JOHN BAPTIST AND JESUS
This work is independent of any existing religions denomination, church, organisation or group.Appendix.9B
INTERRELATED LIVES OF JOHN AND JESUS
God had set the age difference between John and Jesus the Baptist. John was exactly six months older than Jesus. The record in Luke 1:35-36 shows John's mother Elizabeth was already miraculously six months pregnant when Mary first conceived Jesus "the angel said to her (Mary): “Holy spirit will come upon you, and power of the Most High will overshadow you. And for that reason the one who is born will be called holy, God’s Son. 36 And look! Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son, in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her, the so-called barren woman;"
Soon after this Mary visited Elizabeth, when the mothers-to-be meet, John while two in the womb of Elizabeth reacted physically to the presence of the newly conceived foetus of Jesus in Mary's womb. "Mary ... travelled .. to a city of Judah, 40 and she entered the home of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 as Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the infant in her womb leaped, and Elizabeth was filled with holy spirit 44 For look! as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. 56 Mary stayed with her about three months" (Luke 1:39-45).
This set the later working relationship between John and Jesus. They were both priests John was a Levite his father Zechariah a Levitical priest at the temple in Jerusalem. "A priest named Zechariah 8 as he was serving as priest in the assignment of his division before God, 9 according to the established practice of the priesthood it became his turn to offer incense when he entered into the sanctuary of Yhwh 11 Yhwh’s angel appeared to him, standing at the right side of the incense altar. 13 The angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, .. your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to name him John. 15 He will be filled with holy spirit even from before birth, 17 he will go ahead with Elijah’s spirit and power, .. to get ready for Yhwh a prepared people.” Luke 1:5-17.
Jesus was also a priest he carried out the work of a 'Melchizedek like priest' on behalf of his God "Christ did not glorify himself by becoming a high priest, but was glorified by the One who said to him: “You are my son; today I have become your father.” 6 As he also says in another place, “You are a priest forever in the manner of Melchizedek" Hebrews 5:5-6 .
According to God's laws for priests they needed to be 30 years old before they could take up their priestly duties "Yhwh spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying: 2 “A census should be taken of the sons of Kohath from among the sons of Levi, by their families and by their paternal houses, 3 all those from 30 to 50 years old who are in the group assigned to work in the tent of meeting" Numbers 4:1-3.
God had scheduled Jesus appointment to commence priestly duties when he reached the age of 30. Luke 3:23 says; "When Jesus began his work, he was 30 years old". Exactly six months after John started his priestly preparation ministry. At Luke 3:1 it tells us in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, John the Baptist commenced his ministry, when thirty years old. According to historians the 15th year of Tiberius ran from the 16th of September 28AD through to the 15th of September 29AD. So John would have reached the age of 30 sometime between the 16th of September 28 and the 15th of September 29. Jesus at the age of 30 was baptised by John in October of 29AD. John therefore must have started his special preparation work 6 months earlier in the April of 29AD.
JESUS AND JOHN'S INTERRELATED LIVES AND DATES
JOHN PREPARES THE WAY
In the spring 29CE John at the age of 30 came out of his wilderness isolation and began his all important priestly preparation work. God's herald prepared the stage and many of the cast. He had been instructed under the spirit direction to separated himself from the various religious divisions of the Jews, Sadducees, Pharisees etc. With direction from God he lived in the deserts until the time came for him to address Israel, "And the young child went on growing and getting strong in spirit, and he continued in the deserts until the day of showing himself openly to Israel" Luke 1:80.
Living in the desert with few comforts, clothed in camels hair, eating locusts and wild honey, he separated himself from the Jewish religious system and its traditions living a solitary lonely life. As had been prophesied "it is written in the book of .. Isaiah the prophet: “Listen! Someone is crying out in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of Yhwh, you people, make his roads straight" Luke 3:4 . When John reached the age of 30 God immediately directed him to cry out a witness to Israel. For six months from April of the year 29 he heralded this message from the wilderness exclusively to the covenanted Jewish people to repent and get ready, according to John 1:23 he said "I am a voice of someone crying out in the wilderness, ‘make the way of Yhwh straight,’ just as Isaiah the prophet said (prophesied). John also declared: “Repent, for the kingdom of the heavens has drawn near” Matthew 3:2. So the reason to repent was to get ready for the Kingdom as the start of its construction had got near. This lined them up for a unique cancelling of their sin as they fell below Gods standards for Sons. All this was in connection with a coming Messiah.
'MESSENGER' PREPARES A GROUP DIRECTING THEM TO JESUS.
Those who listened John primed into a group, alerting them to important fast approaching events. The time was arriving when the long awaited foretold Messiah of Yhwh was to appear. From the various divisions of the Jewish religion John prepared and steered a responsive group towards the coming 'Messiah' for possible selection to a unique activity.
God had already advertised this special preparation work nearly five hundred years earlier through his prophet Malachi. "I am sending my messenger, and he must clear up a way before me, the Lord whom you people are seeking and the messenger of the covenant will certainly come" (Malachi 3:1). This messenger was compared to the prophet Elijah who lived nearly a thousand years before John. Elijah had worked hard turning Israelites attitude back to serving Yhwh correctly. In Malachi 4:5 it tells us "God would send the prophet Elijah and he would turn people's hearts back to appreciation of God."The date of John's birth had been meticulously calculated and programmed so that he would be 6 months older than Jesus and so at the age of 30 was in position to take on this three month preparation work "many of the sons of Israel will he turn back to Yhwh their God. Also, he will go before him with Elijah’s spirit and power, to turn back the hearts of fathers to children and the disobedient ones to the practical wisdom of righteous ones, to get ready for Yhwh a prepared people" Luke 1:16-17.
ANNOUNCEMENTS & PREPARATIONS 3 BC to 29 CE
July 3 BC January 2 BC April 2 BC October 2 BC April 29 October 29
JOHN'S "ELIJAH" ACTIVITY
A further part of John's assignment was to warn the apostate Jewish religious system that the axe was already in position to chop it down. John prophesied "Indeed, the axe is already in position at the root of the trees; every tree, therefore, not producing fine fruit is to be cut down and thrown into the fire" Luke 3:9 .
John's followers were informed that a far more important person than himself with greater rank and power would be following him who would baptise with fire and spirit, separating people for selection or rejection by God. Yhwh instructed John to offer responding Jews something that up until then had not been done before, a water baptism. A token symbolic act by individuals of a repentant attitude toward their previous transgressions of the Mosaic Law, failing to live up to its conditions. Baptism was a public demonstration of an individual's repentant attitude over sins committed against the covenant, it did not remove their sins or wash them away. It prepared them by lifting their heads and turning their hearts back to an appreciation of God in readiness to see the coming saving means, the Christ who would be able to remove sin. The Abraham contract was about to mature with benefits, individuals needed to sort themselves out in regard to the conditions of this contact. God directed John to offer baptism as a means of doing this.
God gave John much privileged information which included:
John "saw Jesus coming toward him, and he said: “See, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29. John was able to link the sacrificial passover lamb to the removing of the entire worlds substandard condition (sin).
"This is the one about whom I said: ‘Behind me there comes a man who has advanced in front of me, for he existed before me.’ John 1:30. He must have had pre-information on Jesus prehuman existence.
God promised to give John a sign to look for so he could positively identify this coming Son of God the Massiah.
John said: “I viewed the spirit coming down as a dove out of heaven, and it remained upon him. 33 Even I did not know him, but the very One who sent me to baptize in water said to me: ‘Whoever it is upon whom you see the spirit coming down and remaining, this is the one who baptizes in holy spirit.’ 34 And I have seen it, and I have given witness that this one is the Son of God.” John 1:31-34.
Six months after John, Jesus reached the age of 30, and qualified to start his priestly duties. His appointment on the world stage had arrived, confirmed directly by God at his unique baptism in October of the year 29, exactly 6 months after John started his preparation work. Johns identifying sign also had audible confirmation. "The holy spirit in the bodily shape like a dove came down upon him and a voice came out of heaven saying "You are my Son the beloved I have approved you" Luke 3:22 .
Some two months after baptising Jesus John started handing over his specially 'prepared' disciples to him, identifying Jesus as the great sacrificial Passover lamb that would remove Adamic sin and its death dealing effects from the world "The next day he beheld Jesus coming toward him, and he said: “See, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world!" John 1:29.
Approximately a year later in the summer of 30 John was imprisoned by Herod. By then his advertising and preparation work had been completed. The 500 year old prophecy of Malachi "I am sending my messenger, and he must clear up a way before me, the Lord whom you people are seeking and the messenger of the covenant. will certainly come" (Malachi 3:1) had been fulfilled.
While John was in prison some months before he was executed Jesus confirmed the importance of John's assignment. He said John's work up until then was the most important that had ever been done by anybody on God's behalf. No one had served God in a greater capacity than John the Baptist, including men who were friends of God such as Noah, Abraham, and Moses, such was the importance of John's assignment. Nevertheless, Jesus pointed out he would not be one of the specially selected ones for the Kingdom government as they would all hold higher rank than him, "Truly I say to you people, Among those born of women there has not been raised up a greater than John the Baptist; but a person that is a lesser one in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he is" Mat 11:1 1. Jesus understood, according to God's script, that John the Baptist would be dead before the new Kingdom contract would be opened at Pentecost of the year 33. This took the opportunity out of John's time frame otherwise John would certainly have been one of the first in line for inclusion.
It seems John was aware that he would not be part of the "Bride" group of Kingdom selected ones. As he referred to himself as being a friend of the bridegroom when he said "He that has the bride is the bridegroom, however the friend of the bridegroom when he stands and hears him has a great deal of joy on account of the voice of the bridegroom. Therefore this joy of mine has been made full" John 3:29. When John heard about the things Jesus was saying and doing he enjoyed a great deal of pleasure and felt completely happy with it.
John's life was entirely tied up with Jesus. His preparation work was the most important carried out by anyone; up until that time, no one had done a greater work on God's behalf than John, see John the Baptist's Ministry.
A major prophecy Jesus made was of a future John the Baptist who would carry out another preparation work in our 21stcentury. for information on this see: `KINGDOM OPPORTUNITIES FOR CHRISTIANS OF ALL DENOMINATIONS