I’m sure we have heard this from our exasperated parents at least once or twice in our childhood of mischievousness. Parents have been known to lose a few brain cells in frustration and say, “Look at me when I’m talking to you!”, immediately followed by, “Don’t look at me that way!”
“Talk to me, answer me!” “Don’t talk to me that way!” At this point, no one is really listening for an answer. Parents are frustrated at our behavior and spitting out nonsense until wiser conversations can happen. The biggest question that frustrated parents should never ask is, “Do you think I’m stupid?” We really do not want an answer to that question at that moment from our child. My parents did not really want to know what I was thinking when they ask me that same question.
John, the one who came before Jesus to point the way to Jesus, is confronted by religious “officials” from Jerusalem. They need an answer and seem just as frustrated as my parents were. They may not want to know the answer…but they still demanded an answer! I almost hear my mom’s voice as they ask John for the answer. John tells them the Truth. Every. Time.
John 1, The Message
15 John pointed him out and called, “This is the One! The One I told you was coming after me but in fact was ahead of me. He has always been ahead of me, has always had the first word.”
16-18 We all live off his generous bounty,
gift after gift after gift.
We got the basics from Moses,
and then this exuberant giving and receiving,
This endless knowing and understanding—
all this came through Jesus, the Messiah.
No one has ever seen God,
not so much as a glimpse.
This one-of-a-kind God-Expression,
who exists at the very heart of the Father,
has made him plain as day.
Thunder in the Desert
19-20 When Jews from Jerusalem sent a group of priests and officials to ask John who he was, he was completely honest. He didn’t evade the question. He told the plain truth: “I am not the Messiah.”
21 They pressed him, “Who, then? Elijah?”
“I am not.”
22 Exasperated, they said, “Who, then? We need an answer for those who sent us. Tell us something—anything!—about yourself.”
23 “I’m thunder in the desert: ‘Make the road straight for God!’ I’m doing what the prophet Isaiah preached.”
24-25 Those sent to question him were from the Pharisee party. Now they had a question of their own: “If you’re neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet, why do you baptize?”
26-27 John answered, “I only baptize using water. A person you don’t recognize has taken his stand in your midst. He comes after me, but he is not in second place to me. I’m not even worthy to hold his coat for him.”
28 These conversations took place in Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing at the time.
The worldly needed an answer then and still do. The answer was the one foretold in the Scripture they read but refused to understand. “He is the ONE!”, John shouted and cried out in the wilderness. John was honest. Truth was told. He is still the ONE today. He is the Answer.
Is Jesus trying to get our attention today? “Look at Me when I’m talking to you and I will give you exactly what you need.” Human voices fade into the background until we hear our Savior calling, “Come”. And those who believe, follow with joy and peace.
In Jesus Name, Amen. I believe.