John the Baptist

Live a life worthy of the heart given you.

Luke 3:7-18 7 John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 9 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”

10 “What should we do then?” the crowd asked.

11 John answered, “The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.”

12 Tax collectors also came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?”

13 “Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them.

14 Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?”

He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.”

15 The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Christ. 16 John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” 18 And with many other words John exhorted the people and preached the good news to them.



How do we get ready for Jesus?

Luke 3:1-6 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene— 2 during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the desert. 3 He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 4 As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:

“A voice of one calling in the desert,

‘Prepare the way for the Lord,

make straight paths for him.

5     Every valley shall be filled in,

every mountain and hill made low.

The crooked roads shall become straight,

the rough ways smooth.

6     And all mankind will see God’s salvation.’ ”


It doesn’t matter anymore.

When I first set out to be a pastor, I was determined that I wouldn’t lose my name. What do I mean by that? Well, consider what you call the person who leads worship in your church. So often, it’s just “Pastor.” I wanted to make sure I’d still have my name. Pastor Luke! That’s what I’d be! Yeah! (Pastor Italiano was OK, but I much preferred Pastor Luke.)

And now I’m here… and it doesn’t matter anymore.

I chalk it up to the Holy Spirit growing me and not to any revelation on my part. I don’t care if people use my name. I don’t care if they know who I am. I care that they know Jesus. And that’s what matters to me!

I’m reminded of John the Baptist’s reaction when his disciples told him that Jesus was getting to be more popular than he was. “I must decrease; he must increase.” And it’s true. I can’t save anyone. I didn’t die to take away anyone’s sins. If people trust me, they trust a person. But when they trust Jesus, they are trusting someone that will never let them down. They are trusting someone who will give them everything. And if that means they forget who I am… well, what am I? I only point to Christ.

So who cares if someone doesn’t know my name? Who cares if they all forget me? It’s not about me. The ministry should never be about the minister. It’s about Jesus.

So, if you forget who I am and just call me pastor? Well, that’s just fine. That title is still such an honor, I am content with that.

I’d like you to meet Jesus.

John 1:43-51 43 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.”

44 Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

46 “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.

“Come and see,” said Philip.

47 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false.”

48 “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.

Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”

49 Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.”

50 Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that.” 51 He then added, “I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”


I’d like you to meet Jesus.

  1. Come and see
  2. You will see