Friday, March 7, 2014

Lent 2014: John the Baptist

John 1:19-34
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I wonder how much John and Jesus interacted with each other while growing up. They were relatives, but it probably took quite a bit of work to visit. Between slow and difficult travel, the years Jesus spent in Egypt, and the much older age of John's parents, they may not have actually known each other at all as children. If they did, their interactions probably took place only once a year while both were visiting Jerusalem for the Passover. If they did interact as children, Jesus appeared to John as an ordinary boy. He didn't recognize Him as the Messiah. Whether he had seen Jesus as a child or only as a man, John needed a special sign from God to know who He truly was.
What do you see first when you look at other people? The Christians who really stand out in history are those who were able to look beyond the clothing, disease, or other physical appearance of the individuals they came across and treated them as they would have treated Christ Himself. They realized that although they could not show Jesus the level of love they would like to in person, they could show it in person to the individual in front of them, and He would receive it as His own. In the process, those individuals often blossomed, revealing that they were much more than they first appeared to be. If the people you interact with today were actually the Lord Jesus, how would you treat them? You might find yourself surprised at what your love toward them reveals.

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