Being John the Baptist
To start off, I’m not saying you should be out baptizing people in the river while preaching the Gospel. BUT… Like John, we are to spread the Word of God, of His Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior so that all may hear and know Him. (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:15)
A brief background on John: he was different from the people of his time. He dressed differently, ate odd foods (Matthew 3:4, Mark 1:6) and preached a unique message to the people of his time. (Matthew 3:2, Mark 1:4, Luke 3:3) He wasn’t royalty, and wasn’t anyone special in the eyes of anyone of the time, yet he was special to God. God called him for a direct purpose. (Luke 1:11-17, Luke 1:76-77)
John came to prepare the hearts of the people for the coming of Jesus. (Matthew 3:11, Mark 1:7-8, Luke 3:16, John 1:26-27) He taught that repenting of your sins. He urged people to confess their sins, changing the way they lived for themselves and begin living for God. He prepared the way for Jesus by teaching others how to accept and welcome Him. He taught the need for forgiveness of sin. This was a big deal, because back then, people thought that through their lineage, being an Israelite was a safety net; a free pass. Therefore, many fell away from whole-heartedly worshipping and more importantly, loving God. They believed that no matter how they lived their lives, they were exempt from judgment because of their ‘religion’. (Matthew 3:9, Luke 3:8) [Huh; sound familiar? It sure does seem like many ‘Christians’ think they’re safe because of their ‘belief’. (It’s interesting to note that the devil also believes in Christ- and I think we can all agree that he’s not ‘safe’)] That’s where John came in: he was the messenger to proclaim the coming of the Savior (Matthew 3:3; Matthew 11:10; Mark 1:2-3; Luke 1:76-77; Luke 3:4; Luke 7:27) John preached that the people needed to confess their sins and start following God’s way.
John confidently told everyone of Jesus’ coming; and humbly followed Jesus. He had the privilege of baptizing Jesus—an honor he felt unqualified for (Matthew 3:14). [Does that sound familiar to you? (Remember, God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called)]. (Philippians 4:13)
That’s where we come in. We, like John, are messengers for Jesus, to tell others of His love and to teach them to repent of their sins. (Isaiah 43:10) We must teach (and live by example) that turning to God means turning from sin. (Matthew 3:2, Mark 1:4, Luke 3:8, Acts 3:19) [Not to be confused or mistaken that one must be fully rid of sin to be accepted by God; when one accepts Christ as His Savior, He will release you from your sin (that He’s already forgiven you of)]. (Isaiah 53:5, John 3:16, John 8:36, Acts 2:38, Acts 3:19, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 2:20, Ephesians 2:8-10, 1 John 1:9…) Most of us aren’t anyone special, and we don't have any power or prestige over anyone, yet we each have an important role, a ministry or a calling, for God.
Have you accepted your calling? Are you telling others about Jesus, His Word, His Love and His Grace and Mercy? John the Baptist lived a devoted life to God. He lived his life and died by following God’s will and being obedient. So be like John the Baptist: give your life to God, preach His Word, teach His people, humble yourself before and for Jesus; and let God work through you.