The Quotations Bible Study:
Series I: The Person of Jesus
Appendix: Suggestions as to
answers to the study questions
Week 4. Messenger:
Jesus on John the Baptist
- Whatever the timeframe, the LORD is speaking as though the people are in captivity. The imperative "comfort" is plural. Whom is the LORD speaking to? (Isa. 40:1) The LORD is addressing His prophets, instructing them to comfort His people.
- What comfort has the LORD to offer? (Isa. 40:2) The LORD comforts His people by telling them that the war is over and that the punishment is finished because they have been punished enough.
- How much has Jerusalem been punished? (Isa. 40:2) The punishment has been double.
- What is the "way of the LORD"? (Isa. 35:8-10) The way of the LORD is the way of holiness, the way that cannot be casually followed, the way that conquers all obstacles.
- If the geographical images in Isaiah 40:3,4 are applied to the strata of human society and the landscape of human affairs, what is going to happen? (Isa. 40:3,4) Issues of human importance will vanish; the high will be made equal with the low; rich and poor will become indistinguishable. Those of poor fortune will find themselves uplifted. The inversion of fortune spoken of by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount will come to pass.
- Who is "all mankind"? (Isa. 40:5) That means us (everyone else, too). The demonstration of God's glory is to be public and visible.
- What is the "glory of the LORD" that "all mankind" will see? (Isa. 40:5) The glory of the LORD is Jesus, the embodiment of the LORD's salvation.
- To what is the transience of man compared? (Isa. 40:6-8) Who else suggested this? (Matt. 5:17,18, James 1:10) The permanence of God's word is compared to the transience of flesh, grass, and the fading of flowers. Both Jesus and James make the same point.
- Who is the shepherd? (Isa. 40:1, John 10:11-16) In Isaiah 40:11, the LORD is the shepherd, just as He is in Psalm 23, and as Jesus says, in John 10, that He is the Shepherd being spoken of .
- In all that will happen, who will survive? (Isa. 40:31, Hab. 2:4) The survivors will be the people who have been faithful and patient, trusting the LORD.
- Where was John preaching? (Matt. 3:1) Out in the sticks (wilderness of Judea)
- What was John preaching? (Matt. 3:2) He was preaching repentance and the coming kingdom.
- What does Matthew claim about John? (Matt. 3:3) That John was the object of prophecy--namely, the one who would prepare the way for the Messiah, according to Isaiah.
- John dressed oddly, didn't he? (2 Kings 1:8; Matt. 3:4) He wore the same thing Elijah wore, a coat of camel hair.
- John's message attracted attention. Where did people come from to hear him? (Matt. 3:5) From all over the entire region, including Jerusalem.
- What did John do to those who came to him? (Matt. 3:6) The ones who were repentant, John baptized in the Jordan.
- Whom did John condemn? (Matt. 3:7) Pharisees and Sadducees, legalists. Those leading unrepentant lives, in general.
- Whom did John announce? (Matt. 3:11,12) John announced the coming of the Messiah.
- What was the other baptism? (Matt. 3:11) Baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire, seemingly, a picture of the Holy Spirit. This seems to foreshadow Acts 2.
- What does Mark claim about John? (Mark 1:2,3) John was the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah.
- Where was John preaching? (Mark 1:4) In the wilderness around the Jordan river.
- What was John preaching? (Mark 1:4) Repentance and baptism.
- What did John do to those who came to him? (Mark 1:4) To baptize them, provided they were repentant.
- John's message attracted attention. Where did people come from to hear him? (Mark 1:5) From all over the region, including Jerusalem.
- Whom did John announce? (Mark 1:7) The Messiah.
- What was the other baptism? (Mark 1:8) Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
- What does Luke claim about John? (Luke 3:2) John received the word, that is, the calling and message, of God.
- Where was John preaching? (Luke 3:3) In the country around the Jordan river.
- What was John preaching? (Luke 3:3) Baptism and repentance.
- Whom did John condemn? (Luke 3:7) He accused all of hypocrisy.
- Whom did John announce? (Luke 3:16) The Messiah.
- What was the other baptism? (Luke 3:16) Baptism with the Holy Spirit and fire.
- Who came to quiz John and where were they from? (John 1:19) The religious rulers sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem.
- Whose identity did John deny for himself? (John 1:20,21) He denied he was the Messiah, nor was he Elijah.
- What was John doing? (John 1:26) Water baptism.
- Whom did John announce? (John 1:26,27) The Messiah.
- John the Baptist's witness to Jesus is very detailed. How did he know Jesus? (John 1:33) He was instructed and informed by the Holy Spirit.
- What will the messenger do? (Mal. 3:1) Prepare the way for the LORD.
- What happens after the messenger completes his task? (Mal. 3:1) The LORD will come to His temple.
- Who is the messenger of the covenant? (Mal. 3:1) The Messiah.
- How bad will it be? (Mal. 3:2,3) Awful.
- John heard about what Christ was doing. What had he been doing? (Matt. 11:1,5; Luke 7:14,15) Jesus had been preaching and teaching. Also, miracles had been performed.
- Why did John doubt? (Matt. 11:2; Luke 7:19) Well, he was in prison. It was evident something big was happening, but John was still incarcerated.
- What works did Jesus point out to John's disciples? (Isa. 35:5,6; Matt. 11:5; Luke 7:22) The blind see, the lame walk, the deaf hear, the dead rise, lepers are healed, and the poor receive the Gospel.
- Jesus discussed the role of John in the Kingdom, describing him with irony. What did "a reed shaken by the wind" mean? (Matt. 11:7; Luke 7:24) Hint: was John a popular figure? John was not swayed by popular opinion at all. His message was an offense to all who lived the normal life of the times, in that place.
- Why did Jesus refer to fine clothes? John was not a snappy dresser (Matt. 3:4) Hint: John was unjustly a king's prisoner. (Matt. 11:8; Luke 7:25) Jesus was using irony in His speech. John was notoriously a strange dresser, but the king, whose prisoner John was, wore what kings wore in those (and these) days, fine clothing of the best kind.
- Jesus said John was more than a prophet. (Matt. 11:9; Luke 7:26) What could be more than a prophet? (Matt. 11:10; Luke 7:27) John was more than a prophet in that he was a special messenger from God, the one and only prophet sent to announce the kingdom, himself the object of prophecy.
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