/* Style Definitions */
mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt;
Up till the time of Jesus, John the Baptist was the greatest man who ever walked this earth. He was the man who baptized God. When Jesus came to be baptized by him, John realized the enormity of what Jesus wanted him to do and he would not do it. He had earlier stated, “one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose” (Luk. 3:16). John was a truly humble man.
A small conversation ensued in the water between the two men. Few in the crowd heard or even understood what was going on. In the end John was persuaded, and he baptized his Lord and God. It must have been an incredible moment for John. In the entire crowd that stood there that day, only he knew the significance of what he had done.
Jesus said of John, “Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist…” (Mat. 11:11).
But in the same breath He made a momentous statement: “… notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he” (Mat. 11:11).
Why would Jesus say these words? Because He also said in John 14:23, “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”
God in us! That truly beats John baptizing Jesus! But there is a condition attached to this becoming a reality in our lives: we must love God and keep His words. When we do that we will see a greater manifestation of God’s glory in our lives.
What does it mean to love God? Is it the daily dose of “I love you, Jesus” that we say in our prayers? When we see the early church and the kind of lives that they lived, we understand what loving God really means. They identified their lives with the sufferings and death of Christ. As a result they provided a powerful testimony of the presence of God living in them, working out His good will in their lives.
When the church is not walking in the revelation of the cross that the early church had, it will receive teachings of every kind – except the right one. Just as in today’s gospels where the teaching is about blessings, blessings with no end in sight.
Because of a lack of this revelation, the flesh is not accosted and crucified and therefore, in very subtle (and not-so-subtle) ways, it controls God’s people’s lives.
One of the foremost things you notice within the Body of Christ today is pride. We do not have the time here to describe the many different shades of pride that exist in the church. But it is there in a very great degree. In fact, in some circles pride is equated with righteousness!
But all these things come from hearts that have not been circumcised, Christians who will not allow the mighty hand of God to mould them into the image of His Son Jesus Christ. They just want the good life.
When Jesus was about to enter the holy city, Jerusalem, the Bible says that He stood and wept. He wept for that city.“And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes” (Luk. 19:41-42).
There were things hidden from their eyes! Why would today’s church think that it knows everything? Why would it allow itself to live a comfortable life? Why would we be content with a shallow gospel that clearly ministers to the flesh more than it does the spirit? If we accept to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Jesus, we shall see the fullness of the Godly character revealed in us since God and His Son Jesus will love us and come and live in us.