John didn’t refuse to answer. He told them clearly. John 1:19-23.

I am writing to people who have been taught poorly or were taught falsehoods, and some errors are intentional. I will include myself in this next weakness within the Christian community, and that is that WE do not nor will not pick up the Bible and read it. I can speak bluntly about this because I had to make a hard decision to fix this weakness in myself. In 2007 I started a job with early work hours, so I would give myself an extra hour before work to go to McDonald’s, eat breakfast and read my Bible. So many people whimper about where they should start reading; I have suggestions, but there is a better time or place. I needed to know who God was and what His character was like, so I started with Matthew’s gospel, where I saw His Son, Jesus, and slowly worked my way through the New Testament. Every day brought questions and challenges, and I wrote them down as I asked God my hard questions, all of which got answered.

I never spent a tremendous amount of time focused on John the Baptist.

The NASB entitles this next section, The Testimony of John the Baptist.

We covered a couple of details about John the Baptist in my previous post. In terms of teIn my previous post, we covered some details about John the Baptist. In terms of temperament, and I am imagining here, I perceive a touch of sanguine because he is outgoing and, to a degree, social. The other trait that I see is choleric. I say this because John comes across as short-tempered and irritable, much like the Apostle Paul (who may well be one of those being sent to verbally accost him.) He had, by the way, called them a den of vipers. 

Now apply the personality traits that we can only assume to the following few verses where we see John in action.

This was John’s answer when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?””
John 1:19 GW)

  • The Jews sent priests.”

We are not told who did the sending as even within the priests and council members, there was a hierarchy. I can see leaders sending lower-ranking members to go and challenge the man they obviously perceive as acting as though he is replacing them. However, John may not have felt that way.

If what I said seemed odd to you, think about this incident.

Very early, while it was still night, Yeshua got up, left, and went away to a place in the wilderness; and there He was praying. Then Simon and those with him hunted for Yeshua. And when they found Him, they said to Him, “Everybody’s looking for You.” He said to them, “Let’s go somewhere else, to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also—this is what I came for.” And He went throughout all the Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and driving out demons. A man suffering from a dreaded skin disease came to Jesus, knelt down, and begged him for help. “If you want to,” he said, “you can make me clean.”(GNB) .” Moved with compassion, Yeshua stretched out His hand and touched him. He said, “I am willing. Be cleansed.”
Mark 1:35-41 TLV & GNB)

There was no doubt that Jesus could heal, but to be cleansed was what the priests did, and apparently, religion was corrupt enough to demand payment for the procedure where you were reintroduced back into the community. So this man asked Jesus to heal him and pronounce him cleansed. But, if you follow the narrative, Jesus sternly warned the man to keep his mouth shut about Jesus pronouncing him clean. He knew this was a boundary that would feed into a deadly fight with the Pharisees. Considering that John’s daddy was a priest, they knew who John was.

When Herod was king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the division of priests named after Abijah. Zechariah’s wife Elizabeth was a descendant of Aaron.”
Luke 1:5 GW)

Their question had no politeness connected to it. It is more of a challenge, similar to who do you think you are. The other side of this coin is that Jesus’ own disciples, and several of them left John to join Jesus, did not understand that He was the Messiah, as they were looking for a warring messiah that would free them from Roman oppression, etc. This misconception stayed with them until they were filled with the Holy Spirit in the upper room after Jesus left the earth.

John didn’t refuse to answer. He told them clearly, “I’m not the Messiah.”
John 1:20 GW)

Adam Clarke wrote: “John renounces himself, that Jesus may be all in all.” Really, at this point, John is enjoying some freedom, but the day is coming after denouncing the actions of Herod.”

For Herod had arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip,”
(Matthew 14:3 TLV)

John is close to death, so he sends some of his disciples to Jesus to do what?

Now when John heard in prison about the works of the Messiah, he sent word through his disciples and said to Yeshua, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?”
(Matthew 11:2-3 TLV)

““What then? Are you Elijah?” they asked him. “I am not,” said John. “Are you the Prophet?” “No,” he answered.”
(John 1:21 TLV)

  • Are you Elijah?

    The answer is NO.

  • Are you the prophet?

    Just a touch on the repetitious side. Wasn’t Elijah a prophet? Yes, he was, and NO he never died because God took him, and this piece of evidence sort of mandates that Elijah must physically die. 

John told them straight out, I am not Elijah. Then who is this other prophet? Adam Clarke says this is the prophet spoken of by Moses, Deuteronomy 18:15,18.

Instead, he will send you a prophet like me (Moses) from among your own people, and you are to obey him.”
(Deuteronomy 18:15 GNB)

I had no idea that Moses was a prophet.

I will send them a prophet like you from among their own people; I will tell him what to say, and he will tell the people everything I command.”
(Deuteronomy 18:18 GNB)

This line, I will tell him what to say, and he will tell the people everything I command,” says much about the character of Jesus.

He will speak in my name, and I will punish anyone who refuses to obey him.” (Deuteronomy 18:19 GNB)

Every word that Jesus spoke was focused on the instructions of the Father, no matter how random those words may have seemed.

So they said to him, “Who are you? Give us an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
(John 1:22 TLV)

I am not sure it mattered what the answer was; no matter how ridiculous, it just needed to quell the angst of the Jewish leadership. 

He said, “I am ‘the voice of one crying in the wilderness, “Make straight the way of Adonai,”’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”
(John 1:23 TLV)

The words that stand out in my mind are the same that I chose for my blog.” Why did I choose that? Because I felt, and still feel, like I am sharing God’s voice and no one is listening. Someday soon, they will hear. 

It is never too late to make straight the way of Adonai, as long as you have breath in your lungs.

This entry was posted in baptize, bible study, Gospel of John, Messiah, testified, wilderness and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.