The Savior of the world certainly did come to Earth in an unexpected way. He came as a servant of God to sacrifice Himself for us. It wasn’t immediately apparent to others that Jesus was the Messiah; the King they had been waiting for.
Still, God prepared the way for Him. Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist, was popular among the people of Israel. Large crowds followed him, listened to him preach, and submitted to his call for repentance from their sinful lifestyle. At the peak of John’s popularity, Jesus came to the Jordan River, where John was conducting his ministry. John recognized Him and humbly told his followers, “I am not the Christ, but I have been sent ahead of Him… He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:28,30).
Yet, even John the Baptist wasn’t entirely enlightened about Jesus’ full mission. John the Baptist had introduced Jesus to the people as the One who would bring judgment with His coming (Matthew 3:11-12). Later, when John was put in prison, he heard that Jesus was healing the sick, not bringing judgment as John had thought. He wondered was Jesus really the One?
Some of John’s disciples were sent to ask Jesus to confirm that He was the Messiah. In response, Jesus reiterated John’s message that He was the Messiah and sent them back with the confirmation of many miracles and fulfilled prophecies.
Rather than reprimanding John for his unbelief, Jesus assured his cousin that he was “more than a prophet,” and that, “among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist” (Matthew 11:9,11). Using Old Testament scripture, Jesus shared God’s description of John: “Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You.”
Jesus wanted the people to know how unique John was. Jesus was grateful that the Father had sent John as His herald, His messenger. Unless someone preceded the King to tell people of His arrival, how would they know that the King was coming? Jesus’ words conveyed how thankful He was for John. And He wanted to ensure that John was never forgotten. Jesus also must have been considering His own future suffering when He encouraged John that his suffering and humble service were for the greater purpose of offering redemption and eternal life for all.
Are you proclaiming Jesus as the Savior of the world to the people in your world?
Lord, thank you for your Son, His sacrifice, and the Word that guides us each day. Amen.
RENEWING RESOURCESThere are so many fascinating and inspirational characters and stories in the Bible. If you’d like to gain a complete understanding of how all of the books of the Bible come together as one grand story of salvation, you will find The Bare Bones Bible Handbook the perfect tool. This resource by Jim is a fast and friendly overview of every book of the Bible.
Take time to consider who you could proclaim the gospel to this Easter season, whether it is in person (after these various pandemic quarantines end) or virtually.
This is a wonderful time to thank God for the gift of His Son, our Savior, and those saints who came before us proclaiming the Gospel.