John 1:29-34 and 3:22-36 – Beholding!
A giddy child may run up to you one day and be eager to show you something that is completely unimpressive. When they do this, it is a common courtesy to celebrate their discovery. It might be a rock, a dead bug, or a picture they drew. You may even get a sense of joy as you are reminded of what it’s like to look at the world through a child-like lens of awe and wonder.
John the Baptist, who has gotten quite a lot of play on this blog in the last two months is that child. Luke 1:15 states that John was filled with the Holy Spirit from birth which quite frankly requires a whole lot more of an explanation that will be given here. But part of the responsibility of being filled with the Spirit since birth was to prepare the way for Jesus by being a witness.
John the Baptist, the man described by Jesus as the greatest man born of women, had a mission to show Jesus to the world. He was a forerunner, his mission existed as an appetizer to the main course of the ministry of Jesus.
John says of himself in John 1:31 “I came baptizing with water, that he (Jesus) might be revealed to Israel.” He says when Jesus approaches him, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John is in awe; when Jesus arrives, he directs all eyes to Jesus. John has a self-awareness that as Jesus is revealed to Israel, John’s ministry would fade out. John’s joy is fulfilled in Jesus ushering in the kingdom.
It is amazing to me how John’s encounters with Jesus make him more humble. The encounters gave him assurance in what he set out to do.
I, like John want to show Jesus to the world. I, unlike John am so unsure of what to do. I’m in need of more encounters and in need of the boldness to do what I have been called to do. I need to lose the memory of past flops. I need to retain the memory of God’s word over my life. I need faith, hope, and love. I need to navigate this season well.
I need to be shown the gospel and have the eyes to see the kingdom of God coming amidst a world that casts doubt on its imminence.
Now, more than ever, those that follow Christ need eyes for the Kingdom and to hear the still small voice of God because there are powers and principalities that are loud at work. God, please, show me what you see and let me know what to look for.