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What Would You Do?
11/28/2008

What Would You Do?
    
    Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me? Jesus replied, Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness. Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Matthew 3:13-17 (NKJV)
    
    John the Baptists ministry was huge as people had gathered from Jerusalem, Judea, and the whole region of the Jordan to come here him speak and to be baptized. His message was to repent, and to prepare the way for the Lord. John was the Billy Graham of his day and the people new of his fame.
    
    This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: A voice of one calling in the desert, Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Matthew 3:3 (NIV)
    
    In the Book of Matthew chapter 3, we see John in full swing; preaching and baptizing, doing what he was called to do, when Jesus comes up to be baptized. This was a big test for John. Would he revel in the moment of baptizing Jesus and possibly use this to boost his position as spiritual leader even more? We see the answer in the verses above as he responds to Jesus request to be baptized by saying, I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?
    
    Jesus didnt need to be baptized for forgiveness of sin, because he had never sinned. He did it to fulfill the plan of his father, to affirm Johns ministry and his message to repent, to identify with all of us who are baptized, and to illustrate the trinity perfectly as we see the Holy Spirit descending upon Him as the Father speaks from Heaven.
    
    But put yourself in Johns position; what would you do? Think about it for a moment. What if Jesus came over and dropped in on Thanksgiving, as you were about to serve dinner? He looks over and asks you to pray for the meal, and then He thanks you for giving Him something to eat. I dont know about you, but that would blow my mind! Who am I to pray for Him, and why would He possibly thank me for giving Him food.
    
    This is pretty much what John was thinking as Jesus came to him to be baptized. But John passed the test completely. He was willing to hand over those who had been faithfully following him up until that point; they were now to follow Jesus. Now that Jesus ministry had officially started, John was obedient to Gods plan for him.
    
    John illustrated a profound truth in stepping aside when Jesus came to him, and he would soon say something that is critical for every Christian life once they have made that profession of faith, and it is recorded in John 3:30.
    
    He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30 (NKJV)
    
    How does this apply to our lives? Well, as I see John laying down his life to usher in the life of our Savior, it makes me think of our own personal lives as Christians. Are we willing to put our sense of self aside for others who dont know Jesus? Are we willing to put our profitable work aside in order to lead others to a relationship with Jesus?
    
    Hey Christian, you dont have to be John the Baptist to make a great difference in this world. And you need to know that you will be tested daily as to whether you will or will not lay down your life, your wants, and your desires for the benefit of others. What will you do? John the Baptist gave us the answer of how we can pass this test with flying colors when he said, He must increase, but I must decrease. For me, this simply means that I need to be more like Jesus, and less like Scott.
    
    STUDY QUESTION: What great wisdom did John the Baptist give us in John 3:3?
    
    PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you willing to let Jesus increase more in your life, or are you hanging on to what you want to do in the flesh?
    
    APPLICATION: Sell out for Jesus! Do what John did; be used in the greatest capacity possible for the Lord. Whatever He has called you to do, to say, or to be today, do it unto Him, and do it with all of your heart.
    
    Father, Thank You for people like John the Baptist to show us how we can make a difference. Thank You for the lessons that You have given us in Your Word. Help me to understand and implement everything that You want me to know from reading it. In Jesus precious name, amen&
    
    Be Blessed, Pastor Scott
    
    
    
    

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000