Our scripture this week is Matthew 11:2-11.
As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces. Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
Jesus asks the crowd what drew them to John the Baptist. In some ways His questions are a little unusual to us, but the people of that time knew the reed was the symbol of King Herod, used on official seals and coins. Jesus was asking, in a roundabout way, what they were looking for when they came to the Jordan to see John.
His questions indicate the people shouldn’t have expected to see someone who was like their current ruler. Jesus is telling them the kingdom of God proclaimed by John is very different than the governments of men. He continues that John is more than just a prophet as they have heard from before. He preaches not just repentance but the coming of the Lord Himself.
Do we hear John’s call? Are we repentant, anxious, ready for the kingdom of God to come near? John told the crowds to prepare the way of the Lord and his call comes down through time to us. We must be prepared for Jesus’ coming today and always.
Loving Lord, we are often slow to hear and even slower to act. Help us feel the urgency to be prepared for Your coming. May we be ready to receive You and shout to the world “the Lord has come!” Amen.