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.
“Why Study John the Baptist?”
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.
What sort of things had you heard about John the Baptist BEFORE coming to this bible study?
What are some reasons we learned for taking a closer look at John the Baptist?
What do you see about the world that surrounds us now and the climate that surrounded the time of John the Baptist?
What does Luke 1:16-17 say John was going to do before Jesus came on the scene?
Read John 14:3. What does Jesus say as he is about to leave this earth?
Read Rom 15:4. What does the Lord tell us in this verse about looking at examples in the Word of God?
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?
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?
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?
List the names of John’s parents here:
What was John’s father’s business?
What words are used to describe them in Luke 1:6?
Write an introduction of these two if you were going to introduce them to a crowd.
What does Luke 1:7 say about this couple?
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.
What age do you think John’s parents were here?
Looking at the picture below record what happened in Luke 1:8-12.
Write to the right of the picture in question 8 what the first thing the angel said to Zacharias in Luke 1:13.
What can we learn about Zacharias and his prayer life and his relationship with his wife from this statement?
Take a moment to pray for someone who would like to have a child but has not been able to.
Describe what was happening according to John 3:22-23.
Why do you think John continued to baptize even AFTER Jesus’ public ministry began?
What did John’s disciples come to him about according to John 3:26?
What does John declare in John 3:27?
Did John seem to be concerned with the same things as his disciples were?
What does John remind them about in John 3:28?
How can remembering previous truths help us process current situations?
What was John experiencing within because of Jesus’ voice and coming on the scene? (John 3:29)
What was John’s teaching to his disciples in John 3:30?
How did this contrast their apparent annoyances at the numbers of people going to Jesus rather than John?
What does John say about Jesus’ position in John 3:31?
How many things did the Father give into the hands of His Son according to John 3:35?
What does this say about the authority and worthiness of Jesus Christ?
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?
Write out John 3:36.
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?
John in Prison
Read Matthew 14:3-4 and Mark 6:17-18. Why was John put in prison?
Look at Mark 1:14. Where did Jesus go and what did he say after John was put in prison?
Read Luke 7:16-18. What did John’s disciples tell him about when John was in prison?