The first thought to enter the learned Christian mind is this verse of Matthew’s Gospel has nothing to do with Christmas. Wrong! It has every thing to do with the coming of Jesus Christ, as we anticipate his birth. No Christ, No Christmas! John’s statement was spoken in the present tense, the here and now, but he spoke of the future and the future Savior. One of several Old Testament Scripture prophecies proclaims that John was to come before Jesus, God promised; “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me” (Malachi 3:1). Jesus would confirm this later, word-for-word, in Matthew 11:10. John came first, as promised, Jesus came and the spirit of his arrival lives on in our celebration of the Christmas holiday season.
A closer look and we see the true relevance of John’s statement lies in recognition of his personal limitations and the promise of unlimited power in him (Christ) who was to come. Have you ever come to a place in your relationship with Jesus where you say “I indeed—but He?” Until the moment arrives when we recognize our personal limitations you will never know what the baptism of the Holy Ghost means. I indeed am at an end, I cannot do a thing, but he begin to work—he does the things no one else, including me, can ever do. Am I ready for his coming?
Jesus cannot come as long as there is anything in the way, either of good or evil in my life. Every Christian should ask: When he comes am I going to be ready for him to shine the light on me or post on a social media website every wrong thing I have done? It is at this point in my life he comes, when I am ready to deal with the consequences of his coming. Wherever I know I am unclean, he will put his feet; wherever I think I am clean, he will withdraw them.
Repentance does not bring a sense of sin, but a sense of unspeakable unworthiness. When a person repents you realize that you are totally helpless. You know within the depths of your heart that you are not worthy even to carry his (Jesus) sandals. Have you repented like that? Or is there a lingering suggestion of standing up for one-self? If you have not repented to the level of helplessness and the smallest hint of self-defense, Jesus cannot come into your life, because you have not completed your repentance, yet.
“He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and fire.” John does not speak of the baptism of the Holy Ghost as an experience, but as a work performed by Jesus Christ. “He shall baptize you.” The only conscious experience those that are baptized with the Holy Ghost ever have is a sense of total unworthiness. Jesus came into the world to “seek and save the lost,” it is only after we find ourselves humbled at his feet in total submission can we be saved and he baptizes us with the Holy Ghost.
I indeed was this and that; but He came, and a marvelous and wonderful thing happened, he changed me, He has touched me and made me whole. Are you at a place this Christmas where he does everything and you do nothing more than His will. John came before Jesus and unfortunately left us in a cruel way, but of all the joys of Christmas, the greatest is that Jesus Christ is not coming, He is here. Please, let Jesus be with you this Christmas and always. Be blessed and bless someone in Jesus’ name.
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ
- I will never forget my Baptism (brusharbors.wordpress.com)