Repent and Believet – Part 2
Last week we began our series called Repent and Believe. I said it would be a two-part series but it looks like this will be a three-part series. That’s not bad because out of all of the sections of this gospel where we should slow down to get it right, it’s in this section.
If you remember last week, we had seen that John the Baptist had been thrown in jail. He had publicly confronted Herod about his illicit marriage to his brother Philip’s wife. It wasn’t too long after that that Philip had him thrown in jail. Two reasons we saw last week that he was thrown in jail was because of this public embarrassment which was more the reason why his wife Herodias wanted to throw him in jail. The other was a fear of his influence. We saw that John the Baptist had a great influence in that time as the forerunner of Christ.
Because of these two things, it made him a target. Standing for righteousness will make you a target. We have seen this time and time again throughout history and of course, the biggest example of this is our Lord Jesus Christ. He stood for righteousness without wavering and it made him a target to where He was murdered on a cross. This is part of our calling as Christians. Paul lays out in no uncertain terms that standing for righteousness and living godly invites persecution (2 Timothy 3:12).
Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. (2 Timothy 3:12)
one detail that we focused on was the fact that Jesus didn’t go and get John the Baptist out of jail. Was it because John the Baptist was doing something wrong? Wasn’t John the Baptist doing God’s work? Upon hearing that John the Baptist had been imprisoned, instead of going to the prison, Jesus went to Galilee which is far away from the prison.
Part of the reason why Jesus didn’t get John out of jail is because this was part of John’s calling as a Christian. To suffer in jail for righteousness is a Christian’s calling. Suffering is inevitable for true Christians (1 Peter 2:21).
For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: (1 Peter 2:21)
To suffer for the sake of righteousness is not a punishment. It is a calling, a duty, and a blessing (Mat_5:10).
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10)
The other reason why the Lord didn’t go get John the Baptist because the gospel is of paramount importance. Jesus did not come to get John the Baptist out of jail. Jesus came to preach the gospel (Luke 4:43).
And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent. (Luke 4:43)
The Lord Jesus had an eternal perspective on events. His outlook was and is a heavenly one, not an earthly one. This should be a lifelong goal of the believer, that we should seek to filter our world through a heavenly perspective which is presented in the Bible.
This week we’re going to continue in Part 2 of our series and look at what the Lord needed to say that was so important.
Join us Sunday at Berean Home Fellowship, 3628 Torrance Dr., Toledo, Ohio 43612 at 11:00 a.m. as we teach independence in dependence on God.by