Today, we celebrate John the Baptist, and we remember him as a model of how we should live our lives according to our own personal calling. He was, according to Jesus, the greatest of the prophets. He preached the baptism of water for the forgiveness of sins, and he lived his life RIGHTEOUSLY and PEACEFULLY according to the words he spoke. From within the womb, he was the first to ‘jump for JOY’ at the presence of Jesus, Lord and Savior. He never claimed to be more than he was, one who prepared the way for the Messiah and the kingdom of heaven.
To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less.”
For his faithful ministry and service, John was beheaded and his body tended to by his disciples (Mark 6:17-29). John responded to the call of the Father’s LOVE and recognized that Jesus, Lamb of God, would issue in God’s plan for man’s SALVATION. He played his part, and gave everything, even his life. This is what Jesus said about him:
After John’s messengers left, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear expensive clothes and indulge in luxury are in palaces. But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written: “‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”
May we respond to our purpose, as did John, so as to hear those words spoken in heaven “Well done good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21a). We work as if working for the Lord. We take, receive and use the NEW LIFE and SPIRITUAL GIFTS given us, and through the power of the BAPTISM of fire, we GROW and are TRANSFORMED by the Holy Spirit. All this so that we decrease, and Jesus increase. ALL FOR JESUS, we GO!
2 Thessalonians 3:10-16
In fact, when we were with you, we instructed you that if anyone was unwilling to work, neither should that one eat. We hear that some are conducting themselves among you in a disorderly way, by not keeping busy but minding the business of others. Such people we instruct and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to work quietly and to eat their own food. But you, brothers, do not be remiss in doing good. If anyone does not obey our word as expressed in this letter, take note of this person not to associate with him, that he may be put to shame. Do not regard him as an enemy but admonish him as a brother. May the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.