Imagine you had a talent that would attract great amounts of attention. Imagine your life ending up making a positive impact in the world so magnanimous that it would be remembered for over 2,000 years. Imagine not receiving any compensation for this great task other than a promise.
Imagine your only reward as being your own head severed from its body and served up on a platter for a king.
Not exactly a job many would apply for on Monster.com.
Tough job, but somebody had to do it.
I am speaking of John the Baptist. The last real prophet of the bible in the Old Testament sense of the word.
Perhaps the job description would go something like this:
*Wanted* - A person with a tenacious spirit willing to work hard for little wages. Must be outspoken and not shy and able to work with large crowds of people in extreme circumstances. Candidate should be an expert communicator who can be heard loudly and clearly. Very basic food and clothing needs will be provided. Job scope is narrow and person must be willing to see it through to completion which will in all likelihood culminate with imprisonment and death.
Line forms at the right. What, no takers?
God had the right man for the job.
Mark 1:1-2 - " The beginning of the Good News of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. (2) As it is written in the prophets, "Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you."
I'm not sure if John realized it or not, but he was a trendsetter. He was the first one to show us what it could be like being a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Few of us will be required to make the sacrifices John did, but the tension is always in the willingness.
There is something about doing great things for little earthly reward that is not natural.
We are not wired that way from birth. In fact we are the opposite. If we are going to promote anything vociferously it will generally be about something that will benefit us individually.
In other words, what's in it for me?
Could you be a John the Baptist? Could you adapt to that job description?
John had the attitude of "I must decrease so that He will increase."
He had built up a large personal fan base and turned them all over to Jesus.
Could you unselfishly, fearlessly, and exhaustingly tell the story of Jesus as often as possible for little if any tangible material reward, and never taking any credit for yourself?
Would you if the slightest chance of dying for the cause of Christ was possible?
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a true 20th century martyr and preacher of the gospel, who was hanged in a Nazi concentration camp, wrote in his book "The Cost of Discipleship", "...when God calls a man He bids him come and die."
First and foremost it is to die to self and to live for Christ, but sometimes we will die physically as well.
What happens is not as important as what we are willing to have happen.
There is no more important a task on earth than expressing and exposing Jesus. It's starting to get to the place where it takes some guts again to be outspoken for Jesus.
If you're OK with all the glory going to Jesus then God has picked another winner.
Keepin' it Real,
Pastor Kevin <><