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The Preeminent Christ

by Rev. Kirby Williams

Learning how the ministry of John the Baptist spotlights the preeminence of Christ and the advent of the Kingdom of God.

Text: Luke 7:24-28
Date: 07/31/2022, the Combined service.
Series: "Luke: Thy Kingdom Come" Part 70

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After reassuring the disciples of John the Baptist that He is indeed the prophesied Messiah, Jesus turns to the crowd to quickly dispel the notion that because of his doubt, John the Baptist was a weak or fickle man. Quite the contrary, Jesus exonerates him as strong and steadfast, and a prophet like none other. He then makes two extraordinary statements concerning what true greatness in the Kingdom of God is and who will be the greatest. We will learn that the reason John the Baptist was so great was not because of who he was, but because of the position he held in Redemptive History. As we step back from the text, we will marvel at the brilliant way Luke has organized his Gospel, bringing to a mini-climax the profound importance and preeminence of the Redeemer God has sent to save all who will believe. We will realize that even though the topic is John the Baptist, the spotlight has been brought squarely on the most important Person and event in human history-- the advent of the Kingdom of God and its King, the Preeminent Christ.

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I. Introduction, John 20:31, Mark 1:15.
II. Exposition of the text, Luke 7:24-30.
A. Context
1. Luke's focus on John the Baptist, Luke 1:17,76-79, 3:4-6,16.
2. John the Baptist's doubt.
3. Jesus' answer, Isa. 35:5-6, 61:1.
B. The voice in the wilderness.
1. Jesus' response to the crowd, vs. 24a.
a. An immediate response.
b. A public response, Luke 5:33, Matt. 9:14, 11:1.
c. A corrective response.
2. Exonerating John the Baptist, vs. 24b-27.
a. Who John the Baptist was NOT, vs. 24b-25.
i. The formula.
• "What" instead of "who".
• The perspective, Luke 3:4.
• The problem.
ii. A reed shaken by the wind, vs. 24b.
iii. A man in soft clothing, vs. 25, Matt. 3:4.
• The metaphor, vs. 25a, 1Cor. 6:9, Mark 1:6.
• The commentary, vs. 25b.
b. Who John the Baptist WAS, vs. 26.
i. A prophet, vs 26a, Matt. 23:29-32, Heb. 11:35-38.
ii. More than a prophet.
c. John the Baptist's place in Redemptive History, vs. 27.
i. The formula, Luke 3:4, 4:4.
ii. The Old Testament prophecies.
• The Elijah to come, Mal. 4:5, Matt. 11:14.
• The messenger of the Lord, Mal. 3:1.
3. The definition of true greatness, vs. 29.
a. None greater than John the Baptist.
i. An abbreviated truth formula, Matt. 11:11.
ii. Why was John the Baptist so great?
• Because he is not fickle or weak.
• Because he baptized Jesus.
• Because of his position in Redemptive History.
b. The least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater.
i. Visualizing inclusion in the Kingdom, Eph. 2:2, John 14:30.
ii. Why John the Baptist is not included, Matt. 4:17, 13:17, 1Pet. 1:12.
iii. Kingdom Greatness is found in Jesus.
C. Interpretation
III. Application
IV. Conclusion

The Preaching Ministry of Kirby Williams

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