What Jesus Did! 'Pointing the Way, Clearing the Path' — John 1:22-23

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

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Then the Jews said, "Who are you? Tell us about yourself. Give us an answer to tell the people who sent us. What do you say about yourself?" John told them the words of the prophet Isaiah: "I am the voice of a person shouting in the desert: 'Make a straight road ready for the Lord.'"
— John 1:22-23
Illustration of John 1:22-23 — "Who are you? Tell us about yourself. Give us an answer to tell the people who sent us. What do you say about yourself?"

Key Thought

John let the questioners know that his identity was not the issue; the one about whom he spoke was the important issue. Yes, John's coming was an answer to prophecy. Yes, John's ministry was powerful and touched many people. Yes, John's work changed untold number of lives. Yes, John's presence was a signal about God's coming Kingdom. John, however, always kept his role in perspective: "I'm here to point the way to the Messiah. My role is to clear the path for people to find the Lord." No matter what our gifts may be, no matter what talents God has given to us, each of us in our own way is called to follow John's example. We have been put into a circle of friends, family, and acquaintances to point the way to the Messiah and clear a path for those we know to find the Lord.

Today's Prayer

Precious and loving Father, King of the ages and LORD of my heart, please use me to bring others to know Jesus as their Savior and Lord. I especially ask that you will give me wisdom as I seek to be a faithful witness to your Son's grace with the following people .... In the mighty name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

The Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent some priests and Levites to John. The Jews sent them to ask, "Who are you?" John spoke freely. John did not refuse to answer. John said clearly, "I am not the Christ. " That is what John told people. The Jews asked John, "Then who are you? Are you Elijah ?" John answered, "No, I am not Elijah." The Jews asked, "Are you the Prophet ?" John answered, "No, I am not the Prophet." Then the Jews said, "Who are you? Tell us about yourself. Give us an answer to tell the people who sent us. What do you say about yourself?" John told them the words of the prophet Isaiah: "I am the voice of a person shouting in the desert: 'Make a straight road ready for the Lord.'" These Jews were sent from the Pharisees. These men said to John: "You say you are not the Christ. You say you are not Elijah or the Prophet. Then why do you baptize people?" John answered, "I baptize people with water. But there is a person here with you that you don't know. That person is the One who comes after me. I am not good enough to untie the strings on his shoes." These things all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan River. This is where John was baptizing people. The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him. John said, "Look, the Lamb of God. He takes away the sins of the world! This is the One I was talking about. I said, 'A man will come after me, but he is greater than I am, because he was living before me—{he has always lived}.' Even I did not know who he was. But I came baptizing people with water so that Israel (the Jews) could know that Jesus is {the Christ} ." Then John said, "I also did not know who the Christ was. But God sent me to baptize people with water. And God told me, 'You will see the Spirit. come down and rest on a man. That man is the One who will baptize with the Holy Spirit. '" John said, "I have seen this happen. I saw the Spirit come down from heaven. The Spirit looked like a dove and sat on him (Jesus). So this is what I tellpeople: 'He (Jesus) is the Son of God.'"

John 1:19-34

Related Scripture Readings

But you should keep the Lord Christ holy in your hearts. Always be ready to answer every person who asks you to explain about the hope you have. But answer those people in a gentle way with respect. Always be able to feel that you are doing right. When you do that, the people who say bad things about you will be made ashamed. They say these bad things about the good way you live in Christ. They will be made ashamed for the bad things they said about you. It is better to suffer for doing good than for doing wrong. Yes, it is better if that is what God wants.

1 Peter 3:15-17

Is Apollos important? No! Is Paul important? No! We are only servants of God who helped you believe. Each one of us did the work God gave us to do. I planted the seed (teaching) and Apollos watered it. But God is the One who made the seed grow. So the person that plants is not important, and the person that waters is not important. Only God is important, because he is the One who makes things grow. The person that plants and the person that waters have the same purpose. And each person will be rewarded for his own work. We are workers together for God. And you are like a farm that belongs to God. And you are a house that belongs to God.

1 Corinthians 3:5-9

Saul agreed that the killing of Stephen was a good thing. Some men that truly worshiped God buried Stephen. They cried very loudly for him. On that day the Jews began to persecute the group of believers in Jerusalem. The Jews made them suffer very much. Saul was also trying to destroy the group. Saul went into their houses. He dragged out men and women and put them in jail. All the believers left Jerusalem. Only the apostles stayed. The believers went to different places in Judea and Samaria. The believers were scattered everywhere. Every place the believers went they told people the Good News.

Acts 8:1-4

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.