I decided this week to do a study in the four gospels of the life of John the Baptist. We know he and Jesus were cousins and that he was six months older than Jesus. The Bible says he was filled with the Holy Spirit before he was born, so we know God had something special for him to do. When his parents took him to the temple to dedicate him, Luke says in chapter 1 verse 66,the people ask, “What will this child turn out to be for the hand of the Lord is surely upon him in a special way.” We know John will preach and tell those listening to repent of their sins, be baptized and turn to God. He will tell them there is one coming after him who is so much greater than he is. He says I am not even worthy to carry his sandals. We know he is talking about Jesus. John will die a premature death for being bold enough to tell the king that he has sinned by taking his brother’s wife.
When I thought about the people and their question when they ask what John turn out to be; When I read of the mission God gave to John to tell about Jesus and when I read of his death, I am reminded of how brief life is and how important it is to be open to following the mission God has for us.
I am also reminded that the Bible tells us to count the cost of following Jesus and that following cost John his life. It also cost Jesus his life to follow God and fulfill His mission. Luke records these words of Jesus in chapter 9. He tells us that He will suffer many terrible things. He will be rejected by the elders and priests and teachers of the law. He says he will be killed for obeying God’s mission for him.
Then Jesus said to the crowd and to us, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily and follow me.” It will cost us something to follow. Each of us must count the cost and decide if we are willing to remain faithful, no matter what it cost us.
God bless you all and “Keep Spurring.”