John, the Baptizer
By Dell Smith Klein
OBJECT: A megaphone. (You can roll up a big piece of poster board and use it to make your announcement.)
(Raise the megaphone. Use a loud voice) I HAVE AN ANNOUNCEMENT. I AM SENDING A MESSENGER. This is a megaphone. In the past, a megaphone was used when someone needed to make a special announcement. Today, we have microphones, so we don’t need the megaphone any more.
They didn’t have microphones or megaphones at the time of the Old Testament, but they did write special messages. Here are the words of one message: “Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you; the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make ready the way of the Lord!’” (Paraphrase of Malachi 3:1; Isaiah 40:3) That Old Testament message was talking about a man by the name of John.
John is better known to us as John the Baptist, or John the Baptizer. He must have been an interesting person. He didn’t live in the city. He lived out in the desert, or wilderness. He didn’t eat hamburgers and French fries; he ate locusts and honey. He didn’t wear a suit, or even jeans and a tea shirt; he wore clothes made out of camel’s skin and he had a leather belt around his waist. John talked to people near a river or stream and he baptized people who came to visit him.
People were interested in what John had to say, though. They would walk out to the desert to see him and listen to him talk. He told them to repent. Repent means to apologize, to ask forgiveness for, or feel sorry for the bad things they had done! John said, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, I’m not even worthy to tie his shoes.” (Paraphrase of Mark 1:7) He also told the people, “I baptized you in water, but he will baptize you in the Holy Spirit.” John was talking about Jesus.
Now, we are baptized into Jesus Christ by water. That’s an important step, but Jesus wants to give us the fire of his Holy Spirit so that we can witness for him and radiate the gospel of Jesus to people who need God’s light.
Like John the baptizer, we are called to tell all about the light and truth of Jesus Christ. We don’t need a megaphone to tell Jesus’ story. We just need to open our mouths and let our friends know about him.
God, fill me with your Holy Spirit and let your light shine in my heart so I can experience the joy and freedom of living for you. May I be a witness to my friends about your truth and point them to Jesus Christ.
Scripture quotations from the World English Bible
Copyright 2013, Richard Niell Donovan