Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Who ARE you??


I was reading in John 1 today, best gospel by far by-the-way, and I came across this cool snippet from one of the verses. We're set in the wilderness, next to the Jordan river in Israel, when we read of Mr John. Baptist. 'J-dog' as I like to call him. We pick up the story in John 1:22 where it says "Finally they [the Jewish priests] said 'Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?'"
When I read this second part it reminded me of what my teachers or mum would say when I'd 'forgotten' to do my maths homework or when I'd stolen 5 of the last 6 shewsberry biscuits from the pantry: "What do you say for yourself?!"
I started to think, what if I was J-dog, dressed up in my camel hair clothing line and the my infamous beard filled with half eaten locusts and dried wild honey, and I was asked "What do you say about yourself?". I think I might have said something along the lines of "Priest man, have you not heard of me? I'm the wild man dunking people in the water" or "I'm the homeless guy who likes to swim all day - wanna join me?". But here's J-dog's response, tactfully and intelligently in the words of Isaiah the prophet: "I am the voice of one calling in the desert, 'Make straight the way for the Lord'".
To me I can see Him being right in the middle of baptising someone or halfway through his "Making straight the way for the Lord" speech when he's rudely interupted by some guys dressed nicely in the 0001BC release of the 'Jewish Cloaks Ltd.' line and them asking him who he even is.
I can see John having a few choices here. 
First, he could choose to ignore them - I'm sure he had a few hecklers in his time that he was used to. Second, he could have got them in a head lock and involuntarily baptised them. Third, he could have stopped his sermon and responded to their question.
He chose the third option.
I was thinking as a result of his choice twofold: 
Number 1: When I'm interupted in my daily routine by some random people who ask me what I'm about, what do I do? 
- Do I ignore them? 
- Do I change the subject? 
- Or, do I stop what I'm doing like John did and answer them?

Number 2: If I do choose to stop and answer (which isn't always guaranteed) what do I say?
- Do I speak unconfidently, quietly and short?
- Do I say what I do for a living and possibly that I go to church?
- Or, do I confidently declare that "I am about relevantly and passionately sharing the gospel of Jesus with this generation?"

There is nothing worse than getting the chance to talk to someone about what you're about and not having a clear, confident answer. John had one. What's yours?

"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have."
1 Peter 3:15

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