A Year With Jesus: Matthew 3
And with the flip of a page, years and years pass by.
We don’t know much about Jesus’ childhood. All we really have is Dr. Luke’s account of Home Alone: Lost in Jerusalem. Matthew jumps from Mary & Joseph settling down in Nazareth with their child to Jesus and his cousin John being all grow’d up.
John the Baptist (or John “The Baptizer”, which I think would make an awesome pro-wrestling name) is an interesting character. The more I read about him the more I see things in his life that I want to imitate. I don’t think I’d do very well on his diet of locusts and wild honey, but I can learn a thing or two from his humility.
John was a rockstar. The people loved him. He had disciples. He boldly spoke up against the “religious elites” of his day. He warned them against making the claim that they were God’s “favorites” simply because their family tree sparkled and shined more than others.
And, perhaps most importantly, Jesus spoke highly of his cousin. He once said to a crowd of people, “I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John.” Among those born of women, huh? Well, that sounds like quite a lot of people…
And yet, in the midst of all that, John was incredibly humble. The purpose of his life was to point others toward Jesus. He called himself unworthy to carry Jesus’ sandals. Jesus had to reassure John that it was okay to baptize Him.
What kept John so humble and Jesus-focused? Was it something in the honey? I don’t know. I wonder if it had anything to do with how much time he actually spent with Jesus. The gospels don’t say how much time they spent together as kids. But if they did hang out at all, John had the unique opportunity to spend time with Jesus before Jesus entered into the public eye.
Matthew ends this chapter with these words:
As soon as Jesus was baptized, he came up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened. Jesus saw the Spirit of God coming down on him like a dove. A voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, and I love him. I am very pleased with him.”
I am sure that in this moment, John was looking on with joy.
Questions to Ponder:
What do you think kept John so humble?
The Pharisees looked to their ancestry to feel superior to others. What are you most tempted to look to?
Please feel free to leave a comment!