There came a man, sent from God, whose name was John.  The same came as a witness, that he might testify about the light, that all might believe through him.  He was not the light, but was sent that he might testify about the light.  The true light that enlightens everyone was coming into the world.
John the prophet was commissioned by God to announce the coming of Christ (Mark 1:2). This is not the same John who wrote the Book of John. This is John the Baptist who is also called the Forerunner of Christ, or Elijah who is to come (Luke 1:17). John was called baptist because he preached repentance followed by baptism (Mark 1:4).
It’s interesting, the testimony of Christ was a message of repentance (Acts 19:4). John spoke to the general public but often he aimed his comments at religious and political leaders. And, not just any religious leaders, but the Pharisees (Mt 3:7). That is significant because the Pharisees were the godliest people in the land.
If the godliest people of the day could not discern Christ (John 12:42), how can we be sure we do not miss Christ? It’s important we understand the first announcement of the coming of Christ (Gen 3:15, Luke 1:31). We’re at a time when we all expect the millennial reign to come at any moment, so it seems pertinent we can recognize when somebody is announcing Christ.
Lord Jesus, please help me recognize the signs of your second coming. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.
There came a man, sent from God, whose name was John.
It has always been God’s way to choose a man or a woman and raise them up for his purpose (Romans 1:1, Hebrews 11:32). The Old Testament is full of heroes that were raised up in God’s timing to perform tasks and services for God. Most people know about Moses, King David, and the prophet Isaiah. All these men were raised up at a point in time to serve God’s purpose.
There are many other heroes you may not know about. For example, Rahab was a prostitute in the Old Testament who was raised up to serve God and accomplished his purpose (Joshua 2:6). In the time of Jesus, John the Baptist was raised up to serve a purpose for God (Luke 1:14-17).
In our modern era, the idea of a single person standing for God is not popular. In order to avoid favoritism, many ministries have attempted to open up space for a broad section of the laity to serve. There’s an idea that if the man of God has to leave this will prevent the ministry (or church) from collapsing. It’s an attempt to avoid losing an anointing that may rest with a single person. And, while it seems really fair and it feels really inclusive, it’s worldly. Because in the Bible, God picks a person to anoint to accomplish a purpose.
Lord Jesus, please help me recognize when another person is anointed to serve you. Please guard my heart Lord so that I do not use the world’s means to try and discern your Spirit resting on another. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.