Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
John 1:19-34 (New International Version)
John the Baptist Denies Being the Christ19Now this was John's testimony when the Jews of Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, "I am not the Christ.a]'>"
21They asked him, "Then who are you? Are you Elijah?"
He said, "I am not."
"Are you the Prophet?"
He answered, "No."
22Finally they said, "Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?"
23John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, "I am the voice of one calling in the desert, 'Make straight the way for the Lord.' "b]'>
24Now some Pharisees who had been sent 25questioned him, "Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?"
26"I baptize withc]'> water," John replied, "but among you stands one you do not know. 27He is the one who comes after me, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie."
28This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
Jesus the Lamb of God29The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30This is the one I meant when I said, 'A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.' 31I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel."
32Then John gave this testimony: "I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.' 34I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God."
So John, (the Baptist,) is down at the river prophesying and baptising. The Jewish leaders came down and flat out asked "are you the Messiah?" This was a loaded question, if he had answered "yes" he would have been quizzed, ridiculed and probably stoned. He told the truth, he was not the Messiah. They then asked if he was Elijah. This is important, because in Jewish teachings Elijah will come back and pave the way for the Messiah. However, John was not Elijah. He did quote the prophet later though.
The leaders then asked how he could be baptizing folks if he had no authority. Does this seem a little close to home. How many times do we think that simple laity can't do God things. I am not going to get in a discussion about clergy involvement in rituals of the church. Remember, the clergy have responsibilities in the "church" and the denomination. Believers have responsibility in the Faith.
Good thing the religious leaders picked another day to come quiz John, because Christ did come later to be baptized by John. It may have been a little awkward if John had responded to the "are you the Messiah?" question with "No, but He is."
The Spirit comes down from heaven and ordains Jesus to begin his ministry.
1. Why did the leaders won't to know if John was the Messiah?
2. Even if we are not the Messiah or prophets, by what authority do we do God's business here on earth?
Prayer- Lord, Thank you for sending us the truth. May we use these days of preparation before Easter as a way to study and grasp Your truth in our lives. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.