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February 3, 2020:   John 1:19-34

19 This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.” 21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.” 22 Then they said to him, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said,
“I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness,
‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’”

as the prophet Isaiah said.
24 Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. 25 They asked him, “Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” 26 John answered them, “I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, 27 the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.” 28 This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.
29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32 And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33 I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.”
 
QUESTION: What is the main character trait of John the Baptist?
 
John the Baptist is one of the more intriguing characters in scripture.  The cousin of Jesus and a miracle baby himself - his role is to move ahead of Jesus and prepare the way for the teaching and ministry of Jesus.  John was a priest in the Levitical tradition; perhaps the last one before Jesus ushers in the new covenant of love over law.  John had quite a significant following - and yet was willing to point others to Jesus as the true Messiah.  John demonstrates obedience and holiness; but more than anything, John is humble.  Humble enough to point to others; to allow God to work through him to be a signpost of sorts to Jesus.  Humility is a character trait that is not always appreciated in our culture, and i soften seen as a sign of weakness rather than strength.  I wonder though, if there is not more strength in true humility than we can imagine. 
 
What about you?
What word?
What image?
What question?

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