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Dec 4, 2023
15
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Episode 67: The Truth Of Being Set Apart (The Story of John the Baptist)

Episode 67: The Truth Of Being Set Apart (The Story of John the Baptist)

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Episode 67: The Truth Of Being Set Apart (The Story of John the Baptist)

As we barrel head first into December and all that comes with it, I wanted to backtrack to the moments in the Bible leading up to Jesus’ appearance. I’m talking about John the Baptist. I posted a short clip a week or so back about how underrated the life of John is. I think its important to understand some background of this man and his role in preparing the way for Jesus’ entry into the world!




Let me begin by reading in Luke 1 about the miraculous conception of John. So, you see, John and Jesus’ births not only overlap but they are parallel in the fact that both are miraculous! Talk about unexpected! 




From the very moments since birth, John was prophesied over and raised KNOWING it was he who would fulfill prophecy as the one to usher in the new Testament. This is significant for many reasons: One, John is the first prophetic voice to rise up in 400 years. His birth is not only the fullfillment of prophecy but it will also become the link between the old and new testament. See, up until this very moment, the people of Israel have been practicing under the old testament law given to Moses after the great exodus out of Egypt. Under this old covenant, the people must make sacrifices and perform rituals, using appointed priests to make atonements to God on their behalf. 




First is this: John was set apart. He knew he was set apart since birth. He didn’t run or rebel from the idea of this; indeed, he set the course of his life on a path that HONORED this great commissioning. Guys. He literally chose to live in the wilderness. Many of the gospels document his life and share that not only did he choose to separate himself from the world but he also forsook comforts. Not only was John sure of who he was, not only did John know the role he was to play, but he was the forerunner to the salvation of the world. He laid his own comfort, he laid down opportunities for community and fellowship, and instead he boldly preached against the world. He called out religious hypocrites. And risked looking like an actual crazy person to prepare the way. It’s why he was born! He never wavered from his role. 




And he could have. By the time Jesus enters the scene in his adult years, John had built up quite a name and following. He had his own disciples. As Jesus approaches while John is baptizing people in the Jordan River, John’s own disciples point and say who is that? John says, “ Behold, the Lamb of God!!” And his disciples left him to follow Jesus. Do you know what John didn’t do? He didn’t make it about himself. He didn’t ask his disciples to come back and follow him. Why? Because that’s not why he came. He knew his role. He knew his ministry. And his ministry wasn’t about himself, but rather, about pointing the world to the Messiah. 




Oh, what a stunning picture of hope. Doesn’t God do fine work using the unexpected? He uses barren women to have prophet sons who live set apart. Wild (and some may even say a bit crazy). But the truth is, John wasn’t crazy. He was a man who knew his role and never strayed from it. He lead the way. He becomes a link in history to the most important moments since or ever again. He users in the hope of the world. As we enter into the holiday season, my prayer is that each of you will remember, too, that God loves to use the unexpected. And in fact, He has always called you. He chose you before the beginning of time to live where you live, in the family you’re in, in the city you reside, with the gifts and skills you have… to live with purpose. You know, deep down, He did. And maybe, just maybe, we’ll all be brave enough to live set apart like John to point the way to Jesus. Lord knows the world needs hope. And the truth is… we have it. In Jesus. 




Thank you to our sponsor! ⁠⁠⁠⁠NIV Journal the Word Bible⁠ ⁠⁠⁠published by Zondervan. Visit your local Christian bookstore or⁠⁠ journaltheword.com⁠⁠ to find a beautiful edition!

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