The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
John 1:19-23 describes several people in difficult positions. There are some priests and Levites who have been sent to John the Baptizer. We don’t know who “the Jews” who sent them might be. But apparently they can demand some sort of an answer. It would seem that these priests and Levites know what kind of answer they are supposed to supply, but they need to go get it anyway.
John the Baptizer is also in a difficult position. He is being urged to claim credit as the Christ. Of course, he is aware that he is not the Christ, but that his failure to be this Christ may result in trouble for his questioners. What kind of answer can he give?
In the end, we have to give the answer we have. No, John is not the Christ. The priests are not able to give the answer they need. They are likely to face trouble at home. What’s our answer? It isn’t uncommon for Christians to be reminded that they are the testimony of Christ to the world. What kind of testimony are we? What are we expected to be? Do we show ourselves as arrogantly in need of no repentance and forgiveness? Do we show ourselves as proudly humble? Do we let people assume by our failures that Jesus is a failure?
We give the answer we have. Jesus is the Christ. I am not. If I do anything right, it is to point to Him. If I fail, which I will, may it point to me.
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