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COFFEE CORNER WITH TINA
Click Here for Today’s Podcast: As Good As Your Word
The average Bible scholar is familiar with the truths in this passage. John the Baptist sees Christ for the first time and knows based on a clue left him by Father God that the man at the river is the Son of God! A new lesson from the same text came to me today. We can read God’s Living Word time and again, and come away with a new truth each time.
31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.
32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.
“And I knew him not…”
In verses 31 and 33, John tells us that he did not know Christ before he met him that day at the river. He tells us twice. John went ahead, and prepared the way, for a stranger on the word of Father God. If you’re reading quickly, this may not seem like much. If you stop for a second look, there is a deeper lesson here for the Christian life.
Two things come to mind: reputation and good rapport. Imagine the relationship between Father God and John the Baptist. If Father God had not been faithful and true to John, do you really think that John would John have taken him at his word? Would you leave your home, start crying out to others, and baptizing in a local river, based on the word of just anybody? No, we probably would not but John had a good rapport with Father God. God’s reputation precedes Him as faithful and true.
“I have it on good authority”
Last year, when we moved into the farm several of our neighbors spoke to me about this local author. He probably lives about 20 miles from my home. He is rather accomplished and has 40 books or more to his credit. I am ashamed to say that until I moved back to Kentucky in 2013, I had not read any of his work. But on the good word of my neighbors, I purchased a few of his books. I was not disappointed. The books were good. I enjoyed them. The report was good. I’ll be keen to hear of more local talent now because I have it on good authority that great folks live near me!
As Christians a good reputation is priceless; having a good rapport with others is too. In seeking daily to be more like Christ, is my reputation flawless? Have I established a good rapport with others? If I gave others urgent direction, would my faithfulness and honesty spur them to action? Or, would they question my directive because I failed them in the past? This speaks to God’s faithfulness to us. His Word is truth. John knew it and ran with the message!
The good reputation of God being faithful and true to John spurred to action. John came out of the wilderness on the word of one who had never let him down and would never lie to him. If not for that, John would not have been at the river that day. Christ would not have been baptized by John the Baptist. The voice of one crying in the wilderness would not have prepared hearts. The good rapport between them made ALL this possible.
What does the Bible tell us to do as Christians? “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
Can you be taken at your word? On a daily basis, you may not care who takes you at your word. You may say, “Oh, I could care less what others think of me. They can believe me or not – no skin off my nose!” What if this a dire situation? What if your words were the only caution sign this soul may read? Then, yes. We would care whether folks believe that we were as good as our word. In that instance, your good reputation and the rapport that you have may save someone’s life. Without those two things, the whole world may have missed all the Father had in store for us: the Gift of His Precious Son as our sacrifice for sin.
Today’s challenge: Let Your Good Reputation Precede You and Glorify Your Father in Heaven.
Until next time!