Thursday

Jesus and John

I was reading the Book of John and I came upon the line in John.10:41, saying John (the Baptist) didn’t do miracles…

The life and witness of Jesus was full of miracles in part because God was confirming Jesus’ witness of being the Son of God. But what about John? Jesus said the Prophets spoke about him; moreover, while Elizabeth, John’s mother, was pregnant with him we saw incidents of the miraculous. We know John’s testimony was true, and he was filled with the Holy Spirit; yet not one miracle from John. Then it reminded me of the scripture back in John 3.

When the disciples of John go to him to complain that his people were going to seek the baptism from the disciples of Jesus on the other side of the river from him, anger, jealousy or at least resentment is what should probably have set in. However, he responds with; “God in heaven appoints each person’s work. You yourselves know how plainly I told you I am not the Messiah. I am here to prepare the way for Him-that is all. The bride will go where the bridegroom is. A bridegroom’s friend rejoices with him. I am the bridegroom’s friend, and I am filled with joy at his success. He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.” John was not going to let it turn into a rivalry.

John knew his hour was up when he saw our Savior coming from the horizon. He did what he needed to do and then step aside; no miracles, no healings. Jesus had to be unique in what he did. God the Father knew it, and in a quiet resolve, so did John. If you read what each said about the other throughout the gospels, you come away with thinking Jesus had more of a personal affection for John than John for Him; even questioning from prison whether He truly was the Messiah. John was an Essene (a strict monastic sect of Judaism that wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls) before his ministry in the desert.

In Matt.11:2-5, John sent his disciples asking Jesus, “Are you the one who is coming, or are we to look for another?” Jesus told them, “Go back to John and tell him that you have heard and seen the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life…”

Never in the Old Testament do we read of this “raising the dead” belief. However, in the Dead Sea Scroll; “Redemption and Resurrection,” it says in the future either God or the Messiah will resurrect the dead. Therefore, when Jesus says this one line, it wasn’t lost on John the ex-Essene exactly what he was referencing. You could find no two people who were so different; John the rough, hard-line, last-of-the-prophets and Jesus the gentle, merciful Savior. The disciple John was given the title of “Beloved,” but reading the Bible narrative, we wonder which John that title rightfully belongs.



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