I just had to post something about Jesus, so this is what’s on my mind:
In John Chapter 1, let’s consider the appearance of John the Baptist in Judaea. His appearance was so dramatic that when the priests and Levites asked him who he was, his answer was, “I am not the Christ.” The next question they asked was, “Are you Elijah?” His response of “I am not” denies any connection with Messianic fulfillment. Then they asked him a third question, “Are you that prophet?” They were referring to Deuteronomy 18 and the prophet who was expected to arise on the eve of the messianic age. John said, “No.”
David J. Ellis stated that this completed John’s threefold denial and self-abnegation. His answers to their three questions ring true as those which would naturally succeed each other in a heated conversation. But if you’ll notice, when John the Baptist was pressed, he said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord.” He claims absolutely NO dignity other than that which is conferred upon him as a preacher of the Word.
As Chapter 1 of John’s Gospel continues, some Pharisees go on and question John concerning the authority by which he baptized. I love John’s response…which is what this post has been building up to. John responded by saying, “I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose.”
How many times in the course of an average day do we see people who are quick to have you believe something greater about themselves than what is actually true. Or maybe we ourselves are guilty of it. As a 41 year old man who serves in a local church in America in 2016, it might be tempting for me to have folks think that I’m a better preacher than what I really am….if I were to be totally honest. But let’s really consider this encounter between John the Baptist and these religious men. What was John the Baptist doing? Yes, he was speaking the truth, and in so doing he was glorifying and honoring God and not himself.
You see, Jesus Christ exceeds all understanding of what forms true religion. For John, this was based on faith. By going on to declare Jesus Christ to be the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world, John expressed by faith that Christ was able to bear away the totality of sin. If you don’t know Him (Christ) in a saving way, please trust Him right now. Repent, and live your life for the Lord with the assurance of your salvation as you are being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ.
Love in Christ,
Pastor Vern Hall
The Free Gift Gospel Mission
1025 Maple Street