Luke 3: 1-20. Luke in chapter three jumps to the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar, locating his story in researchable time and place. Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist, has grown up as an Essene community and receives “the word of the Lord” to not only speak truth to power but also to the ordinary people. He is to “prepare the way for the Lord,” for the coming of the Messiah. This unfolding story and realization meant that John was out in the wilderness preaching “truth,” people needed to repent and return to God. Likewise he preached “hope” as he said our hope cannot be in our heritage, that we are the right tribe or related to Abraham, but a person was coming far greater than he. He spoke truth to power, confronting Herod with his murder of his brother to marry the brother’s wife, Herodias. John the Baptist was a fiery character drawing people from all levels of society.
“I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Another ordinary person testifies that Jesus is God. John was able to see past family ties to see the bigger picture. Sometimes we are blinded by those closest to us because we know them too well. But John saw past that. John, as popular as he was, was willing to point everyone to Jesus as fulfilled prophecy.
Like John the Baptist, we all impact others, those older and those younger. We all need someone to mentor us and we impact those who look up to us. We are never too old or too young. My sons were home from boarding school asked me to cut their hair. The younger in about sixth grade wanted to look like his “big brother,” Joe, at school and he spent an hour looking through year books to find pictures of his hero on the soccer field. The older son wanted to look like his dorm father whom he actually did not like! We all impact lives.
John the Baptist prepared the road for the coming of the Lord, his cousin Jesus. He did not fully understand the plan but he was willing to speak truth. We must repent and open our hearts to receive God’s truth and not the world’s. I suspect this is still true today. Perhaps there is someone who looks up to you. How might you be an honest witness to them of the truth in your life today? Blessings as you try.