Thoughts on the Passage
How do you know Jesus shows up in your life?
That is a question worth asking. John came with one purpose – to prepare the way so God’s people would be ready for their Messiah. Still, he had to know what he was looking for as well.
John could have used his human wisdom. Jesus was his cousin. He could have gone and found him in Nazareth. They could have met, worked together, organized everything… No, John says that he did not know Jesus by sight. He probably never met Jesus until this encounter at the Jordan river.
John could have relied on his understanding of God’s Word. We see that the religious leaders, the magi that found Him in Bethlehem, and others (Simeon and Anna in Luke 2) all knew that the timing was right for the Messiah. God opened the door of understanding for them and they found Jesus. John was skilled in the Word of God – he could have tried to take this route. He did not.
John listened to the Holy Spirit speak. The Holy Spirit filled John from even before he was born, and John knew how to listen to the Spirit. John knew how to be obedient to the Spirit’s voice. So when God revealed to John that he would see the Messiah through a sign from heaven – that is what John used to identify Jesus.
For many of us, that is a challenging way of walking by faith. Still, John trusted the Spirit’s guidance and announced that the Messiah had arrived when this sign was revealed.
Do we have a close enough walk with the Spirit to hear His voice – and boldly walk in obedience?
Also, John declares something new – Jesus is the Son of God. John knew that Jesus was the son of Mary – his mother's cousin. He probably heard the story of Jesus' conception by the Spirit of God from his parents. Still, John describes Jesus in a way no one has ever done before – He is the Son of God. That kind of spiritual insight just amazes me. We understand it now because we have the Word of God to explain it, but John had to receive it from revelation. He again boldly declares it to the nation.
Ask God to reveal Himself to us today. It can be through His Word. It can be through His Spirit speaking directly into our hearts. God desires to reveal Himself to us, but we often set too many preconditions on how He should do it. He must reveal Himself by: releasing healing, giving us a job, opening doors for us, etc. He may wish to do that for us. He may wish to show up in a different way than we expect. It will never violate His plan for our lives, contradict His Word, or ask us to do things that are wrong. When God reveals Himself, boldly walk in that for this day.
Time to Pray
Father, there are many uncertain things that I face today. I need direction; I need clarity; I need Your peace as I move forward. Today, I ask that You release two things to me. I ask that You open my understanding of Your heart for me and my world – I want to deal with every situation with Your heart. Second, I want an open door that is revealed by You. Open it and give me the boldness of John to walk through that door. In Jesus’ name, Amen.