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02 January 2013

The Good Word - 1.2.13


He admitted and did not deny it, but admitted,
“I am not the Christ.” 
John 1:20

The words of John the Baptist as recounted by the evangelist provide for us an interesting perspective into the Baptist's own perspective on his life and mission.  Frequently, "admitting" something takes on a negative context.  One admits faults and failures, lacks and shortcomings.  One even "admits" defeat.  In the case of John, such an act of "admission" takes on this connotation, but also goes beyond it. 

In one sense, the Baptist admits a privation: he is not the Christ.  On the other hand, such an admission, embedded in the spiritual sense of the text, points to a vocational moment of sorts for him.  John is not the Christ -- but rather the forerunner.  His mission is intimately connected to that of the Messiah, yet he is not Him.  

There is something helpful it seems in this admission, a model of behavior that at once frees John from unrealistic expectations, yet at the same time binds him to the divine mission he has received.

Would that we could do this!

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