19 And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” 21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” 22 So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight[c] the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”
24 (Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.) 25 They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” 26 John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, 27 even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” 28 These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
Personal Reflection and Discussion
John knew who he was and who he wasn’t. He aspired to be the best at who he was and what he was called to do rather than aspire to be or do something else.
1. When asked, who do YOU say you are? What three pieces of information are you most likely to share? (Ex: Occupation, Hobbies, Age, Relationship Status, Relationship Status with Christ)
2. What did Paul the Apostle say? (1 Corinthians 1, Ephesians, Philippians) What is the benefit of this greeting? Would it be more beneficial or detrimental to your witness? When is a “good time” to witness your relationship with Chris in a relationship?
3. Is YOUR personal relationship with Jesus worth acknowledging?
4. Who and/or what has God called you to at this juncture in your life? (see Jn 3:29-31)
5. What is your understanding of the word “testimony?
6. John in his testimony sought to give testimony and clarify both who he was and also to who he was not. Ultimately, he sought to redirect people’s attention from himself to the one who would come after him (vs. 26-27; see also Jn 3:28-30). What falsehoods about yourself have/do you find hardest to reject in light of who God’s rebranding you through baptism?
7. If you were to give testimony or witness to your faith, what would you say (see Mk 5:19; 1 Jn 1:1-3)?
8. What does it mean or what would it look like for you to be the best at what God has called you to be at this juncture in your life (son/daughter, sibling, parent, friend, neighbor, employee, boss, disciple, apostles.
9. What is your understanding of baptism and in what way(s) were John’s baptism and Jesus’ baptism similar and in what way(s) were they different (see Mt 3:11;Mk 1:8; Lk 3:16; Acts 19:1-6; see also Ro 6:3-4,11,13; 2 Cor 5:17; Acts 8:26-38; Acts 10:44-48; Acts 16:30-33; Col 2:11-12; Tit 3:5-6; [Jn 3:3-6])?
10. Reflect on your own baptism and share.
To the one whom I am unworthy to untie Your sandals, thank you for making me yours, for adopting me into your family providing me with all the value I will ever need. Thank you for baptizing me and calling me by name. Amen.
Greek Word of the Day
English Word: Testimony | Transliterated Word: Marturia
The Greek word is μαρτυρία (marturia) meaning “testimony” or “witness.” This same word is used in verb form in 1 Jn 2:2 being translated “to testify.” witness, evidence, testimony, reputation.
What are your favorite pieces of evidence to provide skeptics of the truth of Christ?
Family Engagement Activity
Remember to consider putting a post of this on social media with the hashtag #hclcmj
Talk about your callings as father and mother. What the bible expects from you. Then, ask your children if they know what their calling is as sons and daughters, both as your sons and daughters, but as sons and daughters of God the Father. Share with your kids how you saw YOUR mom and dad live out their vocations as your mom and dad? How does Christ help you live out your vocation as mom and dad? Mention the joy you have in this vocation.
Allow them to be parents for an hour or however long you would like (with restrictions). Have them plan out a daily schedule. Ask them what you think it should include. Have fun with it, if you plan on acting out THEIR version of disobedience that may have shown you, be sure to act out THEIR obedience that they have shown you. Would they have chores? would you be doing family devotions? how would they handle a messy room? What would they do with a tamper tantrum? How can they show love to you?
Ask someone to define your roles and/or callings and do the same for someone else. Let them know how much their vocation means to you, God, and/or those around them. Do the same, not only for dads, but teachers, bankers, sons, daughters, aunts, godparents, mailmen, Christians, etc.
Especially during this containment period, take time to write a note to an “essential worker” thanking them for what they do. Maybe you are going to the grocery store and you want write to a cashier, or put an letter in the mailbox for your mail person. And most important, make sure to include Jesus. “I thank God for you” or “Jesus loves you!” are good phrases, or, consider giving a personal testimony to them after your affirmation of them.
What appreciation does that give you to the role/callings of each other? What clarity does it give you regarding your role/calling?
Mt 3:11-12; Mk 1:1-8; Lk 3:4-6; 1 Cor 12:7; Eph 4:1,16