Saturday, April 29, 2017

John the Baptizer-When Jesus Came to the Jordan River that day...

By Mary Vee
Matthew 3
Mark 1
Luke 3



From John the Baptizer's Notes




Photo by Mary Vee - Desert near the Jordan River
My name is John. I live on my own in the desert near the Jordan River and have for some time. 

I'm not completely alone. God has given me a message to tell every person I meet. The weird thing is, men and women bring their children and walk all the way from the city where they have water and food and everything they need. They come to the desert where I live, where there is no water to drink or food to eat, looking for me. When they find me, they sit on the ground and listen to the message God gave me to share.

Some people come because they are curious. Others come because God has stirred their heart's desires to hear His message.

God does that. He gives us all opportunities to hear from Him. 

His message is not just about His love for people. God wants them to know his laws. He also wants men and women to know what they must do to have eternal life. God's message is serious. He will judge our sins. He will punish those who have not obeyed Him.

There are times when the men and women talk among themselves, trying to understand the message. This time several asked out loud, "John, are you the Christ?" It was an honest question. They weren't interested in making me a god. They truly wanted to know. 


The Jordan River, Photo by Mary Vee
So I answered, "I baptize you here in this river with physical water. The One you seek is more powerful. He will come and ignite the Holy Spirit inside you, changing you from the inside out. He has the power to gather those who are wheat and get rid of those that are chaff with a terrible fire.

The crowds listened for hours. They came back day after day to hear more. 

No, this did not impress me, because many, not all, but many came back because it was the popular thing to do. They had bragging rights to say they had journeyed to the desert and heard me speak. Whatever.

The reason they came didn't matter. I continued telling God's messages because God loves everyone and wants everyone to hear His message of love and His plan to save those who believe. And maybe, just maybe a man or woman who listens for the wrong reason, might hear the truth.

One day while I stood down at the Jordan River baptizing those who said they believed and would follow God's ways, Jesus came from Galilee. 

I knew Jesus. He was my cousin. But when He came to the river that day something stirred inside me. I looked at His eyes and I knew. God stirred my heart...and I knew, Jesus was the One who would save all of us. Jesus was and is God's Son. 

He was here. 

Right here at the Jordan River with us. 

Come back for the next story.

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sources: 
*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary

Jewish History.org
*Jewish Virtual Library.org

*My research in Israel.

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