Friday 25 October 2013

John 3:22-36 - The Baptist's view

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John the Baptist was very clear about who Jesus was. Both in his own mind and in what he said to others, he fully recognised that his task had been to introduce the main act. He knew that his was a preparatory and supporting role and that Jesus was the One who had been promised through the prophets. John 3:22-36 covers these ideas.

There was a lot of baptising going on at that time. John was still baptising those who came to him, but meanwhile Jesus' disciples were baptising people too. When one of the Jewish religious leaders debated ritual washing with some of John's followers, John told them plainly that you can receive only what you are given.

I think that is a key teaching for us, certainly for me. Sometimes we want to be or do more, we are ambitious and restless. That's a good thing, by the way. But we cannot become what we are not. We can receive only what we are given. [Tweet it!] However, when it comes to receiving the Holy Spirit we should always have an abundant supply. John made this very clear when he said, "For the One sent by Elohim speaks words from Elohim, because El gives the Spirit without limit".

John was referring here to Jesus as the One sent, but it's also true for all those who follow Jesus. We, too, are sent by the Almighty. We too speak his words. And he has freely and abundantly given us the Holy Spirit too.

Let the Baptist's words sink deep into your being. He is writing about Jesus' nature. We know where he comes from. We know that he speaks the truth. We know he gives us his Spirit without limit. So there is nothing to prevent us receiving the Spirit fully and so going out daily in power and truth and love and joy, sharing the good news with all who will listen.


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