“John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were flocking to him, and they were baptized by him in the Jordan River as they confessed their sins.” (Mark 1:4–5, HCSB)
John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. “Serve where you’re planted,” was once a popular slogan in Christian circles. It meant we don’t have to look for a place far away to take the message of the Cross. We have family, friends, and neighbors who need Jesus. Go and tell them. And all of that is true.
However, remember what Jesus commanded us: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.” (Mark 16:15, HCSB) Often Jesus calls us to fulfill the “Go!” part of the command. People need Jesus, everywhere! So, we are often called to places we would never imagine.
But when God called John to the wilderness, along the Jordan River, he must have at first wondered who would come to him there. How would he proclaim the message to people in the wilderness? I mean, there he was on the south side of the Sea of Galilee far from the North Shore communities of Capernaum, Chorazim, or Bethsaida. So what was he doing here?
Yet, on this central route between Jerusalem to the south and those communities to the north, God placed this bold man with a bolder message: “Prepare the way for the Lord; make His paths straight! Every valley will be filled, and every mountain and hill will be made low; the crooked will become straight, the rough ways smooth, and everyone will see the salvation of God.” (Luke 3:4–6, HCSB)
As people traveled through, John preached “a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” What was more amazing was, “the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were flocking to him.”And in these words, we find our lesson. God moves us to where He needs us. When we arrive there God will bring those whom He has prepared.
Our task is simple: Go and speak! God will do the rest!
Willing Worker Wednesdays are dedicated to explaining the core realities of servant leadership – the Biblical principles and methods used by God’s faithful people throughout time. They further reflect the lifestyle of Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords as He walked on this earth announcing the Kingdom of God had arrived. These brief lessons are written by Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Executive Director of Eagles In Leadership, and come from his extensive ministry within the local church, in higher education, in church consulting and as a Biblical author and leader. He welcomes your comments below.