40 Days in John: Day 2
March 5, 2019 | Pastor Mike Colaw
THE LAST PROPHET
Scripture: John 1:19-34 | Focus on John 1:29
John the Baptist—even though he shows up in the New Testament, he is effectively the last of the Old Testament prophets. He, like others before him, shows up on the scene working to help people prepare to meet with God and hold people ac- countable to God’s true way. He is God’s messenger.
People like John make the cultural and religious leaders understandably very nervous. Others have come along claiming to be the voice of God and led them into deep suffering at the hand of Rome. The religious leaders boldly and directly ask John the Baptist, “Who are you?”
John’s response is important. He says, “I am not the Christos(Greek) or “anointed one.” He is clear—he is not the Christ. His purpose is found in verse 29: “Behold, the Lamb of God.” His purpose is simply to prepare people and direct people to Jesus.
John’s demeanor is one of extremes. He is bold and confident in pointing to Christ and humble, knowing Jesus must have the attention. Using John as a witness to Christ in the introduction of this letter would have been very validating to the early readers. John was well known and so were his views.
The story of John the Baptist sets Jesus up on numerous fronts. He used his influence to validate and elevate Jesus. What a great example for us to follow. I love that God even wants to use us at all. Why did God need John to come first? He still could have just sent Jesus to perform all those miracles and die on the cross to defeat sin once and for all. But God wants to use us, he desires our full participation in his mission.
Now as Christians, as we await the return of Christ, the work of preparing the way before him continues. We all play the role of John the Baptist in a way. We are now the ones pro- claiming, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” In other words, “Hey everyone—this way, look at Jesus. He’s the way. In him you will find what you’re looking for. Come with me, I’ll show you the way. ” We all should have someone in our lives to whom we are showing the way.
Father, help me to use my influence, be it great or small, to show others the way toward you. As is made clear in the opening poem of John, there is no greater joy that a person can experi- ence than to turn towards your “light.”
Help me to point others towards your light—in my marriage, with my children, with my friends, neighbors, extended family, with those that are in seasons of doubt, and with those in seasons of confidence. Let me always serve as a compass that directs people towards you. Help me see opportunities to play the role of John the Baptist. Help me to have the confidence to speak up. Let my life point toward you.