Chapter # 7 Paragraph # 4 Study # 1
September 14, 2008
Lincolnton, N.C.

<466> Thesis: Jesus asked the crowds to identify John so that they would have an opportunity to enter into His life. Introduction: We are beginning the study of a new paragraph this morning. A cursory reading of it will easily reveal this fact: Jesus asked the crowds three times, "What did you go out into the wilderness to see?". Jesus obviously wanted the crowds to give some serious thought to the answer to the question. That Luke recorded this material, and that he recorded it in this place, is indicative of the fact that he understood both what and why Jesus was focusing the attention of the people upon John. To give our study a bit of a boost in value, I would like to point out something that the apostle John wrote in his record in John 1:7: "He came for a witness, that he might bear witness of the Light, that all might believe through him." For our "boost" purpose, the key word is the "all". Whatever else John may have meant by his words, it seems pretty much indisputable that he made John the Baptizer the key player in respect to the issue of faith in Jesus as the Light. Now, if John's perception of the Baptizer is correct -- and who can dispute that? -- what we have in Luke's record is a deliberate turn by Jesus from the events surrounding the coming of the disciples of John to the crowd to minimize the "damage" of the "questioning" and to maximize the cruciality of what John's identity does for "all" men. With this in mind, let us begin to consider what Luke tells us in this paragraph.