Practical Proverbial, from Matthew, 31 January 2023. Today’s topic: Stuck

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”  Matthew 3:13-14

I love this about John the Baptist.   He’s like you and me.  

Me, I’m stuck on myself.  Sometimes, I just can’t get past me.  It’s such a pervasive problem that I get stuck in my pre-conceptions about things.   Most of them come back to me, how I perceive things, what I think about things, what I know, what I feel or believe.   Me. 

You:  you don’t like having your conventional wisdom challenged.  You’re comfortable in what you know, the world around you.   You don’t like having the boat rocked too much, and when people say or do things that upset your apple cart, well, brother (or sister) that ain’t cool.  It has taken a whole life to build this up, and it just won’t do to have it all mixed up, turned upside-down, and scattered on the floor.   You…and me (again).

The two of us:  we do things that we think, and hope, are right.   Among the many wrong things, sins, we do, we also work hard to do things that are right.   How do we know what’s right?  Because that’s what we’re taught.   All law, all sense of right and wrong, everything that even unbelievers think is right, comes from our knowledge of God and what HE says is right.   Most of us try to do what’s right, or at least think we do.  That’s us.

Here, John was stuck in what he thought he knew, that God couldn’t wade into our world of sin and still be God.   It was a fundamental truth on which John had built his life.   He wasn’t God; his cousin, Jesus, was.   In a way, he put Jesus on a pedestal, and deservedly so because Jesus IS God, is worthy of worship, is holy and righteous and the source of all right and all the things God should be.  That’s Jesus.  When Jesus showed up to be baptized with the sinners who needed to be there, John tried to stop Him.  I can understand that.   John is like you and me, or we are like John.  He realized Jesus had no sin in Him, and John’s locust-and-honey-fed brain couldn’t compute why this was happening.  He’s a little like Zechariah, his dad, who couldn’t get over what he thought he knew when the angel showed up with news.

Just like us.   In the next verse, Jesus says “why,” and it all makes sense.  Maybe John would have figured it out eventually; maybe we would, too.   But I suspect not.   I suspect that, without some divine assistance, just like Zechariah and us, John would simply have found himself stuck.

For more reading:  Matthew 3:15

Lord Jesus, I need to you un-stick my understanding.   I don’t always ‘get’ things.   Help me to understand Your word and Your holy purposes.

Published by aspiringwriterdt

It's about's about the life He gives's about going day by's about you. It's not about me.

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