November 16, 2020 – Monday
John 10:40-42 NIV
40 Then Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days. There He stayed,
41 and many people came to Him. They said, “Though John never performed a sign, all that John said about this man was true.”
42 And in that place many believed in Jesus.
Last Friday we concluded with Jesus making the following irrefutable statement (v36-38), Why then do you accuse Me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? Do not believe Me unless I do the works of my Father. But if I do them, even though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.” And I remarked, They could not believe or acknowledge the works and thus could not believe He was in the Father and the Father was in Him. Thus, like those who had desecrated the temple two centuries earlier, they defiled the truth that was in front of them – the Messiah, the Son of Man. I stand by those remarks for in v39, we find they did not consider His words at all and instead, Again they tried to seize him, but He escaped their grasp.
When He escaped, Jesus returned to the place where John the Baptist had actually baptized Him and there He remained for a period of time. There the people did what the Pharisees could not do, they considered all that John said about this man was true. And it was not simply because of what John had said, but because of all the signs and wonders He had performed along with what John had said as well. Here, let us take the time to see what John said when he baptized Jesus in John 1:29-34, The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because He was before me.’ I myself did not know Him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that He might be revealed to Israel.” Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on Him. And I myself did not know Him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told Me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One. Incredible testimony from John.
It is important to keep in mind John the Baptist was the first prophet Israel had had in over 400 years. What did He prophesize before he baptized Jesus? In Matthew 3:1-3 we read, In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’ Where he quoted the prophet Isaiah form Isaiah 40:3.
Is it any wonder that many people came to Jesus there an believed? I think not. After all they would have been familiar with what John had said about Jesus and they would also have been aware of all the miracles Jesus had performed. It was as John had said in John 1:27 about Jesus, He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. The unbiased belief of ‘regular people’ is in great contrast to those of the Pharisees and Sadducees. The people of the earth, farmers and shepherds, had nothing to lose by believing and everything to gain. While the Judaisers felt their positions of power and recognition were at great risk and so ignored all that they should have based their decisions upon.
All too often today, 2,000 years later, decisions are made dependent upon on what other people will think about what we believe instead of the knowledge we have in our minds and in our hearts. Nonetheless, we have brothers and sisters throughout the world who clearly stand on the word of God including the Grace offered through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for the sins of the world. The choice is as clear today as it was 2,000 years ago.
Prayer: Heavenly Father – The choice remains clear and it remains a free will choice. Thank you for letting us choose to know you and accept the free gift of Grace You offered through Your Son. We are so grateful for your unfailing mercy, patience, and faithfulness. – In Jesus name. Amen.