January 6

Text: Matthew3:1, 2

Now in those days John the Baptist *came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

John the Baptist was a special man.  God “handpicked” John from his birth (Luke 1:13-17) to present Jesus as Jesus began his ministry (John 1:19-34).  The indications are that John was a conscious imitator of Elijah (Matthew 3:4; John 1:22-27).  Do remember that Jesus declared John was more significant than a prophet (Matthew 11:2-11).

John clearly understood his purpose.  Not even his popularity in his ministry caused him to deviate from his God-given mission (see Matthew 21:23-26).  Jesus toured to seek an audience to hear his message, but people made a difficult trip to the Jordan wilderness to hear John preach.  Yet, John could even watch his disciples leave him and follow Jesus without feeling deserted or jealous (see John 1:35-37).  He understood that Jesus’ rise in importance meant he must diminish in people’s eyes (John 3:26-30).

There is every indication that John welcomed each opportunity to contribute to Jesus’ rise to his God-given role as the Messiah (or Christ).  That was John’s purpose!  John wanted to serve his purpose—that purpose did not include looking at Jesus with jealous eyes!  He did not envy Jesus as Jesus’ popularity rose and his decreased.  He knew who he was, and being himself was enough.

John the Baptist fully understood that God’s purposes are never achieved through human jealousy and envy.  He understood God’s purposes were important and urgent.  He was not.

Suggestion for reflection: Know the importance of God. In the eternal scheme, understand our unimportance.  (Read Matthew 18:1-6)

David's Home Page Previous Day Index Next Day

 Copyright 2011 David Chadwell