Herod . . . locked John up in prison. When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too.
Sitting in prison, John likely thought back to all the people he baptized in the Jordan River. Most important, he would have recalled his cousin Jesus, who came to be baptized too.
John had felt very uneasy about baptizing Jesus, for Jesus had no sin to repent of. Yet Jesus insisted that he had to be baptized to fulfill the righteous requirements for the Messiah and to identify with all people. So, with John’s help, Jesus was baptized, and everything changed. The heavens opened, and John was astonished to hear the voice of God saying to Jesus, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” (See Matthew 3:13-17; John 1:29-34.)
God’s plan of changing the world—and our lives—was launched, and John cooperated in full agreement. That was his role from the very start of his life. And even in prison his time was not wasted (see Mark 6:20).
Is the Lord calling you to play the role he’s assigned to you? Maybe you are called to help a neighbor in need. Maybe you are called to teach a child to read. Maybe you are called to protest for better living conditions or to speak up for life in all places of death and despair. Maybe you can make a path more straight for someone so that they might hear the gospel. Let your faith in the Master drive out any fear of doing his good will today.
Dear Lord, help me to fulfill the role I am assigned in life: spouse, parent, coworker, neighbor, friend. In my role this day, may I be a blessing, for your sake. Amen.
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