4 This messenger was John the Baptist. He was in the wilderness and preached that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven. 5 All of Judea, including all the people of Jerusalem, went out to see and hear John. And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. 6 His clothes were woven from coarse camel hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. For food he ate locusts and wild honey.
7 John announced: “Someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not even worthy to stoop down like a slave and untie the straps of his sandals. 8 I baptize you with[d] water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit!”
In my last blog I wrote about most of these scriptures, but there are a couple things I want to bring out in these…..
John preached that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven…..The question arises, was there baptism before John the Baptist?
The answer is YES, well kinda sorta…. this was not new to Jews but it had a different meaning….well kinda sorta. The Jews practiced what is called “mikvah” – it is an act of cleansing oneself. It was done by self emersion into water. This had to take place before they could enter the temple, if they touched a dead thing etc…. another example would be child birth. Mary after giving birth to Jesus went through a time of purification if you remember……Mikvah is what took place. The Jewish people would have to “cleanse” their selves through this act.
John comes along and preaches that they are to be “baptized” with water when they repent from their sins and are forgiven by God. Here is where the gentiles are invited into the kingdom!! The beginning of the teaching that JESUS is the one who cleanses us of our sins, not only will this Jesus cleanse us, a sign when we are baptized in water but he will baptize us with the gift of the Holy Spirit who will empower us to walk in this forgiveness, we will remain clean before God and will no longer need the ritual of “Mikvah”.
I love the thought of “ALL OF JUDEA, including ALL of the people of JERUSALEM, went out to see and hear John” I wonder how many were baptized and how many walked away shaking their heads. John had to know what the end result would be….. I would love to have heard some of Johns prayers……conversations with God as he walked into his calling. He had to know how angry the religious leaders would be………what is it that drives a man to such things? A sure CALLING, understanding why he was on this earth….why he was born? When did he learn this about himself?
A little over a week ago I wrote this entire blog….I save it to here!!! After this I wrote another 3 paragraphs and when I went to save it, it would not save, I tried to publish it and it went to the sign on screen. When I signed on I LOST ALL I had written……….that has been almost 2 weeks ago and I cannot get back the words I wrote…..I am bummed but I’ve decided to post what I have and to move on….
This is how I write….in the moment off the top of my head as the Spirit speaks to me about it….I’ve tried and tried to re-create it with NO success…..so here it is 🙂