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1 6-13 Would You Believe A Man In Camel Hair

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                                                  liberty bible church          9/30/07 a.M.

By Tom Zobrist

“would you believe a man in camel hair?”

John 1:6-13


Illus. of it’s been pretty dry lately. It’s been so dry that the Baptist are now sprinkling, the Methodists are using moist towelettes, and the Episcopalians are asking Jesus to turn the wine back into water. Baptism is one of those issues that has been disagreed upon in the church since the Middle Ages. And although Michvah bathes were common in Judaism, the man we are going to introduce today was the one who made baptism famous. That was of course John the Baptist or Baptizer if you prefer. The man in camel hair came preaching a message of repentance that was quite controversial in that day and I expect would be today as well. Not only was his message unorthodox, but so was his appearance. How would you respond to a man in camel hair? We have that chance today.

OPEN to passage.                                       

Prop. In this passage, we see what the different responses are to John the Baptist’s message.

Open in PRAYER.

PREVIEW the passage. We introduce John last week with a look at the first 5 verses and learned that before one can truly be saved, they must accept the fact that Jesus is in fact God. Being God He is eternal having no beginning nor end. He is also Creator of all. By coming in the flesh, Jesus is the only one who can conquer the darkness of sin and separation from God. Cf. 1-5 We move on today with the man who was to pave the way for the coming of the Son of God. He too was to be different and so the messenger was different as well; nothing like the religious leaders of that day. What was He like?

 i. john the baptist vs. 6-8

Illus. of what kind of a guy was he? Would we have trusted him? Illus. of the guy in Cindi and I saw the other day that brushed his teeth in the parking lot. It seemed very strange. But, who are we to say what is strange or not? John the Baptist was strange too, on one level. What was he like?

A.     His Person

V 6      1. John the Baptist is not the same guy as the author of this book.

            2. John the Baptist was sent from God. He had a specific ministry that was ordained by God. Like many OT prophets, he was different.

            3. Cf. Mark 1:6 He had a strange appearance, but not so strange for one that lived most of his life in the wilderness. Jesus didn’t think him strange. Cf. Luke 7:24-30

b. His purpose

V 7a     1. The term for witness or testify occurs 47 times in this Gospel, compared to 136 times in the whole NT. John used it 77 times in all of his writings. John the Baptist came to bear witness to the light, Jesus.      Illus. of the credibility of witnesses is important in court cases. Is John credible? Would you believe him? It’s interesting how God works sometimes and who He is willing to use. It’s not always how we expect it to be.

V 7b    2. The whole purpose of John’s ministry was to prepare the way for people to believe. They were in such darkness, their sin was so pervasive, they needed someone to show them what light was. They were so blind, they couldn’t see light if it hit them right in the face. John had to point to the light and say “there is the light.” He had to point to the darkness and show them that it was sin. This got him into some hot water with the authorities. Cf. Matt. 14:1-4 It makes you wonder where our culture is going. Anyway, John’s goal was that all would come to believe in the light, Jesus.

V 8      3. John was great, but he was not the Messiah. Jesus said in Luke 7 there was not a greater prophet born than John the Baptist. There is some evidence that the movement begun by John the Baptist, even after the resurrection of Jesus. Paul found some in Ephesus. There are still a sect today that trace their roots to John the Baptist. They are very hostile to the church. That’s why John pointed out that John the Baptists is not the light. There is another greater than he.

Trans. JOHN THE BAPTIST is the witness. How are we going to respond? We have two choices.

ii. what is the verdict? vs. 9-13

Illus. of the hung jury after 3 hours and yet they convicted him in just 5 minutes when the judge said they could not go home until they get a verdict; a flippant decision that carried long-term ramifications for another. In this decision about the man in camel hair, whether one believes him or not carries personal ramifications for all eternity. It would behoove us all to very carefully deliberate on what he says. Once again, we can choose one of two paths.

a. I reject what he says

            What does he say?

V 9      1. The light that he is baring witness to is Jesus Christ. That’s the true light. V 4-5 There will be false lights that will claim the way of life. But Jesus is the true light which “gives light to every man.” This does not mean that everyone will be saved. Jesus’ light shines on every man and reveals his sin and need for salvation. Whether or not he accepts or rejects that light is up to each person.

V 10a   2. As was stated above, Jesus was incarnate and came into the world He created. “world” here refers to human society which is in rebellion against God and under the power of the devil. He should have been recognized by His creation yet…

V 10b  3. The world did not recognize Him. They couldn’t see Him because they were blinded by sin. Cf. 12:37 It is the same with the world today. They do not see Jesus because they are so enslaved to sin.

V 11    4. Even the nation of Israel rejected Him. Sure, there were individuals, but the political and religious leaders failed to recognize Him. They witnessed His miracles, they heard His messages, they heard the testimony of others and yet they rejected Him. They did not receive Him; they did not believe in Him, trust in Him. This fulfilled the Prophecy of Isaiah. Cf. Is. 53:1 To reject Jesus is to fail to trust in Him and the light He brings for the forgiveness of sins. Sadly, millions reject Him everyday and enter a Christ less eternity. A second option…

b. I receive what He says

V 12a   1. To receive Him is to believe in His name. V 12c To believe in Him is to trust in His sacrifice for the payment of sins. We no longer trust in animal sacrifices or man’s religion; we trust in Jesus. To all who receive Him…

V 12b  2. “right” can be translated authority. When you believe and receive Him, God gives you authority over the darkness by the work of Jesus. The darkness of sin no longer has power over us. This is accomplished by believing in Jesus. When we do, we are…

V 13a   3. Born again. We are new creatures. Cf. 2 Cor. 5:17 This is not a natural birth. It is a spiritual birth accomplished by the supernatural power of God. We are not believers because of natural bloodlines. It is a spiritual work of God. One can be a Jew by birth, but not a believer in Jesus.

V 13b  4. This birth cannot be earned. It is not a work of the flesh. There are no works to salvation. Cf. Eph. 2:8-9

V 13c   5. I can’t pray anyone into Heaven. I can’t wish anyone into the Kingdom. Illus. of child dedications. As much as parents want, they can’t make their child trust Jesus. They must choose to do that and God must cause them to be born again when they trust in Christ.

V 13d  6. Once again, it is totally a work of God.


So, what’s your verdict? Who are you going to believe? It’s up to you.

1.      Reject the man in camel hair and reject His message about Jesus and you have sealed your fate for eternity. Cf. Rev. 20:15

2.      Accept the testimony of John the Baptist and receive Jesus, be born again, and your life will change forever. GOSPEL

3.      Do our lives look like we believe in Jesus? Realize too that you may be viewed like the man in camel hair by the world. If you’re concerned about your reputation with the world, you may not be ready to trust in Jesus.

Illus. of a story of a young man who wasn’t afraid to be different and he had a tremendous impact on the world around him. It’s from a documentary called Noah’s Arc.

Do you want to have that kind of impact on the world around you? If so, Jesus is the way. He is the light that shines in the darkness. It is He of whom the man in camel hair testified. The question is… do we believe him? Does our life look like we believe him? Good questions that we all must answer.


“would you believe a man

in camel hair?”

John 1:6-13


Baptism is one of those issues that has been disagreed upon in the church since the Middle Ages.

 i. john the baptist vs. 6-8

A.      His Person

                Cf. Mark 1:6; Luke 7:24-30

b. His purpose

                Cf. Matt. 14:1-4

ii. what is the verdict? vs. 9-13

a. I _________________________ what he says

                Cf. Is. 53:1

b. I ____________________________ what He says

                Cf. 2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 2:8-9


So, what is your verdict? Who are you going to believe?


                Cf. Rev. 20:15



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