John The Baptist Knew

'Lost and Found' by Greg Olsen. Used with Permission.
“Lost and Found” by Greg Olsen. Used with Permission.

November 20, 2022

April 28, 2022
Thursday The Second Week of Easter

John 3:31-36

The one who comes from above is above all.
The one who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of earthly things.
But the one who comes from heaven is above all.
He testifies to what he has seen and heard,
but no one accepts his testimony.
Whoever does accept his testimony certifies that God is trustworthy.
For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God.
He does not ration his gift of the Spirit.
The Father loves the Son and has given everything over to him.
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life,
but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life,
but the wrath of God remains upon him.

If you’ve been paying attention, a couple days ago Jesus met with Nicodemus in the cover of night so the Jews wouldn’t see Nicodemus.

Nicodemus was trying to understand the teachings he’d been hearing from Jesus – especially Baptism. He just couldn’t divorce himself from the written word – the Law. All the Pharisees cared about was what was written down. It was from that they derived their power over the people – their lofty status.

At least, Nicodemus was willing to discuss it and learn from Jesus.

You could hear the frustration of Jesus when he tells Nicodemus – “You are the teacher of Israel and you do not understand this?

Jesus is taken aback that the best of the Jewish people had so little capacity for understanding.

Just after this conversation, Jesus and his disciples leave and go to Judea. In these readings (Year II) it skips over the John the Baptist’s disciples being upset with Jesus’s baptizing and the people going to Jesus instead of John. It is here where John makes the fact known that he must decrease while Jesus must increase. John says he was never the Messiah and didn’t claim to be.

Which brings us to today’s Gospel. I have no idea who is speaking these words today – Jesus, John the Baptist, or John the Evangelist. The fact is, Jesus is different. He did come down from Heaven. He has seen things that no one else – including the Baptist – has ever seen.

It is a lot like the Nicodemus conversation in that we don’t fully understand what is being said – until Jesus suffers what he must suffer for us.

Then we can look back with that knowledge onto a Journey that Jesus chose to make for each of us. A Journey to the cross, to the tomb and to the Ascension.

A Journey that will leave us reconciled with the Father.

John the Baptist knew.

At least that’s what I heard Him say…

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