Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Thinking out loud because I can.

So John the Baptist, wanders off shouting at people to "Repent! for the Kingdom of God is at hand", and offers to baptize them for the repentance of sins.

What made him not dismiss the idea entirely? Back then, people were not without self-doubt surely... didn't he imagine that everyone would think he was crazy? Didn't he wonder himself at the very truth of the idea in the first place? I mean, everyone always tells you that the way to know whether it's God speaking to you or not can easily be tested by looking in His word - if it disagrees with His word then it's pretty well certain that the voice in your head ain't the goodun.

Yet John didn't seem to tell people to kill birds, or lambs, or sprinkle blood this way and that. Instead, he was told to baptize them in water for repentance. Did the people still go out and kill the goat afterward? or did this suffice?

And what could he have said when someone walks up with their scroll of OT scriptures and says, "God said to do it this way."
Maybe they did still go off and kill their birds, and bulls, if so what was the baptism for then? It certainly wasn't to show Christs death burial and resurrection. It wasn't to show they were baptised "in the name of Jesus" ... they didn't even know the name of Jesus.

There's a lot not mentioned in the Bible. Having heard and read the bible my whole life, it's hard to me to stop and think about how different some of these things were for the people living in those times. Like Paul speaking about 'gifts' of healing or gifts of interpretation - sure you may have heard of it now.. but who was the first person to interpret someone elses words in tongues and know for certain that they weren't just saying other words that God gave them, but indeed a translation of what was just said?

How interesting it must be to write history.

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