Texts: Isaiah 10:1-11; Romans 15:4-13; Matthew 3:1-12
My reaction would have been similar to Jeremy’s. Hearing people saying things like that turns me off, makes me frustrated. It makes me want to go argue—or, more often, avoid them entirely. I imagine many of you would feel the same. It’s interesting, then, that Matthew chooses to begin his story about Jesus with just such a person: a man named John, dressed in camel hair, wading in a river screaming, “Repent! The Kingdom of God has come near!” Not only that, Matthew tells us that John is the one who baptizes Jesus, and that according to Jesus himself, this is right and proper. This means that, unlike my friend Jeremy and perhaps the rest of us, Matthew believes that John and his message are very Christ-like—so Christ-like, in fact, that Christ himself chooses to continue John’s work.