The Voice of John the Baptist: Witness to the Light

Ken Eriks

Read: John 1:1-9


[John] came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him (v. 7).

In a classic Peanuts comic strip, Lucy greets Charlie Brown, “Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown! At this time of the year I think we should put aside all our differences, and try to be kind.” Charlie Brown replies, “Why does it have to be for just this time of year? Why can’t it be all year ’round?” Lucy immediately responds, “What are you, some kind of fanatic or something?”

John the Baptist was something of a fanatic. He lived in the wilderness, wore clothing made of camel’s hair, and ate locusts and wild honey (Mark 1:4-6). He didn’t mince words as he followed in the footsteps of Old Testament prophets; he wasn’t comfortable company. But the Gospels also tell us that he had disciples. People were inspired by his example. What were they drawn to? The Gospel of John says of him, “He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light” (John 1:8). John the Baptist wasn’t the Son, but he sure drew attention to the Son.

How did he do it? With words and lifestyle. So must we: telling the truth about Jesus, setting aside differences, building relationships, offering help, and keeping it up year around. We can do it because the baby born in Bethlehem has been born in us as well. If that means we are fanatics, so be it! —Ken Eriks

Prayer: Lord God, let your light shine in us and through us today.