Jesus Revealed

This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.” (John 1:30-31)

Praying in His name means far more than just adding those words as a sort of good-luck charm to the end of your prayer.
John the Baptist had a message and that message was from God. He was privileged to reveal Jesus to God’s people. When God gives a man a message to proclaim, it burns within him until it is delivered. I am reminded of the prophet Jeremiah’s words regarding God’s word within him:

But if I say, “I will not mention his word or speak any more in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot. (Jeremiah 20:9)

Later, God speaks through Jeremiah regarding the penetrating effectiveness of His word:

“Let the prophet who has a dream tell his dream, but let the one who has my word speak it faithfully. For what has straw to do with grain?” declares the LORD. “Is not my word like fire,” declares the LORD, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?” (Jeremiah 23:28-29)

How do we reveal Jesus? We are to rid ourselves of anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language choosing rather to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. (Colossians 3:8-12)
Certainly, John the Baptist did not arrive on the scene to impress man. Dressed Bohemian style in camel hair and leather, dining on locust and wild honey, ministering in an obscure remote area, and proclaiming to the religious elite of the day an eye-opening, blistering message showed that he neither came to win a popularity contest nor tried to find favor with man. His approach was anything but “seeker friendly.” He certainly mixed sandpaper with velvet by making people aware of their folly and then providing them with a remedy. He constantly pointed to Jesus. His passion was to awaken the dead and then offer them life:

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” (Matthew 3:7-10)

“What should we do then?” the crowd asked.

John answered, “with the man with two tunics should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”

Tax collectors also came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?”

“Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them.

Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?”

He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falselybe content with your pay.” (Luke 3:10-14)

We are to demonstrate to others the fruit of the Spirit–love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Ephesians 5:22).
Yet given all of this, John the Baptist still had a large following. The truth consistently preached woos and draws God’s people because it always accomplishes God’s purposes. Matthew tells us crowds were arriving constantly to be baptized by him:

People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. (Matthew 3:5-6)

Take It to Heart

We are to bear with one another and forgive grievances just as we have been forgiven. Furthermore, we are to encompass all things in love because love binds everything together in perfect unity.
Modern day believers in Jesus are likewise called to reveal Him. This does not mean only missionaries, preachers, and Sunday school teachers. All believers are called to reveal Jesus, whether it be in our homes, or in our workplaces, or among our friends, or even among our enemies. Basically, wherever God places us, we are to show forth Jesus. We do this by dying to selfish ambitions and allowing the Holy Spirit to manifest Jesus’ life through our words and our actions. It is an emptying of self, a filling of Him and a spilling out to those we daily encounter.

Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. (1 John 2:6)

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