TAKING SECOND PLACE

Some things are hard to digest, and I am not referring to food. 

I have been alerted frequently over the years, how on occasion in a church there is some individual who aspires to be in a position where you know that, in that position there will be the development of problems.  Such a situation demands action, but it must meet both Scriptural and Constitution/By Law accommodation.

A few thoughts entered my mind as I read John 1 on the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist.  First, was the thought that these men, from a human stand-point, were cousins.  Jesus went to where John was baptizing.  John was questioned about what he was doing by the Priests and Levites sent from Jerusalem.  John made it quite clear about why he was baptizing. 

His reply was simple: “I am not the Christ.”  Then they had additional questions.  “Are you Elijah?”  “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” “No.”  “Who are you? Because we have to tell those who sent us.” “I am a voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as Isaiah the Prophet said.”

John recognized the presence of Jesus but did not identify Him.  He mentioned the difference of their baptizing and his own feeling on the matter.  However, it was not until the following day that he said: “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!  This is He on behalf of whom I said, “After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.” John also said:  “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. 

I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit’. I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.”

All of this involved Jesus and John.  I am reminded that not once did John ever try to take anything but “second place”.   Naturally, Jesus is first!  Jesus must always remain first.  Actually, second place is a “high calling” when Jesus is FIRST!

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