Saturday, December 9, 2017

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Birth of John the Baptist
Luke 1:57-66

Vs 66 “…the hand of the Lord was with Him”.
Luke is fond of the technique of inclusion. So he links the history of Jesus and birth with one of his age. Jesus’s birth is connected with the census ordered by Augustus Ceaser (Lk:2:1-2).John the Baptist's appearance is synchronized with Roman and Jewish history(Lk:3:1-2). Emphasizes the fact that Pilate recognized Lord’s innocence (Lk:23:4)We need to know the role of John the Baptist in God’s redemptive purpose.
In Mark John the Baptist is portrayed as the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophesy. Here he gives more light and color to the coming of Christ or Savior. His true identity is concealed from the word; He too suffers an ignominious death. In Luke we are getting a life sketch and description of his life, that is the hand of the Lord was with him. So for Luke, birth and work of John the Baptist is an exercise in religious devotion.
John the Baptist reveals the nature and attitude of Christ here. He emphasizes a purpose “that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” (Jn: 3:28). We can see this starting with a statement in Jn: 1:29 as “Look the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”. One Christian reader is summoned to identify with John and need to be transparent. Here God expect from us the same action, that we would say I express the nature and attitude of Christ.
One way the evangelist represented John as ‘the pioneer of the Kingdom of God’. He is opening a door for repentance and you experience the vision of Kingdom of God. He asks everyone to ‘prepare the way of the Lord and to make His paths straight’. Like the dove from Noah’s ark, John the Baptist is the dove before Christ to emphasize the mannerism of Kingdom of God. (Lk: 1:66 “What manner of Child shall this be?”). To repent means, to realize that one is going in the wrong direction, and then to turn and go in the right direction.
In Old Testament it involves disobedience to God’s will. So selection of new direction is the path of obedience. Obedience alone gives us a right to command. The life of John the Baptist revealed the practice and performance of a true follower of Kingdom of God. Life of John is motivating us to have a strong Christian Character in us and quality of life in us. As Lord’s Hand was with him, God’s Hand will encourage and enable us to be a part of Kingdom of God.
PRAYER
Lord, confide in me that I will obey you; I will fulfill the obedience for which I am called. Enable me to reveal the nature and attitude of Christ. In Jesus name we pray. Amen

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
“Meditate on the Christ within and feel His Living presence” Swami Brahmananda

Rev. Viju Varghese, The Mar Thoma Church of Dallas Carrollton, Texas
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church