DEVOTIONS AND SERMONS

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Making Best Friends
 

JESUS AND John THE BAPTIST

Making best friends is very important, in a discipleís life. Best friends are the ones who calls us higher spiritually and their presence makes a major difference in our lives.

In this lesson we can see the life of Jesus and John the Baptist and what kind of friendship they had.

The family background :

Luke 1:39-45, 56
39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea,
40 where she entered Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth.
41 When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!
43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.
45 Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!"

46 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.


Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist and Mary, Jesusí mother were close relatives. They visit each other homes very often, so Jesus and John as cousins would have probably had a close friendship from their childhood. They grew up together, know each other, What do we look in spiritual friendship?

1. Know each other

Matthew 3:13-17
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.
14 But John tried to deter him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?"
15 Jesus replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness." Then John consented.
16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him.
17 And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."


Not only the relations by birth, John knew that Jesus is righteous & godly than him. He considers Jesus better than himself, and uplifted Jesus characters. Jesus also shares great opinion about John the Baptist.

Matthew 11:11-15
11 I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.
13 For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John.
14 And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come.
15 He who has ears, let him hear.


They knew each other but still they were eager to know what is happening in their life & their purpose. They sent their disciples to know that.

Matthew 11:2-6
2 When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples
3 to ask him, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?"
4 Jesus replied, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see:
5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.
6 Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me."


Spiritual friends will know the true life, the strength and weakness of each otherís life.

2. Have a mission in life

Matthew 14:13
When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns.

Jesus and John the Baptist- they both had a mission to save the lost, even though they are far. When John was beheaded, Jesus went to a solitary place [most probably to pray] but it didnít affect Jesus preaching to 5000 people. John was proclaiming about Jesus in desert.

Luke 3:1-4
1 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar--when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene--
2 during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the desert.
3 He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
4 As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: "A voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.


3. Humility to each other

Pride never interfered in this true friendship. John was in ministry of saving the lost much before Jesus. John the Baptist was waiting for his baptism.

John 1:32-34
32 Then John gave this testimony: "I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.
33 I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.'
34 I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God."


If the spirit comes down as a dove on baptism it will be revealed that He is the Son of God. Yet, he was humble, when he said ĎI need to be baptised by you.

Matthew 3:13
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.

We see Jesus asking John to baptise him, answering Johnís disciples with respect.

Matthew 9:14-17
14 Then John's disciples came and asked him, "How is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?"
15 Jesus answered, "How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.
16 "No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse.
17 Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved."


True spiritual friends are humble and submissive to each other.

4. They grew together

Jesus and John the Baptist both were committed to save the lost.

John 3:22
After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized.

We see Jesus & John baptising and the number of people they saved grew. Best friends call each other higher - to do great for God, they spur one another, get corrected in weaknesses to change.

Challenge

Let us look for spiritual characters as given above in making best friends.