Day 3: John 1:19-34

John (the Baptist) is such an interesting individual in the New Testament.  (Its confusing distinguishing between John the Baptist and John the Disciple, one of Jesus’ closest folks and author of this Gospel!)  He arises as a clear prophet and clearly captures the attention of lots of people.   He calling people back to God has lots of impact.   But most important is his purpose to prepare the way for Jesus’ ministry.

It’s inspiring how John the Baptist is quite sure of his role and calling.   We see no evidence that he wavers at all.   And it’s not a call I think I’d really seek.   Certainly being a man who eats locust is unappealing (especially the hordes we had in our neighborhood this spring!) and camel hair garments don’t sound pleasant.   And then there is the matter of conflict with the Jewish leaders and calling out the sin of King Herod.   Difficult stuff.   Of course, there is lots of history here is well.  We know from the Old Testament the prophets weren’t usually well received.   

But moreover, John isn’t just a prophet, we see that his prophetic message is to prepare for Jesus’ public ministry.  John was to be the “witness to the light” (Jesus).   John knew his role.  He embraced it.   And he did this so well, despite clearly not having the full story all the time.    He must have known Jesus growing us since they were cousins.  Certainly, Mary’s and Elizabeth (John’s mother) talked from before Jesus’ birth.  But it wasn’t revealed to John who Jesus fully was until the Spirit showed up at Jesus’ baptism (John1:32-33).   But John was faithful in carrying out his role throughout his life.

I find this both challenging and inspiring – to live into your role in the kingdom.   Like John I know I must seek God’s plan daily to hear the role where I will serve his purposes.  I need the regular “course corrections” since I don’t usually have all the details for my life ahead.  I need His strength if I’m to step into tough situations (though mine are certainly less difficult than John’s!).   And perhaps most importantly I need to recognize those moments when God is particularly at work so that I can learn and live into the role and purposes where I can best serve his Kingdom purposes.

Question:   What do you think helps you see your role and what keeps you “on course”.   Is regular Bible reading a key part?  Or accountability relationships with another believer?   Are you seeking God regularly to see your role?

Prayer:  God, I give thanks for the way you provide ways for us to serve your purposes. Help me to see where I can be an influence for you today in my regular activities.  May I serve your Kingdom in whatever role you have for me.