Want Joy? Be Like John

John 1.6-8, 19-28

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.

19 This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ 20He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, ‘I am not the Messiah.’ 21And they asked him, ‘What then? Are you Elijah?’ He said, ‘I am not.’ ‘Are you the prophet?’ He answered, ‘No.’ 22Then they said to him, ‘Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?’ 23He said,
‘I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness,
“Make straight the way of the Lord”’,
as the prophet Isaiah said.

24 Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. 25They asked him, ‘Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?’ 26John answered them, ‘I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know,27the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.’ 28This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.

Oh the joy of John The Baptist. What a better of a life could you have than living in the woods, eating all the locust and honey you could eat? Adorned in the finest, most comfortable clothing, camel hair. All the comforts you could imagine, right?

Doesn’t sound like a life that could muster much joy, could it? Oh but I bet it did for John. As Christians, we say with our mouths that we want nothing more than a life ordained by God. One that is guided by the Holy Spirit himself. What would that look like?

Well for John, he knew. His life was even prophesied by Isaiah. He was the forerunner. The one crying in the wilderness. The one who prepared the way for the Messiah, God himself. John didn’t live a life of royalty, his comfort wouldn’t come until his day in Heaven, however, I imagine he knew pure joy.

Now I haven’t had the opportunity to meet many of you who might read this, however, the internet has kind of “brought us together”. John didn’t need DSL, no high speed internet. He didn’t need Facebook, Instagram or any other form of Social Media to be known. No, you see, John did what he needed to do for God. He lived out his call in the exact way he was called to.

Boy, that would make me joyous. Living out the life I was created to live. Doing the work of the Lord, just as He ordained it. I suffer from the human condition of sin. Comfort, good food, a comfortable bed and money in the bank. Sure I still live a life of service to God, but what would it look like if I surrendered all to serve our Lord and Savior? How much joy would that would bring?

Let’s try being more like John the Baptist. Let’s let go of everything that keeps us from serving the one who came and died for us.

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God bless you,

Father Jason Bowden

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