Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Text John 168 1928

                  

                                   Lectionary Gospel Reading QUICK OVERVIEW
                                                       For December 11, 2005


Text:  John 1:6-8, 19-28.

Key Word:  Witness

Key Verse:  John 1:7  “This man (John the Baptist) came to witness, that he might testify of the Light, that all men might believe in it—trust in and rely upon it—through him.” (Amplified Bible).

Key Thought:  God called and sent John to be a witness so that his life and words might reflect His light (Grace and Truth) to light up the path of those blinded by sin’s darkness and so prepare the way for people to believe in the Holy Christ

Outline of Ideas Presented in the Text:

John the Baptist was not a self appointed witness but called by God to witness to the light of Christ’s coming to bring grace and truth to ill favored and deceived people in their sin.
(Verses 6-8).

The religious leaders who oversaw the rituals and ceremonies of the Jewish faith sent a committee to check on his innovative method of baptizing Jews (this had never been done before) and his preaching credentials. The main point of John’s witness was to point to the Christ who had come and to convince people that he (John the Baptist) was not the long expected Messiah.  He was just a spokesman to pinpoint sin obstacles in people’s lives so that they could repent and change and so prepare for the holy Messiah’s manifestation. (Verses 19-23).

In answer to questions about his authority for his unusual baptism, John said he merely baptized with water (as a rite of purification, as a witness they had repented and been cleansed of sin) but that the great One was even then present in the crowd.  This One was so great compared with John that John was unworthy even to be His lowest servant-slave.
The religious leaders focused on who John was but didn’t realize John was witnessing to them about who the Messiah was.  (Verses 24-27).

John did not preach in the temple but out in the wilderness at the Jordan River.  There at a main crossroads and gateway to Jerusalem he could baptize confessors in the river. (Verse 28).

Application:

Do I speak out and point to Christ in the spiritual desert I live in?  
As a Christian I am called to witness to Christ not myself.  I am to give Him credit for my successes not myself.  I am called to reflect His light (grace and truth) to light up the path of those around me lost in the darkness of sin.  Am I fearful and embarrassed to witness to Christ or bold like John?  Have I thought through the witness I have of the changes Christ has made in my life and boldly share these when appropriate or am I embarrassed and lose opportunities?  

Joe Sturz
www.joesturz.lectionary.blogspot.com    








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