Jesus Gets My Vote
Reading Matthew 3:1-12
Excuse me please! Could I have your attention for a moment?
Something very significant seems to be happening that I really feel I should share with you.
We seem to have been waiting, waiting, for a such a long time now…….. Something just has to happen!………It’s as though we have been held captive for a long time……. Oppressed by the Roman armies ……… put down, hopes dashed for such a long time.
When we hear our Scriptures we are called the chosen ones, God’s special people but we don’t feel like it………….
You know, there have been some groups trying to force a change. …….. to help us become what God says we are.
We’ve got the Essenes. Well they’ve just opted out of everyday life and become a religious community living simply, rejecting Temple worship and separating themselves so they can spend all day meditating on the Scriptures. But I can’t go that way. I’ve got a family to look after and they won’t let a woman in any way.
We’ve got the Pharisees & Scribes who think that God’s kingdom won’t come until everyone is righteous. They long for God’s kingdom to come and want us to get everything so right, that every bit of guidance that God has given us has been broken down to a long list of rules that are impossible to keep. I thought God was supposed to be a God who loves us but with all their rules and regulations He just gets lost under their heavy burdens. I’m just not up to it. I can’t find God their way.
Politicians! Don’t get me started on Politicians, especially not The Zealots. Their party is bent on violence. If they have their way they will overthrow the Romans so we can get on with doing things the Jewish way but I’m not convinced they can make it work.
Violence leads to violence and the might of the Roman is bound to win. And I think these Zealots don’t have much to offer to make us God’s people going God’s way.
And the Saducees, the religious hierarchy, well they want things to be better too but I’m afraid I just don’t trust them to lead us………. Yes, they are religious but they mix their ideas with siding with the Romans. I think they are just in it to look after their own interests. They’ll not get my vote.
It’s so difficult to choose………… What hope is there for our future and the future of our children? How should we choose? Is there a way forward for our people who have waited so long?………………………………………….
But NOW, and this is where I am coming to my point – someone new has come with a very different manifesto.
Have you been to hear him? You know, the guy called John the Baptiser. Bit of a strange fellow he is…… Long hair, hairy tunic with a leather belt. Strange diet too! He has been living out in the desert and eating locusts and wild honey. Strange fellow!
But what he says is making some sense and hundreds are to going to see him.
Have you heard what he has to say?
Last time I heard he was down by the River Jordan where the river is full and deep. Good place for baptising.
He’s taken up what Isaiah the prophet said, John says that he is a voice crying out in the wilderness. “Get ready for God who is coming. Make God’s road straight and smooth so He can come.”
He doesn’t care much for the Pharisees & Saducees either. They have come to listen to him & to have the baptismal experience too but he tells them straight……… He doesn’t mince his words. “Brood of snakes! He says, What do you think you’re doing slithering down here to the river? Do you think a little water on your snakeskins is going to make any difference? It’s your life that must change, not your skin!
It’s your life that must change, not your skin!
John isn’t out to get popular votes and create a following for himself. He is different from all the others.
It’s your life that must change to accommodate the promised One. He says. You can’t count on you past religious history. Church attendance doesn’t count either………. Belonging to the right group………… no good.
What counts is your life. Is it green and blossoming?……. Because if it’s deadwood;, Religious practise without any heart commitment, or life style change then it goes on the fire.
When I heard him speak I thought, “Well this is different!” but then he wasn’t trying to win followers for himself. Oh NO!
He was preparing the way FOR SOMEONE ELSE WHO WAS STILL TO COME.
11-12 John said “I’m baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life.
Perhaps this is what we have been waiting for all these years? Perhaps the change isn’t in other people……. in other policies. The change has to happen in us first? We have to be cleaned up so that change can come NEW LIFE CAN COME INTO US.
John said he was coming to prepare the way for something else…………. SomeOne else!
But we have to be changed too, ready to receive Him.?
As I think about it I know I need to change… to stop blaming & criticising others………. and get myself sorted.
What do you think?…….. Are there things that need to change in you?.
But there was more that John said,
The real action comes next: The main character in this drama—compared to him I’m a mere stagehand—
He will ignite the kingdom life within you, a fire within you,
The Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out. He’s going to clean house—make a clean sweep of your lives. He’ll place everything true in its proper place before God; everything false he’ll put out with the trash to be burned.”
I’ve been thinking about this a lot…. Have you?
It seems that we need to change to be able to be God’s special chosen people and not just think we have the right because of our history but it’s not about obeying rules…trying harder. It’s about RELATIONSHIP……..relationship with God himself…… WITH A GOD WHO LOVES YOU ………… & we are going to get some help. ……………. Someone very special is going to come to us……. Will come to me and to you too if you ask.
It’ll be like a fire within us burning up the stuff that’s no good, …………..like a broom sweeping us clean throughout. Then we will have a new kingdom life with in us……. A life of freedom. ……………I’m starting to feel very excited!
What these other people talk about seems so hollow………. And so….. so short –lived somehow. But a change from within…………?
But a change in the way I look at things? A freedom to be the best me I could be………….. Yes, I want this.
What will this new person be like that John is talking about, that could ignite this fire in me?……. could ignite it in you?
I’m ready for a change. I’m ready for this person to come and live his life in me. ……. I really feel that this is what has been promised us all these years. ……… a complete life change.
Maybe this new person who is coming is the Messiah? God’s anointed One? ……….And John is preparing the way for Him. ……… I’ve decided to prepare my heart for Him.
What about you? Is your heart prepared for this new special person to come….?
He wants to come and live in you…….. and to make changes in your life? …………………. To come afresh at this time of year and for all time…………. so that He lives His life in you?
I really feel that this is the time…. The time for the change that we long for. This new life is available for all times.
Something is about to happen and we need to be ready.
Will you give Him your vote, make Him No 1 in your life and wholeheartedly follow Him
I hope you don’t mind me sharing these things with you but it is so important not just for you but for our country as well.