Prayer: O Jesus, let me rejoice that I was born into your Kingdom.
Imagination: (Picture Jesus speaking to the crowds.)
Jesus has answered John’s messengers about being the Messiah. Now Jesus praises John, saying he is an angel preparing the way. Even though John is the greatest of the prophets, he did not live to see the glory of Jesus’ Kingdom. The final paragraph is interesting. Luke states that the crowds received Jesus because they were baptized by John and the others rejected Jesus because they rejected John’s ministry.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
When the messengers of John departed, Jesus spoke to the crowds about John, “What did you go out to the desert to see? A reed shaken by the wind? What really did you go out to see – a man clothed in soft garments? Those who eat well and are dressed in costly garments live in the houses of kings.
What did you go out to see – a prophet? Yes, and more than a prophet. He is the one of whom it is written, “Behold, I send my angel before your face to prepare the way before you.” I say to you that among those born of woman, there is no greater than John the Baptist. Yet, the least in the Kingdom of God is greater than he.
All the crowds that heard Jesus, even the tax collectors, gave praise to God because they had received from John the baptismal bath which he administered. The Pharisees and the lawyers, by failing to receive his baptism, defeated God’s plan in their regard.
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- Many in the crowd had heard John. So, Jesus’ words awaken memories of their repentance.
- The people went into the desert because of their religious searchings.
- John fulfilled all their hopes. Even more, he led them to Jesus.
- John was God’s angel preparing for the Messiah.
- Even so, the least in Jesus’ Kingdom would be greater than John.
- This gospel describes two groups. The crowds rejoiced because John baptized them. The Pharisees missed God’s plan because they refused John’s Baptism and were not prepared.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Jesus, I will search for you.
- O Jesus, I will find you in the quiet desert of prayer.
- All my hopes are fulfilled in your presence.
- You prepare me for your greatest blessings.
- I want to be the least in your Kingdom.
- Send your angels to guide my path.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- Today, I will search spiritually, leaving behind what I can see and feel.
- I will rejoice in being baptized into Jesus’ kingdom.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
What did you go out to see?