Posts Tagged ‘Matthew 3, Matthew 3:11, Matthew 3:14, Matthew 3:15, the baptism of Jesus, John the Baptist, the ministry of John the Baptist, repentance, humility, being humble, misjudging others, making assumptions’

Jo 17Recently, I found myself in an interesting situation. Here I was, talking with someone who was trying to be helpful—yet, inwardly, I was feeling a little annoyed, if not downright incensed. What was going on?  It was not this person’s fault, after all. She did not know my background. Much better to close my mouth and simply listen.

I tried to be as polite as possible and hold onto the fact that this person meant well. Yet I found it so difficult. I tried to interrupt her a few times, as she continued giving me advice, but, alas, my words fell on deaf ears. Could she not consider for a moment that she might be underestimating me? I already knew all the things she was telling me. I had been putting them into practice for years and even trained others to do the same. In fact, I was willing to bet I knew much more than she did—or others she was suggesting might be able to help me.

Humph! How dare this person think I was such an ignoramus?  I was determined to show her what I knew. So, when she at last drew breath, I swooped and did just that. She smiled at me—but it was obvious she did not believe me. How could what I was saying possibly be true? After all, she was the expert.

All the way home—and for days afterwards—I hung onto my annoyance. I did not like being misjudged. I did not like my knowledge and experience being questioned or downright disbelieved. I did not like feeling so patronised. I knew there was nothing I could do about it, but it still rankled. A lot.

Then one morning, I opened my Bible and found I was up the account of John the Baptist’s ministry in Matthew 3. As I read, I was once again moved by the amazing courage and commitment John the Baptist showed in the way he lived and in his honest, straightforward preaching. And how humble he was, declaring he was merely the forerunner of someone much greater!

I baptise you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. (11)

Then I came to the account of Jesus’ baptism. I tried to put myself right there in the scene and soon sensed what a huge moment of humility this must have been for both John the Baptist and Jesus. Here was John the Baptist, blurting out how embarrassed and inadequate he felt, being asked to baptise someone so much greater than he himself:

“I need to be baptised by you, and do you come to me?” (14)

And here was Jesus, the sinless Son of God, calmly and humbly responding:

“Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfil all righteousness.” (15)

At that point, I swallowed hard. Where was this wonderful humility in the way I had responded to that person a few days earlier who, after all, was only trying to help me?

Gulp! I think I got the message that morning. And I hope I have taken it to heart.

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