The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2 As it is written in the Prophets:[a]
“Behold, I send My messenger before Your face,
Who will prepare Your way before You.”[b]
3 “The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the LORD;
Make His paths straight.’”[c]
4 John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. 5 Then all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.
6 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And he preached, saying, “There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. 8 I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” Mark 1:1-8
Mark’s gospel opens with clarity on who Jesus is. He is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. John the Baptist continues by clearly pointing to the fact that one mightier than himself is still to come. One who can offer remission of sins and baptizes with the Spirit, One whose sandal he is not worthy to untie.
There are many voices today on television, radio and internet. John the Baptist was faithful to point to Christ. He humbly lived in the desert, wore simple clothing, ate to gain strength and to sustain life, put all things under submission of Christ, and always pointed to the supremacy of Christ. Many of today’s voices live in mansions in gated communities, have expensive wardrobes, choose a cafeteria-style Christianity and seek to be prosperous and become celebrities.
It would be prudent for you and I to discern who we are following. In these days when all that glitters is not gold we can be fooled. It is important to look beyond the bells and whistles and seek out the substance of the Word of God from humble, faithful and devoted teachers who point only to Jesus the Christ, the Son of God. Discern their teachings and judge the content of their messages and, to the best of our capabilities, know who they are and how they live. Are they reflecting Jesus or only looking for their reflection in the mirror?
Kathy Withers is on staff at America’s Keswick and serves as Acting Director of Partner Care. Kathy has been married to her husband Dave for 30 years. They have two adult children. Kathy is active in her local Church and teaches a Bible Study for women. Her passion is to encourage women to deepen their walk with Jesus Christ by finding and living out the truths of God’s Word.