Thursday, March 23, 2017
A Good Question
I want to look at a question today that was asked by one of the most pivotal people in the bible. John the Baptist was key to connecting the Old Testament with the New Testament. His message and mission were very clear, to prepare the way for Jesus Christ. Christ's baptism was the beginning of His public ministry, so the acknowledgment of Jesus by such a respected prophet like John gave Jesus an excellent launching pad for His introduction as the Son of God.
The question I want to look at is asked when Jesus comes to be baptized by John, and I think it is good for all of us to witness. John says to Jesus, "I am the one who needs to be baptized by you, why are you coming to me?" (Matthew 3:14) Let's put on John's sandals for a minute. How would you have felt? Maybe the same way? Maybe though, our hesitancy might have been a little greater. I mean, Jesus even said that John the Baptist was one of the greatest men ever. "I tell you the truth, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist." (Matthew 11:11) So, if John was hesitant to feel worthy enough to baptize Jesus, how much more would we feel unworthy? But, in His answer to John's question Jesus gives us peace and hope.
Many of us ask, "Are we good enough?" Or "Can we measure up?" Can God really use us, imperfect as we are, with all of our scars and blemishes from sin? How can the imperfect be of service to the Perfect? Let Christ answer that question for us. Let's look at this dialog closely. John says, "I am the one who needs to be baptized by you, why are you coming to me? Jesus replied, " It must be done, because we must do what is right." So then John baptized Him. (Matthew 3:14-15)
John's baptism, as is ours, was one of repentance, but Jesus had no reason to repent, He was sinless, but wanted to identify with sinners. And that my friends is where our hope lies. Without him we are not good enough, but with Him we are.
I think one of the most extreme statements Jesus ever made is found in Matthew 9:12-13.
"It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But, go and learn what this means, I desire mercy and not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." You see, Jesus didn't condemn the "Bad People" He showed them love and understood them, even though He had every reason for condemning them. So, as fellow sinners, we must share with them where we found our bread. I believe that one of the biggest reasons the world isn't coming to christianity is because they think it is for the righteous, so they think it isn't for them. I think we have done a poor job informing the world that Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven and accepted. Jesus said in John 12:32, But I, when I am lifted up from the Earth, will draw all men to Myself. Jesus let John baptize Him because He wanted us to know that through Him we are good enough.
Do you feel the Holy Spirit working within? Do you hear His gentile whisper? He is there because he desires you to come to Christ. The Holy Spirit and the church want you to know the purposeful life that Jesus can give us. The Spirit and the bride (the church) say " Come...whoever is thirsty , let him come, and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life." So the answer to to the question is Yes !!!! Through Jesus Christ we are good enough to be of service to God. So give it all to Christ, today.