Matthew chapter 3
John the Baptist was sent on a special assignment by God to prepare the heart of the people to receive Christ at His coming. John the Baptist spoke so much about Christ before His unveiling that even some of his followers decided to follow Christ when He was shown unto the people.
John the Baptist’s mandate was to stir up a longing in the heart of the people and bring them to a state of consciousness about God and His will. In doing this, he lived a secluded lifestyle in the wilderness while eating honey and locust. He was in the presence of God in the wilderness praying for the revelation of Christ, discipling and baptizing people.
Many people who saw John the Baptist were in confusion as to whether he was the Messiah or not, but he was quick to inform them that there is One who is coming and whose shoe’s latchet he was not worthy to unloose. Immediately Jesus showed up, he declared “behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world”.
John the Baptist was elated and excited about the appearance of Christ. He did a great job sensitizing the people about Christ and now He is standing before Him and the people. Many believed in Jesus because of the work that John the Baptist has done. He was a happy man whose mandate seems to have been fulfilled. He was then faced with a huge task of baptizing Jesus Christ. He tried to resist because he saw Christ as spotless and emanating from the Father unto whom all repentant sinners are baptized. He was practically unworthy to baptize the King of kings and the Lord of lords, but Jesus insisted that he must carry out the baptism to fulfill all righteousness.
At the riverside in Jordan, Jesus was baptized and the unusual happened in the history of baptism carried out by John the Baptist. The heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus like a dove and a voice came directly from heaven saying, “this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased”. This symbolic and historic event was to clear the doubts in the hearts of those around that Jesus is real and He is indeed the Messiah and has come for the redemption of humanity. For those standing by, they had never heard such a voice nor a validation from heaven in their lifetime. They became instantly inexcusable of the validity of Christ as the Messiah.
The Messiah’s ministry kickstarted fully, but many people still denied and refused Him. The Pharisees and Sadducees saw him as an imposter and a fake; they turned the hearts of many away from the Savior, they looked for faults in all that Jesus did and crippled the mind of their followers through their doctrines and laws.
In the end, Jesus could not release all of Himself to the Jews. Jesus had a lot that he wanted to accomplish in their lives, but they could not receive it because their minds were blinded, He left them with woes and desolation. Till date the Jews are still expecting the Messiah who had come and gone. The good news is that Jesus is coming again, not as a Messiah, not as a Savior, but as a Judge.
Many today have already been prepared to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior but they are not interested, they feel they need more time to enjoy their life. Some see “believing in Jesus” as a mere religion conjecture or a myth, whilst others laugh and make mockery of Jesus at the slightest opportunity.
It is important to note that Jesus is still calling you today. He loves you. He has paid the price for your sins and is waiting to receive you into His kingdom. As many that believes in Him, He gives them power to become the children of God.
by Ndubuisi Paul Okafor
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