Friday, October 23, 2009

The Cousin Creates a Ruckuss!

We know nothing about the cousin for 30 years. Is he a strange kid? We don't know!

But by the time he is 30, he is strange indeed. No wife. No job. No house - not even an apartment. He is a nomad. Homeless. Dressing himself - rather badly, I might add. He eats whatever he can get - as long as its free! Bugs and wild honey are mentioned...

But when he explodes on the scene, he creates a ruckuss. A ruckuss indeed!

Matthew 3
Thunder in the Desert!
1 -2 While Jesus was living in the Galilean hills, John, called "the Baptizer," was preaching in the desert country of Judea. His message was simple and austere, like his desert surroundings:
"Change your life. God's kingdom is here."
3John and his message were authorized by Isaiah's prophecy:
Thunder in the desert!
Prepare for God's arrival!
Make the road smooth and straight!

After 400 years of silence, God was speaking! He used a man who was totally sold out. No one could threaten his job - he didn't have any. No one could threaten to kick him out of his house - he didn't have any.

4 -6John dressed in a camel-hair habit tied at the waist by a leather strap. He lived on a diet of locusts and wild field honey.

HE was a spectacle! But it was his message, and the purity of his challenge that captured people's attention.

People poured out of Jerusalem, Judea, and the Jordanian countryside to hear and see him in action. There at the Jordan River those who came to confess their sins were baptized into a changed life.
7 -10When John realized that a lot of Pharisees and Sadducees were showing up for a baptismal experience because it was becoming the popular thing to do, he exploded: "Brood of snakes! What do you think you're doing slithering down here to the river? Do you think a little water on your snakeskins is going to make any difference? It's your life that must change, not your skin! And don't think you can pull rank by claiming Abraham as father. Being a descendant of Abraham is neither here nor there. Descendants of Abraham are a dime a dozen. What counts is your life. Is it green and blossoming? Because if it's deadwood, it goes on the fire.
11 -12"I'm baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life.

His main purpose was to prepare the people spiritually, and announce the coming of the Messiah.

The real action comes next: The main character in this drama—compared to him I'm a mere stagehand—will ignite the kingdom life within you, a fire within you, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out. He's going to clean house—make a clean sweep of your lives. He'll place everything true in its proper place before God; everything false he'll put out with the trash to be burned."

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