Thoughts on John the Baptist

Monday, December 15, 2008

Recently in preparation for christmas, and preparing a talk for the youth, I was reading about the birth of John who would later become know as “the Baptist.” I was reading this story in Luke while also thinking about the baby growing inside my wife who will be called _____ Miller.

My wife and I keep having discussions about “Pastor’s Kids” and how to raise our kids so that people will be surprised to find that their dad is a pastor.

I was also thinking about that as I read through Luke.

That’s when a detail about the story jumped out at me like never before: John was a pastors kid. (Okay, technically he was a priest’s kid, but close enough. For more on Priests kids refer to 1 Samuel 2.)

My heart sunk a bit at the thought.

Usually, I associate John the Baptist with his wild living. Not wild in the traditional sense with booze and hookers. But in the sense that he was some wild guy living out in the desert eating bugs and wearing ridiculous clothing. He sounds a bit like a freak. I don’t think I’ll be happy if my daughter ever brings home a John the Baptist.

But consider John from God’s perspective. Here is a bit of a synopsis of what God told
Zechariah, John’s father, when God was foretelling John’s birth:

- He will be great in the Lord’s eyes.
- He will be filled with the Holy Spirit from Birth.
- He will bring people back to God.
- He will go in the Spirit and power of Elijah (Elijah was the greatest prophet in Hebrew history. There were few regarded as highly as Elijah. He was a legend.) to turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous.
- He will prepare the people for their Lord.

What a beautiful view of John’s life. I hope this will be true of my child too. I hope my kids will be people who actively turn hearts to God.

Funny, that’s exactly what I hope my life is about.

I hope I will be a father who can aid their child in this pursuit, regardless of the forms it takes on.