Imprisonment and Doubt #1 November 20 I am Not the Christ!
“And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, ‘I am not the Christ.’” John 1:19-20
Have you ever looked up to a Pastor, Bible teacher, or other religious leader as a replacement for the Word of God? If they said it, it is gospel, even if it is just their opinion or interpretation. This is what started to happen to John the Baptist in John chapter one. We learn a little about John the Baptist in the Gospels, he was known for many things and was gaining popularity among the Jewish people. People started following him, crowds gathered and the people listened. John the Baptist was the cousin of Jesus, it is not clear how far removed they were but the Bible teaches they were related on their mother’s side. John the Baptist was a very wild man that lived in the wilderness, wore animal skins and his diet consisted of locusts and honey. He was an interesting character for sure, but God put a special anointing on him because he would be the one chosen to be the front runner to Jesus’ earthly ministry. John’s message was all about repentance and baptism to prepare the Jewish people for Christ’s message and offer of redemption. The Jewish people were excited because they had been waiting for the Prophet Elijah to come to free them from the tyranny of Rome and the religious leaders.
As John taught and baptized, the people became increasingly curious and confused regarding his identity and began inquiring, saying things like, “Are you Elijah the Prophet”? When he denied being Elijah, they asked, “Are you the Christ?” It was then that he revealed his purpose and the introduction to who Jesus was by saying, “I am not the Christ, I baptize you with water but the One coming after me, He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Shortly after, Jesus arrived on the scene to be baptized, and John said to Jesus, “I need to be baptized by you, why do you come to me?” And Jesus replied, “John, this is the will of my Father.” Immediately following the baptism of Jesus, the heavens opened, and they saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and rested on Jesus, and behold a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17) John refused to be mistaken for Jesus. He even went on to say that he was not worthy to tie His sandals. John 3:30 says, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
We need to be the John the Baptist’s of our day to the lost and dying world around us. We are not THE Christ, but we are called to be LIKE Christ. We are called to point people to Jesus to live our life in a way that reflects Him, not us! It is often said, “You are the only Jesus some people will ever see.”
Is your life reflecting Christ today? Do people see Him when they look at you or hear His grace, kindness, and love in your conversations? Jesus is coming back again one day, and there are still many people that need to know Him as their Savior. Every day we are one day closer to His return.