The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. John 1:37 NASB
Will your speech inspire people to follow Jesus or will it make them unfollow Him? Here, John the Baptist had been standing with two of his disciples. He looked at Jesus as He walked past and John proclaimed, “Behold the Lamb of God” (John 1:36) NASB. Pronto, his listeners started to follow Jesus. The day before this, he had declared of Jesus, His Divinity, His Office and Purpose (John 1:29-34).
St Francis of Assisi was reported to have said “Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary”. Whether it can be proven that St Francis used those words or not, is not a matter of contention here. The main thing is, the way we live speaks volumes. People hear us whether we use words or not. John the Baptist had a clear understanding of who Jesus was. Here was the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Jesus existed before John. Jesus ranked higher than John. If there had been a search for someone, worthy to untie Jesus’ made- in- Israel sandal, John would not qualify! And that was not false modesty on John’s part!
John knew who Jesus was, he, John also knew himself. When people were confused as to John’s identity, he was not. When the Jews displayed ignorance as to his purpose, John was neither perplexed nor confused. “Who are you, so that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?” (John 1:22) NASB He replied, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord” …… (John 1:23.) NASB
John explained to those who sought to know his backstory; I am simply a conduit, my purpose is to speak, my role is to prepare the way which in turn lead others to the Lord. The knowledge John the Baptist had of Jesus, he had by revelation. Firstly, through angelic instructions to his parents regarding the assignment he will one day fulfil and secondly, by personal revelation from God; because John knew Jesus, he knew what to say when asked. When he wasn’t asked, what he said led others to the Messiah. What he knew of the Saviour clarified John’s identity and purpose. He lived what he spoke and spoke what he lived. This meant John’s message was clear and effective – this is Jesus, follow Him!
Today, my prayer is, Father, please increase my revelation of who Jesus is and what I am, in relation to Him. Help me, so that my listeners may see and follow you whenever they hear me speak. I recognise that my closest hearers are often the ones in my family. May my spoken and unspoken words not make others to unfollow Jesus. I hope that becomes your prayer too.
Thanks for reading.