For the past week I have had this thought in my mind, “have you moved from John the Baptist to Jesus?” In John 1, we see JTB preaching and baptizing people for repentance of sins. He is telling them to repent and get their hearts ready for the Messiah. They were baptized to symbolize their new focus in life…to live better lives in preparation for the Messiah. Later in John 1, after baptizing Jesus, JTB points out yet again, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!” Some of John’s followers begin following Jesus.
These men had spent months seeing people baptized and start living as better people. Now, finally the Messiah shows up and John points his followers to Jesus. It was time to let Jesus make them a new creation. It would no longer be sufficient to try harder to be a better person. Jesus had come and He has the power to MAKE you a better person. JTB served a purpose, but it was time for the real thing. In 2 Corinthians 5:17, Paul says, “If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation. Old things are passed away and new things have come.” When you begin to follow Jesus, He makes you new! It is not a mater of trying harder to be a better person and do more good works. Jesus makes you a better person. The works follow as Jesus changes you from the inside out.
In our culture today, there are many who “get religious.” They start to live better and do better. They try hard to break old habits and form better ones. The trouble is they can only do it in their strength. They are not a new creation. They are “following John the Baptist”. It is time to move from trying to do good things in your life, and move to Jesus. Let Him MAKE you a new creation!
One thought on “From John the Baptist to Jesus”
Great point. About two weeks ago, during a small group discussion, I was convicted that too often, I try the endless cycle of helping others with their problems rather than with the problem (sin – lack of Jesus). I point them to doing better rather speaking of Christ’s work of making us new creations.