1. God sent John the Baptist as a crescendo of message the Old Testament so they could, all together, point to Jesus.
2. God desired that John’s birth, and thus his ministry, would be witnessed and understood by as many people as possible.
Sermon discussion Questions:
- What is notable about John’s lineage? What does that have to do with his ministry?
- Which Old Testament people are we meant to remember when we hear that Zechariah and Elizabeth are old and cannot have a child?
- What did Gabriel say would be John’s ministry? How does Malachi 4:5-6 illuminate what Gabriel says?
- Why was it wrong that Zechariah asked for a sign? How did God use Zechariah’s wrong request to benefit and bless more people?
- Why was it important that Elizabeth and Zechariah insisted on John’s name?
- Why is it important that John represent the Old Testament Prophets in his ministry?
- Why was it important for the Israelites in John’s day?
- Why is it important for us today?
- What are the Old Testament references in Zechariah’s song? Consider how each of those is important?
- What does Zechariah say in his prophecy is the goal of His promises?
- How does John’s ministry of baptism and proclamation fulfill what Gabriel and Zechariah say he will do?
- In what ways do we now benefit from the ministry of John?