October 7, 2020
17 For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. Nevertheless, the unique one, who is himself, God, is near the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.
The Testimony of John the Baptist
19 This was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders sent priests and Temple assistants from Jerusalem to ask John, “Who are you?” 20 He came right out and said, “I am not the Messiah.” 21 “Well then, who are you?” they asked. “Are you Elijah?” “No,” he replied. “Are you the Prophet we are expecting?” “No.” 22 “Then who are you? We need an answer to those who sent us. What do you have to say about yourself?” 23 John replied in the words of the prophet Isaiah: “I am a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Clear the way for the Lord’s coming!'” -John 1:17-23 NLT
God’s nature through us to use law and grace when dealing with us. Let me explain. The law is here for us to follow by. We obey the law. The one thing that holds us back is brokenness. We are not perfect, and we end up doing something against God’s will, which is where grace comes in. Grace is what God gives us when we do mess up. Rather than trying to convict us of our wrongdoings, he gives us lots of grace because we are not perfect. As we get to know Christ better, our misdeeds will lessen, and our understanding will increase.
In the old testament, God communicated only through certain people. These are the same people God asked to give out various messages from the one and only himself. God is in spirit; we won’t see him. God reveals himself in ways that everyone can be touched and heard. Through meditations, prayer, and unexpected moments.
John is having conversations with the highest leaders in Jerusalem. There are reasons why they came to see John. One, investigating him and the teachings. Two, see what credentials he had as a prophet. Three, since John had a vast following and growing, these leaders weren’t happy with that, jealousy. The leaders of Jerusalem had a tremendous amount of respect. For John to come in and share a word through God shows the power God has towards us all if we listen.
The exchange in the conversation was straight forward. The leaders ask who John is and what business he has there. The Pharisees did more thinking than reacting. They did more asking the wrong questions than the right questions. When this happens, you misunderstand. John was not there to tell them why he was there; that is what the leaders and Pharisees wanted to know. Everybody missed out on what John was trying to do, which is to prepare the way for the Messiah. John wanted them to recognize who Jesus is when he comes. When we are not following and understanding, we can miss the point. When you pray and meditate, remember that God expects us to have quiet time to pray and meditate. You are at your best when you are silent because you can hear him and his expectations of you. You won’t be like the leaders and the Pharisees to miss the point of what God or what God send someone to tell you.
Father, thank you for your boldness in us. I pray that we can hear you the first time. The challenge for us all to have quiet time to hear from you. I pray for those to be bold and quiet to hear from you. That is the first step of boldness. Life hits us hard that we won’t be silent because of life. COVID came and humbled all of us. It allowed us to be quiet and be still. A lot of people learned a lot during the time stuck at home. You were able to speak to us then. I pray we can continue that now. In Jesus’ name. Amen.