Tuesday, March 18, 2014

There, Look at Jesus (Reflection on Mark 1:1-8)

John appeared in the desert, baptizing and preaching.
Turn away from your sins and be baptized,’ he told the people,
and God will forgive your sins.’” (Mark 1:4, GNB)

If there was anyone in the New Testament who shouted so loud, it was John the Baptist. If there was anyone who dressed and ate weird stuffs as honey-coated grasshoppers, it was John the Baptist. If there was anyone that God want to use to prepare “a highway for our God” (Isaiah 40:3), then it was none other than John the Baptist.

The Gospel of Mark begins the story about Jesus Christ “the Son of God” (Mark 1:1) by introducing John the Baptist – the forerunner of Christ. A forerunner is a messenger sent ahead to prepare the way for another person. Jesus’ entrance into the world was so special to God that He sent John to prepare people for the Saviour’s coming. And he had done a great job!

John the Baptist pointed the way to Christ
With John as a prophet in their midst and the words of repentance for the forgiveness of sins proclaimed – many Jews heard him, repented and changed their attitudes about God. Now their attention (at least most of them) was on God. Oh this is amazing: once John had turned people’s attention to God; he then focused that attention on God’s Son in human flesh, Jesus Christ. As people listened intently to John, he said:
The man who will come after me is much greater than I am. I am not good enough even to bend down and untie his sandals. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (Mark 7-8,

I understand you and I may not feel like dressing and preaching the way John does, but if we’re followers of Christ, our business, like John’s, is to change people’s attitudes about God and focus their attention on Jesus Christ. Every time John saw Jesus coming, he said something like these: “There is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29); “I tell you that he is the Son of God” (1:34); “There is the Lamb of God!” (1:36). John was basically said, “There, look at Jesus!

As we point others to Jesus – introducing Him through our actions and words – Jesus at the same time will begin to introduce Himself to them on the inside through the Holy Spirit. If God can use a single man to introduce Jesus to the people in the desert, He can certainly use you and me where we are today – universities and campuses, workplace and home, markets and on the street – to Jesus, the Saviour of the world. Amen.

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