Sunday service, Detlef Stegen, 15 Oct 2017
19 Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”
20 He confessed – he did not deny but confessed – “I am not the Christ!”
21 So they asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not!” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No!”
22 Then they said to him, “Who are you? Tell us so that we can give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
23 John said, “I am the voice of one shouting in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.”
24 Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.)
25 So they asked John, “Why then are you baptizing if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”
26 John answered them, “I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not recognize,
27 who is coming after me. I am not worthy to untie the strap of his sandal!”
28 These things happened in Bethany across the Jordan River where John was baptizing.
29 On the next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
30 This is the one about whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who is greater than I am, because he existed before me.’
31 I did not recognize him, but I came baptizing with water so that he could be revealed to Israel.”
32 Then John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending like a dove from heaven, and it remained on him.
33 And I did not recognize him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining – this is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’
34 I have both seen and testified that this man is the Chosen One of God.”
What a man John was! Surely he was a true Elijah! Indeed he was a great prophet. He knew why he was on this earth for. He was the voice that cried out.
Is your life part of God’s plan or are you just an onlooker. Are you like those interrogating him? But John had the Spirit of God and answered them wisely.
Are you part of God’s plan and in the plan God had intended for you?
John was born just before our Lord Jesus. Maybe he was silent for 30 years like our Lord. He had to wait God’s time.
We find him here in the wilderness, where it’s not too comfortable. But God led him there. He didn’t choose the wilderness for himself. Sometimes we have to endure a wilderness, even though we are in God’s will. However, sometimes we find ourselves in a wilderness of our own making, which is not God’s will. But if God placed you there then do His will.
Is the spirit in us that was in Abraham? God told him to leave and go to a land God would show him and it was like a wilderness to him. He couldn’t even build a house there but had to live in tents.
David was taken from looking after the sheep to be king. But for a long time he had to flee for his life, being a fugitive. And till today when we read David’s psalms they are a comfort to us.
Paul was a slave of Christ. He laboured more fervently than all the other apostles. He was stoned and left for dead. He was whipped like our Lord.
It reminds one of Martin Luther who was declared fair game that anyone could kill him without any consequence. That was his wilderness.
Even when Jesus came out of the wilderness He still knew that He had a baptism to accomplish as He had said.
But we see that these men survived the wilderness and they clung to the only One that could save them.
John came at exactly the right time to welcome our Lord Jesus. It was God’s time.
We can thank God that they adhered to God’s way and remained faithful.
Has His light shone in your being and expelled all darkness? Do you know Him, where you can experience His sustaining power in sickness and health? He is the one who will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
Many have their own way how they serve the Lord. Some work for years to serve God in a way that would allow them to reach their own goals.
We don’t read that John ever complained. His locusts and honey was as good to him as a kingly meal.
John prepared the way for the Lord. He discerned and knew who Jesus was. Can you discern?
Can you make straight God’s way in your life? Are you being conformed to His plan for you?