after this…after Jesus’ night time meeting with Nicodemus — Jesus goes out baptizing with his disciples. And JTB (John the Baptist) is out there nearby baptizing too. Some of John’s followers and a Jew …I mean, weren’t they all Jews? So why the distinction? Maybe to show that the Jew was not really a follower of JTB. He was an outsider who was talking to them about purification and stirring up questions they couldn’t answer or maybe planting thoughts of jealousy in their minds. It says plainly that people were coming and being baptized by John but these guys are telling that Jesus is over there baptizing and ALL are going to Him. A little exaggeration there? A little like a tattletale? A little winey? Sounds like they were worried for their jobs or maybe they were afraid they were following the wrong guy. When we get worried about losing something our first flesh-reaction is to grab for it, clench our fist around it and try to hold on.
JTB is Jamaican cool: Don’t worry Mon, be happy. This is the plan, buddy! It’s working just fine. You can’t get something unless it comes to you from heaven. We all know I am not the Christ. I’m the bridegroom. I’m the one rejoicing when I hear him coming. This is the pinnacle of my job, dudes. He comes closer into view and I recede. (What a picture of calm clarity comes to us when we know exactly who we are and exactly our purpose. It’s good for me to remember I’m not supposed to be the center of attention. I’m just the front man for Jesus!)
Don’t be lagging guys. The one I witnessed about is above all. He belongs to heaven not earth. God has sent Him. He speaks God’s words and has the Spirit without measure! He has been given all things. He is the One you should believe in because He has eternal life to offer. It’s okay to follow Him, in fact it is a matter of life and death.
Maybe JTB’s guys were a little confused and a bit fearful because they had been following the warm-up act but I think JTB was telling them, they too had a purpose. They were the support team but now they are moving up. Rejoice dudes, the real guy has arrived!
He has a plan that is unfolding right before our eyes.
I have a choice of Life or Death. Choose Life and get in on God’s plan.
I have a purpose in God’s plan. I may get moved around from one job to another but it’s good to keep my head clear about who I am.
(You know that joke about the difference between God and me? God never thinks He is me! :))
About the World?
Every person has a choice to make. Nicodemus, JTB, JTB’s guys, the Jew, everybody – choose Life.