Summary: 1 of 4. John was approached by others regarding his spiritual niche. We must identify those competing for our belief. But How are we to identify them? Identifying competitors for your belief employs...
IDENTIFYING The COMPETITORS For BELIEF—John 1:19-28
Nine-year-old Joey was asked by his mother what he had learned in Sunday School.
"Well, Mom, our teacher told us how God sent Moses behind enemy lines on a rescue mission to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. When he got to the Red Sea, he had his engineers build a pontoon bridge, & all the people walked across safely. He used his walkie-talkie to radio headquarters & call in an air strike. They sent in bombers to blow up the bridge & all the Israelites were saved."
"Now, Joey, is that REALLY what your teacher taught you?" his mother asked.
"Well, no, Mom, but if I told it the way the teacher did, you'd never believe it !"
There are many trying to gain our attention & guide the placement of belief.
Identifying God’s servant(s)
John was approached by others regarding his spiritual niche.
*We must identify/concern ourselves with/ the spiritual niche of those competing/vying for our belief.
How can/are we to identify the niche of those competing for belief?
9 considerations/keys/objectives/principles for identifying/categorizing those copeting for belief.
1—Identifying competitors for your belief employs...
:19—“Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests & Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?””
This entire section(:19-36) reveals the “testimony of John” the Baptist & the relevance of his ministry in relation to the coming of Messiah.
Here we gain insight to the personal character of John & his ministry. The reader sees John’s ministry in greater depth or focus. A particular aspect of John’s ministry is centered upon. That aspect is the relationship between John’s & Jesus’ ministry as it is borne out from the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry.
The emphasis eventually shifts fully to Jesus’ ministry beginning with the focus upon the inner circle of His initial disciples(1:35-51).
The “Jews”, in “Jerusalem” “sent” “priests & Levites” to John. They were sent “from Jerusalem” which was their(the Jew’s) seat of spiritual learning & expression in Israel. The temple(Herod’s) was there. These were sent to John to question(“ask”) him in order to discover his purpose or rather to discover ‘if’ &/or ‘how’ he was fulfilling anticipated biblical identities.
“[John] constantly uses the phrase "the Jews" as descriptive of the people as distinct from the Gentile world & from the followers of Christ (at first Jews also). Often he uses it of the Jewish leaders & rulers in particular who soon took a hostile attitude toward both John & Jesus.”—RWP
These particular “priests & Levites” were sent because they were the representatives of spiritual things to their larger constituency.
This smaller section(:19-28) specifically details the inquiries of those who had been sent by a larger party(the Pharisees) to inquire of spiritual things.