Sunday, January 31st, 2016
The Enemy's Game (Part 91)
Star Players: John The Baptist*
What did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. For this is he of whom it is written: 'Behold, I send My messenger before Your Face, who will prepare Your way before You.' Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist.
Matthew 11:11 (NKJV)
John the Baptist was a fiery preacher: a strong, Spirit-filled cousin of Jesus. Until the Carpenter got in the game, picture John as an explosive pitcher--hurling fastballs, sinkers, sliders and curves. Before his arrest and imprisonment, John pitched a perfect no-hitter. His opponents slinked away in disgrace. At the bat, John advanced the Lord's players, helping them run on the path toward home.
Consider the powerful life of John:
1) As The Lord's first prophet since Malachi, John carried the greatest news of all time. Because after 400 silent years, God's chosen ones were tied up and mixed up.
2) Israel was ruled by Roman warlords and confused by religious hypocrites. Mountains of proud men needed leveling. Valleys of poor people needed lifting.**
3) John's instructions focused on repentance: turning from darkness back toward the Light. With piercing truth and countless baptisms, he brought everything he had to the job.
4) John was not a respecter of status. His pitches were penetrating fireballs, aimed equally at kings, queens and soldiers; scribes, priests, Pharisees and tax collectors.
5) John was clearly submissive to Jesus. This honey-dipped, locust-eating prophet was ready to defer the starting spot. His trail-blazing pitches cleared the King's path.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: What can you learn from the baptizer? Maybe baptisms are important. If the world's singular sinless Man chose the submission of baptism, should we not follow His grown-up lead? Maybe eccentricity is cool, and we must not prize conformity, but instead--cherish differences. Maybe to know John was quite famous, but confessed his own unworthiness compared to the Person of Jesus.
To Be Continued...
* Short article: What should we learn from the life of John the Baptist? http://www.gotquestions.org/life-John-Baptist.html
** Isaiah 40:3-5 refers to John the Baptist: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Is+40%3A3-5&version=NKJV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the The Enemy's Game series.