Wednesday, May 10, 2017

John the Baptizer- Who Are You?

By Mary Vee
John 1



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. 

Apparently, I have become the talk of the city. Crowds travel to the desert where I live and listen to me speak. Some believe the message I tell about the coming Messiah. Some repent of their sinful ways and ask for water baptism..so I baptize them and teach them what God wants them to do. 

Some of the men who have heard my messages went to the priests. They told them what "the man in the desert" says. 

They tell them I wear camel skin clothes and eat locust and wild honey. I think they wanted the priests to come hear what I said then decide if my message was true.

Of course my messages are true. I'm only saying what God tells me to say. It's their choice to believe or not.

One day a group of priests showed up on the shore of the Jordan River. They stood in the back of the crowd and listened to me speak. When I finished they asked, "Who are you? Are you the Christ? The One you are speaking about?"

No way. Just hearing their question made me feel sad. I am only the one bringing the messages. "I am not the Christ." I spoke in a firm and clear voice so no one would mistake what I said.

The priests and rabbis then said, "Well, then, are you Elijah?"

Elijah? Really? The prophet of long ago who used to perform mighty miracles? "No, I am not Elijah."

The priests and rabbis looked confused. They talked among themselves then said, "Are you the Prophet?"

No. Not the One they meant. "No, I am not."

They stroke their beards and said, "Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. Tell us about yourself."

They wanted to know, so I told them using words from Isaiah the prophet. "I am the voice of one calling in the desert, 'Make straight the way of the Lord.'"


The Jordan River, Photo by Mary Vee


Among the people were some priestly men called Pharisees. These men spent many, many years studying the Scriptures. They were the learned ones, but didn't have a love for God in their hearts. The Pharisees asked me, "Why are you baptizing people if you are not the Christ, Elijah, or the Prophet?"

I answered them, "I only baptize with water. Here among you stands one you don't recognize. He is the One who has come that I have told you about. I am not even worthy to untie His sandals."

The priests left still uncertain about the whole conversation. Hopefully they will understand when they see Jesus.

Just so you know, this event happened on the other side of the Jordan River in an area called Bethany. 


Note from Mary Vee: in the photo above, the picture is taken from Israel's shore. Across the river, or the Jordanian side, is a building where armed military men stood with guns. That was the side that John the Baptist stood on when talking with these Pharisees, priests, and rabbis. 


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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