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Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday September 12, 2011: John 1.19-28

John 1.19-28

19 This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.” 21And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.” 22Then they said to him, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’” as the prophet Isaiah said. 24Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. 25They asked him, “Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” 26John answered them, “I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, 27the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.” 28This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.

Thoughts:  Notice how John's Gospel doesn't have any of the Christmas story but it goes directly from the declaration of the Word made flesh to John the Baptizer (a different John) and the fascination the religious leaders have with him.   Who are you?  It's always an interesting question.  We not only want to know about others, but especially we want to know what they think about themselves.  John seems quite comfortable in his role.   It's as if in the great symphony of salvation John has one line and he's going to perform it well!    I have one little note:  take a look at verse 23:  (23He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’” as the prophet Isaiah said)   I want to suggest that there should be a comma after OUT and not after wilderness.   This would make John's message:  I am the voice of one crying out, in the wilderness make straight the way of the Lord.   In other word....John is coming into the wilderness of our lives and call us to take notice, to get ready for the one who is to come!
Questions:  If someone asked you "Who are you?" how would you answer?  Do you think John had the respect of the authorities or did they dismiss him?   What else do you know about John the baptist?

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