Last week we spoke about John the Baptist and his message that he so eloquently conveyed. We note this week that immediately after John completes his scolding of the religious leaders, Matthew documents Jesus coming to be baptized by John in the Jordan River. You see a tremendous shift here with John. He goes from yelling at people who were wearing their religion on the outside to humbling himself in the presence of Jesus.
John the Baptist in Matthew 3:14 says to Jesus: “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” The author also adds a note that John had to be told that he should do this. Jesus says: “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Matthew records no other discussion here between Jesus and John. I can imagine from this text a “yes sir” and immediate action from John. How else do you respond to the one you believe is the Messiah? I would like to focus on one word here. It’s the word “us.” Jesus tells John that “it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” John was a great man who stood solidly on what he believed in, but he was only a man. He was a prophet of God, but he was only a man. Jesus is the one that has the power to fulfill righteousness, not a man. It is because John had a part in His plan.
We all, as human beings, think that we need to have all the answers. Of course, there is a level of good planning that we are to accomplish to be good stewards, but many of us enter paralysis of analysis instead of taking action. John didn’t. He didn’t know all the specifics, but he knew what he could do today.
The Bible speaks about governmental authorities as servants of God, and I believe when we work for the betterment of His Kingdom we are working with Him. It is an us, not just an I who is working. When we put on the police uniform, start the car, and enter the darkness of society we have no idea what can be in store for us. We can be used to save a child from an abusive adult, or we can be used to arrest a violent felon saving innocent victims before their victimization occurs. In one shift we can be used to save a life and be used to take a life saving others. It’s a crazy job, but it is comforting to know that He is with us in these shadows.
God is with the soldier who is in the firefight fighting for freedoms given to mankind under Him. He is with the veteran who finds it hard to sleep at night without reliving horrible events. He is with the policeman who is laying in a pool of his own blood fighting to get the tourniquet on before he goes unconscious. He is with the fireman who risks his all by going into a building almost fully consumed with flame.
In whatever place you find yourself this week, I encourage you to serve God in the basics and leave the specifics up to Him. I also encourage you this week to remember that He is with you when you are working for Him. You are not alone. You are a warrior for the Highest Kingdom in existence. Let us work as noble men and women who fulfill a noble calling.
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Matthew 3:15 – “But Jesus answered him, ‘Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.’ ”