Prayer: O Jesus, help me to find my identity in you.
Imagination: (Picture John preaching at the Jordan River.)
The gospel of John focuses on Jesus’ identity. This gospel clarifies the Baptist’s identity so he is not confused with the messiah. John also distinguishes their two Baptisms.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
The priests and Levites were sent from Jerusalem to ask John, “Who are you?” He said, “I am not the Christ.” They continued. “Are you Elijah?” He answered “I am not”. “Are you the prophet?” “I am not”, he said. “Who are you, then?” He answered, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.’”
Some Pharisees asked him, “If you are not the Christ, Elijah, or the prophet, then why do you baptize?” John answered, “I baptize with water, but one comes after me, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize with the Holy Spirit.”
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
1. The Jerusalem leaders are concerned because large crowds follow John.
2. John clarifies all their perceptions. He is not the Christ, Elijah or a prophet.
3. John gladly disclaims these titles, when he would easily have been believed.
4. John’s identity comes from Jesus. He is a voice preparing everyone for the Word of God.
5. John understands that his power is less than Jesus. Only Jesus can baptize in the Holy Spirit.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
1. Who am I, O Lord? Why have you created me? What is my role in the Kingdom?
2. You have written my identity on my soul. Reveal it to me!
3. O Jesus, in you, I discover who I am.
4. I seek only to be the least in your Kingdom.
5. I will be a voice proclaiming you as the Word of God.
6. Fill me, O Lord, with the powers of your Holy Spirit.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
1. I will seek to know God’s place for me in his Kingdom.
2. I will serve Jesus Christ, whose sandals I am unworthy to loosen.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation) I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness.