You can click HERE to read the passage.
If John the Baptist ever applied for a job I have no doubt that he would list Jesus as one of his references. This is what Jesus had to say about John: “Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist.” (Matthew 11:11). Now keep in mind that Jesus and John were cousins. And their moms were close. Presumably they spent a lot of time together as kids. Just imagine what that would have been like for John – having a cousin/playmate who was literally the “perfect kid.”
Even with all the time that they spent together growing up John was clueless about who Jesus was. It was not until God revealed to John at Jesus’ baptism His true identity that John began to put two and two together. Imagine John’s surprise. Like most Jews, John was on the lookout for the Messiah. In fact, John knew that God had called him to be a “voice” to prepare people for the coming of the Christ. He just didn’t know who, when, or where.
And then one day while John is baptizing, his cuz shows up to be baptized as well, and something happens that thoroughly convinces John that Jesus is the long awaited Messiah. And from that point his message changed from “the Messiah is coming, get ready” to “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
Here are two takeaways for me from this passage:
1) Am I thoroughly convinced that Jesus is the Messiah, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world? And if I answer yes to that question, does my life and lifestyle reflect that conviction? It is a question that deserves serious, intentional reflection. It is one thing to say that I believe that Jesus is the Christ. It is another thing entirely to live out that belief with authenticity, courage, humility, and perseverance. This is what John the Baptist did.
2) To what degree am I a voice preparing the way for people to receive and believe that Jesus is the One that they have been longing for? Most of us will not be a voice like John the Baptist. But how are we giving voice to our convictions and to our excitement that Jesus is the satisfier of our souls?
“Father, would you empower me, by your Spirit who dwells within me, to boldly live out my convictions and to give a clear courageous voice to what I believe.”
Next Week’s Passage: John 1:35-51