I’ve always thought that the Christian life held such amazing blessings, as it does. I can also tell you that I have felt a pain and betrayal, which doesn’t quite add up, right? Here is an opportunity to speak openly about our Christian walk, exposed in the rarest form; truth. To be truthful, looking back at 2012 was hard. I was betrayed, hurt, pushed beyond what I thought imaginable.
So one question I always ask myself is when life throws me curve balls, which it often does, is God enough?
Which brings me to the heroic story of John the Baptist. The importance of John in the divine scheme of things is summed up best by the testimony of Jesus himself “among them that are born of women, there has not arisen a greater than John the Baptist…” Matthew 11:11. I’d say that is baller status. The greatest of any MAN? This clearly shows how important John was to Jesus. Numbers 6:1-21 even stated the way that John would pave for the Redeemer.
He was not social, coming eating locust and wild honey (Matthew 3:4) wearing camel skin. He wasn’t a party-goer or a trendsetter. He didn’t seek attention, but somehow, he attracted multitudes. His success was solely on the mission in which he proclaimed. He performed no signs yet the POWER of HIS preaching was ENOUGH.
Johns mission was to prepare the way for the Messiah. Thats a pretty big role. So to sum it up, he was kind of a big deal.
John lived a simple life. NO home. NO possessions. NO clothes, except what he had made. He ate of bugs and wild honey. He looked and smelled homeless (because He was) but why when anointed by God himself? John lived this way in order to show that nothing else mattered but testifying HIS name to the nations.
Here is a man who literally had nothing in life but his mission for Christ. Called and anointed by God.
Which leads me to the point in all of this. The end of Johns life. Which he spent in the time of a jail cell, a dungeon, imprisoned. I often wonder if John was just waiting for Jesus to come rescue Him. In Isaiah 42:7 speaking of Jesus servants says “to open eyes that are blind, to FREE CAPTIVES FROM PRISON and to RELEASE from the dungeon those who sit in darkness” well, there it is.. He would come and rescue John the Baptist. John even sends out messengers in Luke 7:18-24 making sure that Jesus was the messiah, waiting to come and be released.
Yet Jesus had a different plan. John wasn’t saved. He was decapitated by a drunken Herod. Literally wasted away the end of his days in a dungeon until his head was cut off.
Wait. What. And this Christian life is supposed to be appealing?
John worked his entire life to pave the way for the Savior of the world only to be persecuted and killed? Yet despise our popular belief, isn’t that the ultimate victory?
Jesus didn’t exercise the divine power that John had anticipated. But He kept His promise; He “set the captive free from captivity” This world isn’t for us. This world is our “prison” we are captured by this sin, the consistent struggle of trying to fit in or be good enough to the worlds standards.
We have to remember when eternity comes to be our reality, our HOPE in God is enough. There was no “fairy tale ending” for John, yet his HOPE in Christ was all he needed.
This world is not our home. His promise to “set the captive free” can be our reality through His death and resurrection, through our earthly death into our heavenly home.
So although 2012 seemed like it could not get any worse for me, I have been set FREE. This world has nothing for me. Like John, my freedom will come through death and into my home with my Abba, my Father.
Until then.. let the battle continue.