At the Wednesday Noon Bible Study at Holy Trinity Christian Church, Alpharetta, GA, the theme of the studies has been a walk through Bible beginning in Genesis studying a chapter a week. Yesterday, we shifted to the approaching Christmas Season with a look at John the Baptist.
From Luke chapter 1:
“8Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, 9according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense. 11And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. 13But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. 16And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, 17and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.” “
John was called in the Spirit of Elijah to prepare the hearts and minds of the people to be ready to receive the Gospel through YeshuaJesus.
Leon, who attends the Noon Bible Study, pointed out Luke 7:29,30:
“When all the people heard this, and the tax collectors too, they declared God just,g having been baptized with the baptism of John, but the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.”
Those who received the Baptism of water were bring prepared to understand the ministry, the mission, of Yeshua as Messiah, while those who did not could not understand it. Not only those who didn’t receive John’s Baptism not understand, not receive the message, but they “rejected the purpose of G-D for themselves.” How tragic. How sad.
John’s call was to a people who needed to that their lives were not being lived in accordance to the desires of G-D. John’s call was for repentance. Teshuva, in the Hebrew. It means turning to G-D. It means turning their backs on the good that they saw in themselves, and seeing that goodness comes from G-D, and from G-D alone.
John’s call is also a call to all the people of Earth, not just to the Jewish people. As Apostle Paul tells us in his writings, the rejection of Messiah enabled all people to be able to come to G-D. The Nations are called into a relationship with G-D. We cannot see G-D. We can see YeshuaJesus though.
This season of Christmas is about the birth of a baby in a far away land, a long time ago. If our hearts are prepared, we can receive this child as more than a baby born in a manger. We can see YeshuaJesus as the Savior, as King, that was born to live, teach, and die for us, that we might receive the Spirit that gives us true life and a true relationship with G-D.
Apostle Paul put it this way:
“For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:2-4)
L-RD Bless this Christmas Season with great revelation in our hearts and minds that we might live, and live free.