The Personality of the Baptist
John 1:8
He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

I. John the Baptist was WELL BORN. The best Jewish blood flowed in his veins. Hereditary forces are the conservative forces of society. Voice, stature, longevity, mental and moral qualities descend from one generation to another. It is not true, however, that inherited tendencies necessarily make character. If this were so there could be no advance or retrogression. A child could be no better, no worse than his parent. Every mind is an original power for good or evil. Still, be thankful, Timothy, that Eunice was your mother; John, that Zacharias and Elizabeth were your parents.

II. He was WELL TRAINED. Jewish homes did not let go the training of children. Training tells more than birth in formation of character. Faith, reverence, obedience, courage, humility, are elements of a soldierly training. Let a child see love illustrated at home, and if he cannot be scolded into the Lord's ranks he may be won.

III. He was A MAN OF COURAGE (Matthew 3:1-10). Witness his treatment of the dominant Jewish parties and Herod. This was a real quality, not an affectation. Ask for no trimmers in the pulpit. In the long run the brave man is popular.

IV. He was A MAN OF HUMILITY (vers. 29-36). How hard for one preacher to be overshadowed by another, not in some remote town, but round the corner! Let every man do his level best, and, if beaten honourably, rejoice in another's success.

V. He was A MAN OF DOUBT. But he took his doubts to Jesus, and had them resolved. Doubter, let Jesus speak for Himself.

(B. J. Hoadley.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

WEB: He was not the light, but was sent that he might testify about the light.

The Light and the Lamps
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