John the Baptist's message of division was not something new in redemptive history. This episode examines the Old Testament foundation of the promise of restoration and regeneration and links it to Jesus' first coming. As we trace "the seed" (Genesis 3:15), the message of John and the story of the Gospels will become much clearer to you.
Resources added in April 2014
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John the Baptist said that the One coming after Him (who we know to be Jesus of Nazareth) would separate the "wheat" from the "chaff" and would be the one to baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire. This is yet another example of John's offensive message to Israel. This episode also discusses the "baptism of fire", which may be something quite different than you think!
The significance of John's message to the nation of Israel is only heightened when we see that he is baptizing. Yet it is important to remember the audience of his proclamation was not Gentiles, but the Jews, the physical descendants of Abraham. This episode examines the importance of baptism and how offensive it would have been for John to call the Jews to be baptized.
The story of John the Baptist precedes the ministry of Jesus in all four Gospels and is critical for rightly understanding why Jesus says what He says and does what He does. John speaks to the people of Israel of soon judgment and gives an urgent plea for repentance. The God of Israel was coming in person to reckon with His people and divide them. This episode begins to develop the details of John's message to Israel, some of which may be surprising to you!
In 166BC, the Jews revolted against their Greek oppressors in a time historians call the Maccabean Revolt. After the Jews violently fought and regained control of Jerusalem, leaders would be set in place over the next century that would cause Israel to stray from the Lord, setting the stage for a Roman takeover in 63BC. Learn more in this episode about what happened and why it's significant to the life and message of John the Baptist and the broader story of the Gospels.