Not it! That what John says, at least. Yet, his behavior causes people to call into question what his purpose is. If we look at this part of John’s story through the lens of today’s media and internet world, someone saying, “not it,” is not quite what is expected. Many people, especially in tech and politics seem to paint themselves in a Messianic light. They want people to emotionally believe that the person in question will save them. Both the person wanting it and the people giving it understand that the person in question is no Messiah. However, there still seems to be this need.
We can see it in people who claim to know Jesus, too. They attach themselves to politicians and church leaders in an almost Messianic way. It’s actually pretty sad. Jesus should be their Messiah. Actually, Jesus is their Messiah, but they’ve forgotten in their hearts. Christians have no excuse to look at others being their savior. They have already claimed to know that Jesus is the one and only savior (i.e., Messiah).
John wants nothing to do with the Messianic bit. He’s more than satisfied pointing to the true Messiah. For John, pointing to the Messiah and getting people started in the right direction is for him the very good life. John’s lifestyle doesn’t really call to people. There really aren’t a lot of people saying, “I want to live in the desert, wearing a fur coat, drinking only water, and eating bugs.” As strange as the life he lived out was to people, he still drew people. He didn’t say, “live just like me.” He did say, “repent.” His lifestyle wasn’t the goal. Jesus was the goal.
When Peter preaches to the people of Jerusalem he uses the recent story of Jesus’ life and death. He then uses what they know (scripture) to drive home the point. Then, instead of beating on them for their collective part in the death of Christ, he announces the resurrection. Wait? What? No guilt trip? Nope. Just some random guy pointing to Jesus. Some guy whose life was dramatically changed. Pointing the way to Christ. That is what Peter did.
When it comes to the very good life, the greatest joy may be pointing someone to Jesus. Why? Jesus is the key to the very good life, the key is free, and the number is unlimited.
1) What is the very good life to you?
2) Both John and Peter point to Jesus. Why is pointing to Jesus part of the very good life?