The ministry of John the Baptist and the genealogy of Jesus
- Compare verses 4-6 with Isaiah 40:3-5. What can be learned from the difference?
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Going Deeper – from 'Words of Life'
T he baby was given the name Jesus, as instructed by the angel before his birth. Then, on the 40th day, his parents brought him to the Temple to be presented, as was the custom. There they met Simeon and Anna. Simeon had been told by God that he would see the Messiah in his lifetime. He immediately recognised the Christ-child, seeing salvation centred in the person of this tiny baby. Salvation was for all people. Simeon then blessed Joseph and Mary.
Anna, a widow for most of her life and a faithful worshipper of God, said this child would be the redemption of all Jerusalem. Then, after all that was said about him that day, the family returned to Nazareth, where Jesus spent his boyhood.
Years later, John the Baptist began preaching about repentance and the forgiveness of sins. He was preparing the way for the Messiah:
‘A voice of one calling in the desert, “Prepare the way for the Lord”’(3:4).
John was the first prophet in 400 years to speak God’s message to men and women. And he dared to proclaim it fearlessly, for he was a man of great courage – delivering a message in a way that commanded attention and respect. John spoke out boldly on behalf of truth, daring to differ from the men of his day. How could he do this? He was filled with God’s Spirit. It was not about self-glorification; it was all about Christ, the Messiah:
‘I baptise you with water. But one more powerful than I will come…He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire’ (3:16).
All we do – is it for Jesus alone? Do we give him all praise and glory? Do we know for certain that we have been baptised with the Holy Spirit and with fire? If not, or if we need a fresh baptism, let’s pray that God’s Spirit will fall upon us – right now.
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