THE FOURTH WEEK IN ADVENT – SUNDAY
LESSON: JOHN 1:19-28
This is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” John 1:19
What were the Jews from Jerusalem seeking? Christ tells us when He says, “You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. . . He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light.” John 5:33,35.
From these words it is clear that they wanted to increase their own reputation by making use of John, and they wanted to avail themselves of his “lamp,” that is, his high and famous name, to deck themselves out before the people. For, had John shown them favor and accepted the proffered honor, they would have enhanced their reputation before the whole people as those who were worthy of the friendship and respect of such a great and holy man.
What other result could have ensued except that their greed, tyranny, and villainy would have been confirmed as pure holiness and something precious? These men tried to make out of John a Judas Iscariot who would be prepared to justify all their vice and immorality and gain them his approval and the people’s support.
Are they not fine manipulators, offering John honor in order to bring his honor upon themselves? They offer him an apple for a kingdom, and try to exchange pennies for dollars. But he stood fast like a rock.
PRAYER: Give us constancy and steadfastness of faith, O Lord, that we may ever serve you in singleness of heart and stand fast whatever the cost. Amen.