Here's this week's Bible study post for i.ucc:
John didn’t come from the house of the Emperor, the governor, or any governmental leader. He was Zechariah and Elizabeth’s child. He had a priestly lineage on both parent's sides (from Abijah and Aaron) but they weren't power players in the priestly areas and John wasn't part of any power system. He was in the wilderness. He didn’t know “how things worked,” according to the powers that were all around him.
And he came, outsider from the wilderness, preaching a different way. It wasn’t a way of power or of fame or of ‘just keeping your nose clean and fitting in.’ The way John preached was about getting ready for the one who would put everything back in order. John preached about turning away from sin. John preached about all of humanity seeing God’s salvation.
Do we still hear John’s words as a call to arms? Do we still hear them as a call to war against the powers that surround us? Or can we focus on turning away from sin and turning towards God?
The outsider isn’t calling for a violent reordering of things. He’s calling for all to see what is coming. God’s deliverance. God’s safety. God’s life-changing good news.
What do you hear from the outsider?