We met John the Baptist in Advent. And we encounter him again today. And he’s in no better a mood now than he was then.
The folks who put the lectionary together left out the juicy bits. They took their scissors to the parts where John’s venom is most poisonous. John had a few choice words for King Herod and his wife. John didn’t like the fact that Herod married his brother’s wife. In fact, it was against Jewish law. And if Herod didn’t like John’s well-aimed preaching he should have taken it up God, not John. John was just doing his job.
It might have been that joltingly honest preaching that drew Jesus to John that morning at the Jordan River. John was refreshing. Unique. Different from other preachers who either told people what they wanted to hear, or lined their pockets with the pennies of little old ladies. John wasn’t warm and fuzzy. But you knew that he’d give you the straight goods when it came to the things of God.
That day, in the river of freedom, where thousands of years prior, God’s people crossed from slavery into the land that God promised them, was where Jesus joined himself to that saving story, where his mandate as God’s Son was given to him. Where the affirmation of the Almighty wrapped around him like sun-soaked blanket.
“You are my Son, the beloved, with whom I am well pleased...” Who wouldn’t want to hear that from God? Or from any parent for that matter.
But lying underneath this affirmation of divine was a summons. A calling that might have made Jesus’ blood turn to...(whole thing here)