Pastor Mihail Baciu at Norwich SDA Church
“A Man Sent from God”
“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.” (John 1:6, NKVJ)
Everybody knows who John the Baptist was. Every reader of the Bible knows what his mission was. Jesus called him the greatest prophet (Matt 11:11) and his mission was to continue the reformation started by Elijah many years before. He was, besides Jesus, the most popular person of his time; not just with ordinary people but also with Roman soldiers, religious and Jewish civil leaders. Even king Herod listened to his powerful sermons about righteousness, justice and spiritual reform. What was the secret of his success? Why did many Roman soldiers, tax collectors and regular people come to him with a strong desire to change their lives and ask him, “What should we do?” (Luke 3:12) He had just the right answer for all their questions and spiritual challenges… “Repent!” …and… “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
So, again, what was the secret of John’s success in his mission? He was not born in a rich family. His parents, Zechariah and Elizabeth, were faithful but poor people. He did not hold a degree of Doctor of Ministry from the University of Jerusalem. John never traveled from city to city in a limousine with a chauffeur dressed in a professional looking black uniform. His daily menu was not fancy food and sophisticated desserts. John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. (Matthew 3:4) How could a man of this poor condition have such an impact on the lives of his generation? What was the secret of his preaching? “There was a man sent from God...” Here is the key to his powerful preaching, the secret of His successful ministry of sharing the principles of God’s kingdom in a corrupted generation.
Our generation is not different than John’s. We can see every day the signs of degeneration in our society. Sometimes we think that we need John the Baptist to preach and to teach us about righteousness. Do you not know? He is here. He is alive! You and I are John the Baptist! We are sent from God with a mission for our generation. Every Christian is—in effect—John the Baptist. Every member of the church is called to preach and represent Jesus’ character; maybe not from the pulpit or in the wilderness of Judea, but in our cities, in our neighborhoods. There is a (man) sent from God whose name is ________________... (Please put your name here.)