Click here to watch my video reflection on our text for today, or keep reading for my written reflections:
Today as one of our readings, we look at John 1:19-23:
19 This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.” 21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.” 22 Then they said to him, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’” as the prophet Isaiah said.
Today we see one of my favorite people in the Bible, John the Baptist. He has been out, preaching, baptizing, getting folks ready for Jesus. Today, the leaders come to him and say, basically, who are you?
Are you the Messiah?
That would have been a flattering thing for someone to ask you, are you the Messiah? But, John understood his mission and his purpose. He was the Messiah, he was there to point to Jesus. He knew that was the purpose of his life and his ministry. He was there to point others to Jesus. That gave him clarity and a purpose.
We are all searching for purpose in life. What are we here for? What are we to do? Why are we here? Why do we exist. John shows us why today. To point others to Jesus. That is our mission. Now, we will try to fill that mission with other things: money, power, popularity, so many things. Even religion. But these things are all lacking.
They are fool’s gold. They look tempting and life-giving. But they are not. Only Jesus, only finding our life, our mission, and purpose in Him, and then pointing others to Him, only in that do we truly find what we are here for.
But to tell others, we have to know it ourselves. Today, as you may be stuck inside, take some time to think about where your purpose is. What are you living for? Where do you find life? In Christ alone, our true life is found. Nowhere else. Nowhere else.
If you know that life and that truth, you’ll want to point others to it. That is our mission. Everything else is fool’s gold.
Today, let’s be faithful in that.
Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent. I’d love for you to take part in our Ash Wednesday shared discipline this year at St. Matthew’s, even if you aren’t part of our church. You can watch this video to learn more:
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