In Hostility Keep Pointing
(Now they [a delegation of priests, Levites, and Sadducees] had been sent from the Pharisees.) They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” — John 1:24-27
So now, the author lays out the tension of the story. The tension is threefold. First, we see the entrance of the Jews, who oppose Jesus in this Gospel. Second, the revelation of the identity of John the Baptist. Third, the first revelation that Jesus is here by John.
And what is happening on this day is religious leaders from Jerusalem sent representatives down to the region around the desert that wanted to know who this man was that was stirring up a following. They confront John and ask him who he is and what gives him the right to do what he is doing. And their questions may read innocent and appear genuine, but they are not. This was a hostile investigation. Think of this like a Special Investigation Committee sent out by our Senate.
The tone is more "Who do you think you are?"
John's response to this Committee, in my own words, is:
"You are making way too big of a deal out of me and what I am doing. Another is wandering around here, who is a far bigger deal."
And John knows this. And here's why he knows this. Because John baptized Jesus in that same river just 40 days ago before Jesus wandered off into the desert. The edge of the desert where they now stood is where Jesus spent the next 40 days. Can't you imagine John standing here pointing out to the desert, saying, "The guy you are looking for is out there. Why are you bothering me? I am just baptizing people. Everybody does this."
This moment reminds me that in this life, there will be people who are hostile to Christian positions and preaching. And sometimes, this hostility will come in the form of a personal attack. But you have to remember. They are not being hostile to you. It's Jesus they don't like. You will have to stand your ground, but you don't have to make your point. All you have to do is what John did here, keep pointing to Jesus. He is the point.
ASK THIS: Are you feeling attacked by others because of your faith?
DO THIS: Keep pointing to Jesus.
PRAY THIS: God, give me courage in my present challenge.
PLAY THIS: Raise A Hallelujah.
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Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.
I couldn’t help but think, how often am I the self righteous one asking questions and making too big of a deal about others?
I am Not a Republican.
I believe people are born gay.
I believe Women should have a choice in abortion.
That’s because The Word of God, by the power of The Holy Spirit of God, are not the authoritative guide for your life, and thus you are deceived. I will be praying for you Mike, that Christ Jesus will make Himself, and His words of love and life known to you! John 17:17 ❤️🙏🙏
Thank you for your input Michael. It’s good to know I’m not alone on the topic of self righteousness. I’m grateful the topics you mentioned are not what keeps me up at night.
Yes Jesus is everything he is the one who will save us if we look to him and follow his word.
Jesus is everything. We owe him more than we could pay in a thousand lifetimes because he payed the price for all of us so we may live with him in eternity.
Thanks Vince – “just keep pointing to Jesus”! Amen brother. Everything we are, everything we have, everything we will have – is ALL because of Jesus. There’s not enough praise and thanksgiving to cover His grace and love for us.