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Pause For Thought: Peace with God and man

John the Baptist’s influence over the people had been greater than the priests, rulers, and princes. He could easily have declared himself to be the Messiah and encourage a revolt against Rome. He would have had great support. And don’t think Satan didn’t tempt John to do that! But he resisted all such attention and directed the people to Jesus, not himself.

Day after day John saw less people coming to him and more going to hear Jesus and be baptized. While Jesus Himself didn’t baptize he authorized His disciples to do so. John’s disciples were jealous for him and criticized Jesus’ work. They started arguing with His disciples over baptism—words to use, and eventually their authority to baptize.

Coming to John, they complained that the One he bore witness to was baptizing and that all the people were following Him. Satan was tempting John to be jealous of Jesus, express disappointment, and gain sympathy for himself. While John had inherited faults common to all humanity, heavenly love had transformed him. He dwelled in an atmosphere of love. Selfishness and ambition had no hold on him.

John showed no sympathy with his disciples’ dissatisfaction, but instead gladly welcomed Jesus’ ministry. John had been called by God to prepare the way for Jesus’ work. He said, “This my joy is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.”

God’s children won’t seek honour for themselves. Selfishness is swallowed up by love for Christ. Christ also sought not His own glory, but the glory of the Father. As we gladly yield our lives to Christ in loving trust and service, the Holy Spirit works in us to change and heal our inborn selfishness. Than we can be truly happy and at peace with God and man.

If you have a question for Bible Mentor Marie Odell you can contact her by emailing: marieodell04@gmail.com

Marie Odell is a member of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

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