on the scene?



  1. Read John 14:3. What does Jesus say as he is about to leave this earth?



  1. Read Rom 15:4. What does the Lord tell us in this verse about looking at examples in the Word of God?



  1. Look at Isaiah 40:3. Do you ever feel like you are in a wilderness? Would you want to be someone who is a voice in the wilderness?



  1. Write out Luke 7:28 here. How might this help us understand why it would be good to study the life of John the Baptist?



  1. James 1:22 says “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. “ How can we be actively cooperated with this semester’s study and not just learn about John the Baptist but learn FROM him?

Week Two

John’s Parents



  1. List the names of John’s parents here:



  1. What was John’s father’s business?



  1. What words are used to describe them in Luke 1:6?



  1. Write an introduction of these two if you were going to introduce them to a crowd.



  1. What does Luke 1:7 say about this couple?



  1. Have you ever dealt with or met someone that struggled with Elizabeth’s struggle? Record here some thoughts about couples who go through such disappointment.



  1. What age do you think John’s parents were here?



  1. Looking at the picture below record what happened in Luke 1:8-12.

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  1. Write to the right of the picture in question 8 what the first thing the angel said to Zacharias in Luke 1:13.



  1. What can we learn about Zacharias and his prayer life and his relationship with his wife from this statement?



  1. Take a moment to pray for someone who would like to have a child but has not been able to.

Week Three

Conception and John In the Womb



  1. Look at Luke 1:24. What did Elizabeth do after she conceived John and what did she say?



  1. Read Luke 1:41. What did Elizabeth’s baby do and what triggered this response?



  1. Looking at Luke 1:45, how might Elizabeth have been able to speak this to Mary so confidently?



  1. According to Luke 1:56, Mary and Elizabeth were together for 3 months. What kinds of conversations could you imagine took place between these two?



  1. How has spending time with a sister in the Lord who is having great experiences with the Lord strengthened you?

  2. What could be some reasons the Lord might have had Mary and Elizabeth spend this time together?



  1. How did Mary find out that Elizabeth was going to have a baby? (Luke 1:36)



  1. What does Mary hear about this event in Elizabeth’s life in Luke 1:37?



  1. Contrast Mary’s pregnancy experience with Elizabeth’s? (how it was announced, age, how they conceived etc.)



  1. Sometimes people feel they have to meet someone with the EXACT experience to find that source of support they need. Do you agree that is necessary? Why or why not?

Week Four

The Birth of John



  1. Read Luke 1:56-80. Record anything that stands out to you in this section.



  1. Read Luke 1:58. Describe her friends’ and relatives’ reaction to her birth. What does this tell us about how we should respond when someone sees a fulfillment of some desire in their heart?



  1. Why did Elizabeth answer for her husband regarding her son’s name?



  1. What did Zacharias do with his tongue once his speech was restored?



  1. How did John’s parents’ experience affect those around them? (Luke 1:65-66).



  1. Record here what John’s dad prophesies about John in Luke 1:76-79.



  1. Choose a few of these prophecies about John and jot down how the Lord would want to use us in a similar way before His second coming?



  1. What does Luke 1:80 say about John the Baptist?

Week Five

John’s Identity



  1. Look at Isaiah 40:3 and record the verse here.



  1. Read Matthew 3:1-3. Who is stating that John is the fulfillment of this prophecy?



  1. Read Mark 1:1-3. Who is quoting the prophecy from Isaiah here?



  1. Read Luke 3:1-6. Who is attesting in this account that John the Baptist fulfills the prophecy in Isaiah?



  1. Read John 1:23. Who is attesting in this account that John is the fulfillment of this verse?



  1. What percentage of the four gospels is this prophecy presented as fulfilled in John the Baptist?



  1. What were the questions and what were John’s answers in John 1:19-21?



  1. How can knowing who we are NOT help us know who we ARE?



  1. Whose voice determined John’s identity according to John 1:23?



  1. We can be challenged by others to explain who we are. What can we learn from John’s responses to those demanding an explanation for who he was and what he was doing?



  1. The questioning changes from “Who are you?” to “Why are you doing?” in John 1:25. How does what we do help define who we are and who we are determine what we do?



  1. What can we learn about John’s understanding and knowledge of the written Word of God from these scriptures?



  1. How can knowing the Word of God cause us to be better equipped to answer those who challenge us in these last days?

Week Six

Exhortations



  1. Look at Matthew 3:7-9.

    1. Who was John addressing?

    2. What did he call them?

    3. What question did he ask them?

    4. What does he tell them to do in verse 8?

    5. What did he tell them not to do in verse 9?

    6. What do you think the Lord was trying to prepare in their hearts for the coming of Christ?



  1. Look at Luke 3:10-11.

    1. Who is John addressing here?

    2. What does John tell them to do?

    3. What heart issue do you think John is speaking to here?

    4. How do you think this would help prepare them for the coming of Christ?



  1. Read Luke 3:12-13.

    1. Who is John speaking to here?

    2. What does he tell them to do in verse 13?

    3. What sin is he confronting here?

    4. How could this prepare this group of people for the coming of the Messiah?



  1. Read Luke 3:14.

    1. Who is he speaking to here?

    2. What are the two things he tells this group of people to do?

    3. What heart issues was he addressing?

    4. How could this help them be open to recognizing Jesus as their Messiah?



  1. What was the mindset of the people at the time of John’s public ministry according to Luke 3:15?



  1. Describe the mindset of many people today in regards to looking for something to believe in?



  1. How might helping people see their sinful nature and actions in whatever roles they find themselves in, prepare them for the Lord coming into their lives?

Week Seven

John Baptizes Jesus



  1. Why did Jesus come from Galilee to Jordan according to Matthew 3:!3?



  1. (Matthew 3:14) What was John’s initial response to Jesus’ visit and what was his reasoning?



  1. Describe a time that you faced a situation where you could sense the Lord’s plan for you but you felt unworthy to do it? What did you end up doing? How did you feel afterwards?



  1. What did Jesus say to John in Matthew 3:15?



  1. What did John do in response to Jesus’ explanation?



  1. What happened in Matthew 3:16-17?



  1. What did the Lord say to John the Baptist before Jesus came to be baptized as recorded in John 1:33?



  1. According to the beginning of John 1:33 what can we conclude about John the Baptist and his understanding of who Jesus was prior to Jesus coming to him to be baptized?



  1. What did this experience with Jesus do for John the Baptist according to John 1:29,34-36?



  1. What did John say Jesus was there to do according to John 1:29?



  1. What happened to some of John’s disciples after Jesus was baptized and pronounced to be the Son of God by John according to John 1:37?

Week Eight

John’s Disciples Question John



  1. Describe what was happening according to John 3:22-23.



  1. Why do you think John continued to baptize even AFTER Jesus’ public ministry began?



  1. What did John’s disciples come to him about according to John 3:26?



  1. What does John declare in John 3:27?



  1. Did John seem to be concerned with the same things as his disciples were?



  1. What does John remind them about in John 3:28?



  1. How can remembering previous truths help us process current situations?



  1. What was John experiencing within because of Jesus’ voice and coming on the scene? (John 3:29)



  1. What was John’s teaching to his disciples in John 3:30?



  1. How did this contrast their apparent annoyances at the numbers of people going to Jesus rather than John?



  1. What does John say about Jesus’ position in John 3:31?



  1. How many things did the Father give into the hands of His Son according to John 3:35?



  1. What does this say about the authority and worthiness of Jesus Christ?



  1. How can believers today get annoyed by ‘numbers’ and ‘success’ in the church? How can John’s teachings protect us from or correct us if we succumb to these perspectives?



  1. Write out John 3:36.

Week Nine

John’s Attitude about Jesus

1. What does John say about Jesus in John 1:27?

2. How does this help us understand John’s perspective on the One whom He was preparing the way for?

3. How might having an attitude like this help us prepare the way for Christ to enter other’s lives?

4. If the Lord’s availability and favor has attempted to diminish His holiness and the fear of Him we are to have, how might we cooperate with the Lord for a proper esteem of Him?

5. What does John say about Jesus in John 1:15?

6. What does this statement say about Christ’s pre-existence before becoming a human being?

7. How might John have known these things about the One he hadn’t even recognized yet?

8. Look at Matthew 3:11-12.

a. What did He say Jesus would baptize the people with?

b. How well would Jesus clean up His people?

c. This is a winnowing fork. It was designed in harvest to shake things up and let the wind blow away that which was useless and the true grain to fall back to the ground. How does Jesus shake things up in this world and help us to see what is worthless and what is weighty and important?

9. How well of a line did John have drawn knowing his purpose and identity versus what Jesus was going to do?

10. How can knowing who Jesus is and what He alone does in people’s lives help us live out the things we are called to with joy?

11. Look at Mark 1:7-8. Does this say John just believed this or did he preach this?

12. What does that say about our message when it comes to letting this world know about Christ?

13. Look at 1 Corinthians 1:22-25. What does Paul say we should preach no matter what others may think they are looking for?

14. What other things could we end up preaching?

15. How can we recognize if we stray from preaching Christ? How can we be on guard to avoid preaching other things to people?

16. Describe John’s overall attitude about Jesus before and after the revelation of Him as the Son of God?

Week Ten


John in Prison

  1. Read Matthew 14:3-4 and Mark 6:17-18. Why was John put in prison?



  1. Look at Mark 1:14. Where did Jesus go and what did he say after John was put in prison?



  1. Read Luke 7:16-18. What did John’s disciples tell him about when John was in prison?



  1. When we hear great things that God has done and is doing, how could that really help us?



  1. John sent his disciples to ask Jesus a question. What was this question? (Luke 7:20)



  1. Why do you suppose John would send them asking this question after all that happened at the baptism?



  1. Describe a time that you found yourself in a ‘prison’ at no fault of your own?



  1. How might not being rescued from a situation create doubt and tempt us to be blurry in our confident knowledge of who God is?



  1. Can a believer be tempted to be jealous over what the Lord is doing for one person and not for them? How might a believer battle such a temptation?



  1. Look at Luke 7:21-23. What did Jesus say and what did He do in response to John’s discouragement?



  1. Read Matthew 11:7-15. Jesus affirms John’s identity regardless of where John found himself at the moment. What did Jesus say?

Week Eleven

John’s Execution



  1. Look at Matthew 14:6. Describe the event here in the scripture.



  1. Herodias was the gal whom John said Herod should not be with because she was Herod’s brother’s wife. How did Herodias feel about John according to Mark 6:19?



  1. Read Mark 6:20 and Matthew 14:5. What did Herod think about John the Baptist?



  1. Look at Mark 6:21-23. Describe the occasion and the events that occurred in these verses.



  1. According to Mark 6:24 who influenced her request?



  1. What was she instructed to ask for according to Matthew 14:8 and Mark 6:24?



  1. What was Herod’s initial response to the request and yet what motivated him to carry it out according to Mark 6:26?



  1. Look at Matthew 14:11. Who was the ultimate recipient of Herod’s generous offer?



  1. What can we learn about mothers and daughters in this interaction?



  1. What was Herod’s response after this was done according to Matthew 14:9?



  1. What happened in Matthew 14:12?



  1. What did Jesus do and where did he go when he heard this according to Matthew 14:13?



  1. What might we learn from Jesus’ response to such devastating news about such a noble man and his relative as well?





Week Twelve–

References About John after his death



  1. Read Matthew 14:1-2. Who did Herod think Jesus was and why did he think this?



  1. Look at Matthew 16:13-14. Why was John’s name coming up after his death? How could this have been an impossibility?



  1. Read Matthew 17:11-13. What is Jesus explaining here?



  1. Look at Matthew 21:23-27. What do we learn about John the Baptist’s reputation among the people?



  1. According to Matthew 21:32, describe John’s life and who believed in him and what the Lord said about those who did not believe in his ministry?



  1. According to Luke 11:1, what do we learn about some of the teaching John the Baptist gave his disciples?



  1. What does this tell us about what John’s ministry consisted of?



  1. What does Jesus say in Luke 16:16 about the pivotal ministry of John the Baptist?



  1. In John10:40-42 we learn something about John’s ministry. What is that?



  1. Peter refers to something that Jesus said at the time people were challenging the salvation of the Gentiles. What was that? (Acts 11:16)



  1. Read Acts 19:1-7. Record what you learn about John the Baptist’s baptism versus being baptized after Christ’s death and resurrection?





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