January 13

Reflection

Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him.
Mathew 3:13

If we could find a historically certain incident in which Jesus made a choice between two or more alternatives, we should have a very important clue to the direction of his thinking. This we have at the beginning of all the gospels: Jesus chose to be baptized by John. John expected each individual in Israel to repent and experience a personal change of heart. This is surely the fundamental meaning of John’s practice of baptism…the kind of change for which John appealed had nothing to do with ritual purity or petty details of Sabbath observance. John appealed for what we would call social morality. Josephus, the contemporary Jewish historian, maintains that Herod arrested John for political reasons. He was afraid that John would turn the people against him. John the Baptist was the only man in that society who impressed Jesus. Here was the voice of God warning the people of an impending disaster and calling for a change of heart in each and every individual.  Jesus believed this and joined with those who were determined to do something about it. He was baptized by John.
Albert Nolan, Jesus Before Christianity

Prayer

Today if you hear God’s voice harden not your heart.
Psalm 95

Action

Where do I hear the prophetic voices today? Is there a consistent message?  Do I have the courage to choose and follow?

Suggested Reading

Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan
to be baptized by him.
John tried to prevent him, saying,
“I need to be baptized by you,
and yet you are coming to me?”
Jesus said to him in reply,
“Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us
to fulfill all righteousness.”
Then he allowed him.
Matthew 3:13-17

We need people with moral courage to speak and write their real thoughts, and to stand by their convictions, even to the very death.
Robert Green Ingersoll

Follow your honest convictions and be strong.
William Makepeace Thackeray

Never for the sake of peace and quiet deny your convictions.
Dag Hammarskjold

Strong convictions precede great actions.
Louisa May Alcott

The prophets and the writers of the Psalms were clear that God was continuing to work in the universe and in all history. They declared that God had created the universe.
Kenneth Scott Latourette

Another way of judging the value of a prophet’s religious experience, therefore, would be to examine the type of manhood that he has created, and the cultural world that has sprung out of the spirit of his message.
Muhammad Iqbal

It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.
J. K. Rowling

Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.
Abraham Lincoln

 

 

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