What does Jesus think of me? We know what He thought of John.
John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus. He was the “forerunner.” What do we know about John that prepared him for this?
John was Jesus’ second cousin, only six months older than Jesus. John’s birth was considered a miracle since his parents were old and his mother, Elizabeth, was barren. John’s father, Zechariah, was a priest. He was highly respected. Zechariah and Elizabeth were godly parents, upright in the sight of God, obedient, blameless.
John “leaped in the womb” when Elizabeth met Mary, pregnant with the Savior.
John “grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the desert until he appeared publicly to Israel.” Because of this, there is speculation that John was raised among the Essenes, a Jewish religious group that lived in the desert, following a monk-like lifestyle. John would have been trained and commissioned to be a Rabbi since he had his own disciples.
God not only prepared John through his upbringing, but also by speaking to him directly.
“The word of God came to John…”
“He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that through him all men might believe.”
John’s character, actions and message caused many to believe he was the Messiah. People came from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan to see him.
John’s character was blameless, humble (I’m not worthy) and simple (clothes of camels hair, food of locusts and wild honey).
John’s actions were righteous. He stood up to the hypocritical religious elite. He stood up to those in political power. He baptized many who were repentant.
John’s message was powerful, clear and direct. He preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”
“Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.”
“Make straight the way for the Lord.”
I’m personally challenged by John’s life. I want my character, actions and message to bring maximum glory to God and impact for His kingdom.
I’m also challenged as a father by Zechariah and Elizabeth. The impact of their lives as parents, raising John in such a way that God would use him as He did. What am I doing to intentionally raise my own “John the Baptists?”
And what did Jesus think of John? Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist!”
John was a great man. He was used greatly by God. He was dedicated to and dependent upon his Great God! He was called and committed to a Great Mission! He pursued and proclaimed a Great Message! He sought after and served humbly his Great Master!
That’s the kind of greatness I aspire to.
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