Do you feel powerful or powerless to change the world? Do you feel like you live day to day, going through the paces or do you feel like someone on a mission? Do you feel bold, strong, devoted, powerful?
While there are many lessons we can learn from John the Baptist, I think this is the one we can take most to heart. John lived powerfully. He didn’t run for office. He didn’t pick fights. He didn’t try to be a corporate giant, or even to try to move up in the hierarchy of the synagogue. He exercised power in the wilderness, outside of the city, at a river. He exercised power wearing camel hair and eating locusts, not focused on fashion or food.
The exercised the power to call men to repentance and to wash their sins away.
The men from the synagogue came to question John because they wanted to know the source of his power. On what authority did you call people to repent and baptize them? Just who was this guy? John’s answer was that he was a voice. His power did not come from himself, or for himself, it came from God for the Lord.
But what about you and me? Do people question the source of our power and authority? We are not John the Baptist, but according to Ephesians 1, we have actually be given greater power and authority that was given to John. In the prayer of Ephesians 1:18-23, the Paul prayers that the church of Ephesus will know the hope, riches and power that God gives to those of us (including you and me) who believe. This is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. This power is far above any authority, any rule, any other power or dominion and above and greater than any other name. This is the power we have been given to spread the good news, to call people to recognize their sin and repent and to baptize.
When was the last time someone challenged your power?
1. (implied) who are you – I am not the Messiah, 2. Who are you? Are you Elijah? – I am not 3. Are you the Prophet? – No
4. Who are you? Give us an answer to take back, what do you say about yourself? – I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘make straight the way for the Lord’ 5. Why then do you baptize if you are not Messiah, Elijah or Prophet? – I baptize with water but among you stands one you do not know. He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.
Elijah, an OT prophet, was expected to come back before the Messiah; 1 Kin. 17—2 Kin. 2; Mal. 4:5–6, Prophet Deut 18:15-19
Quoted from Isaiah to explain the purpose of His mission. Is 40:9 Here is your God!, 10. the Sovereign Lord comes with power and he rules with a mighty arm. 11. He tends his flock like a shepherd. He gathers the lambs in his arms
To be bold and speak only the truth. To know and quote scripture. To point only to Christ, not to self. Let the spirit speak through me.