John the baptist – minister for Christ

As we continue to study the first chapter of the Gospel of John the Evangelist we find a portrayal of John the Baptist.

John provides us with the fundamental characteristics of the servant or minister of Christ.

John the Baptist is explicit about who he is and what he is charged by God to do. He is at pains to say that he is not the object of his ministry – that Jesus Christ is the entire focus.

John has a humble, serving role. He is not there to draw attention to himself, but to Jesus Christ. When asked he makes clear that he is not the important one – that Jesus Christ is.

In fact his entire work,  indeed his entire life [which he will forfeit in this ministry]  is given over to the purpose of serving God by pointing the way to Jesus Christ.

He has a preparatory role.

I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness:

“Make straight the way of the Lord”,

as said the prophet Esaias.

And that is the role of any one who seeks to serve Jesus Christ – to point to him and to his importance – not their own.

We point to a Person – not a force, or a power, or a phenomenon; nor indeed to a state of mind like peace; nor to a political or religious philosophy or other system of thinking to explain the universe; nor yet to a set of practices.

But to a Person – God the Son. The Saviour who died for us on the cross to deliver us from God’s righteous wrath against our sin – our fundamental selfishness, our egocentricity, our self exaltation, our tendency to evil against others.

We see here John as the unselfish servant of Christ, sincerely devoted to Christ’s exaltation, not his. Why ? Because the true servant of Christ knows that of himself he has nothing to offer but to point to Christ who is – and has – all that is of any true value to offer – eternal life in knowing God. [as John says later on in this Gospel].

But we see here something else of eternal importance and of spiritual truth. We see John citing the words of Isaiah [Esaias] the prophet, several centuries before. They are recorded in Isaiah chapter 40 of the Old Testament, [specifically at verse 3].

Go to chapter 40 of Isaiah. You will find there a description about, and words uttered by, the great Creator God of the universe – such as verse 28

Hast thou  thou not known ? Hast thou not heard that the everlasting God – the LORD – the Creator of the ends of the earth fainteth not, neither is weary ? There is no searching of his understanding. [no searching of his understanding ie we cannot begin to understand God – we must just accept his existence and his claim on us as our Creator].

God is a Person and as a Person he has character – aspects are mentioned here – but critically he SPEAKS. And what he speaks is eternal and powerful. He spoke these words to Isaiah, and we find several centuries later  their fulfillment in the ministry of John the Baptist and in the coming of Christ.

Only God who transcends time and our very limited understanding could have spoken and acted in such a way.

Only God as a person could have formulated a plan and overseen its execution in time and place completely outside the realms of human control.

God is evidently a Person – not an  amorphous, purposeless force or spirit.

The entire Bible speaks of God’s actions and God’s speaking. And verse 8 of chapter 40 of Isaiah tells us that this eternal Being has a constancy outside of time, and within it. Outside this material world and within it.

Starting at verse 6:

The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry ?

All flesh is grass and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it. Surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth


Which brings us back to this first chapter of John where we see Christ as the Word of God [verse 1]; Christ as the Word made flesh, full of grace and truth [verse 14];  Christ the Word we must receive and believe on that we might be born of God [verses 11 to 14], that we might have the power to become the sons of God [verse 12].

Are you ?


By Christianity

The personal icon photograph shows God's creation, the world. It reminds us that God is the Creator of all - the almighty, the all knowing and all present - the one who is most important of all. The one to whom we owe all, and the one to whom we will answer for all. The site's header image of the Bible [King James Authorised Version], a map, a light and a compass represent to us that God's word in the Bible is our spiritual map, illumination and guide through this life. Those who obey his teaching will know his presence and power - Gospel of John, chapter 14, verse 23

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