I just started reading the Gospel of Mark.
My church is about to start a new sermon series on the entire Gospel, and I thought I’d dive in.
Take chapter 1, verses 4-5, for example.
”And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.”
I find it fascinating that people flocked to John the Baptist. If you read a little more about his lifestyle, you’ll discover how differently he lived than that of culture. I guess you could say he was a bit of a loner – not exactly the cool kid. As a result, this is who I picture when I read about John.
*Disclaimer* I’m sure my imagination isn’t exactly the most accurate depiction of what he actually looked like, but nonetheless, I can’t control what my imagination conjures up. I picture Grizzly Adams. Lol.
With that said, I think it speaks very highly of the kind of person John was and the presence and passion he exuded. People were captivated by him, in such a way that they didn’t care if he smelled, or looked wild, or was radical, or had odd behavior. He was a guy passionate about Jesus and people were drawn to that – in fact, they ran towards that.
In a culture sadly obsessed with external representation, this speaks volumes to me. And it challenges me deeply.
Do I flock to people because of who they are, what they look like, what they can offer me, or because being associated with them is “cool”?
Or do I gravitate to people who are passionate about Jesus – regardless of their look, age, color, style, social standing and societal class?
John left his mark on the world because the presence that radiated out of every part of his being was contagious, Holy Spirit led, and Christ-honoring.
So I can’t help but ask myself, and also you:
Do you leave this kind of mark on the world?