In my last post, we saw John the Baptist going through a dark time. He sent his disciples to Jesus to ask if He really was the Messiah. The Lord told them to watch what He was doing and report back to John.
After John’s messengers left, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind?
When John’s disciples left, He began to ask the crowd some questions. They’re important for us to hear today. They make a point about what draws people to the cross in all generations.
The first thing the Lord asks is, what did you go to see in the desert?
He asks them if they went out to see a reed swayed by the wind? Many people are like that. They go in any direction the wind is blowing. They think it’s important to be “trendy”.
In the spiritual realm, going along with the crowd is actually a sign of immaturity.
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.
The fact is that people are not drawn to compromise. Maturity in Christ means that you’re not tossed back and forth by everything you hear.
“Whatever you believe is right for you.” “I don’t want to offend.”
It seems to me that John the Baptist probably offended half the people who were drawn to see him. That’s because he didn’t back down from what he believed.
The people came out because they wanted to hear an authoritative message. Most people want to hear from someone who knows what they believe. It’s time for us to start living and speaking like people who know the truth.
Then, Jesus asked the crowd another question.
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.
Did you go out to hear him because he appeared to have “made it” in the world system? Did he wear the right clothes, have good music, the latest technology, etc.? No, John wore what was available. And, he ate what was available. His calling was to let people know, “Jesus is coming.” Everything else was secondary.
People are not drawn if you only look good outwardly. There needs to be an inner strength. We, as God’s people, are different – or at least we should be. We should have different priorities.
We get into problems when we chase after the things of the world. The phrase, indulge in luxury, in the above verse literally means to become feeble because of indulgence. Chasing after the world makes us soft. You lose your edge, intoxicated by the world system.
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.”
We need to be strong in the Lord. That’s because people are drawn to the prophetic. We are to be a prophetic people. That means spending time with the Holy Spirit and listening to His voice.
I’m not talking about something flaky. Prophecy is merely speaking on behalf of God. To be prophetic means that our focus is on the eternal. Too many are focused on the temporary.
The power of God to change a life is what matters. This is something that affects the eternal course of a life. Eternally minded believers draw others to Christ.
This is what Jesus was trying to get across to that crowd…and us.
Question: In what ways are you eternally minded?
© 2022 Nick Zaccardi