The religious leaders ask John the same question three times. “Who are you?” They say it over and over again. It’s clear that the priests and Levites sent by Jewish rulers know that there is something special about John’s message even if they are skeptical of it.

The mystery is part of the story, and though the priests and Levites ask John the same question three times, he never really answers them. He first responds by telling them who he is not: “I’m not the Christ” (ceb). It’s interesting to note that the Gospel writer adds that John “didn’t deny but confessed” (ceb) that he is not the Christ. John does not want there to be any confusion. He knows he is not the Christ, and he wants everyone to know that he should not be mistaken for the Christ.

The priests and Levites ask him again. They ask him whether he is Elijah. John says no. They ask him whether he is a prophet. John says no. Finally, they press him even harder. They have to receive an answer for the people who have sent them.

In John’s response we discover that the priests and Levites have been asking the wrong question all along. It does not matter who John is because John is the messenger preparing the way for the one who is to come. John is the herald. He is not the king. John then doubles down when responding to the question about baptism. If we read further, we learn that even John does not yet know who Jesus is, but he does know that “someone greater” is coming and that he, John, is not even worthy to perform the lowest of tasks for this mysterious person. But we know it is Jesus. We know God in the flesh is about to arrive and the world will change forever.

God, we praise you and we serve you in worship and adoration. Help us to ask the right questions and know you when we meet you. Amen.

Rece las Escrituras usando Leccionario en Audio
Leer John 1:6-8, 19-28

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Leccionario Semanal
December 7–13, 2020
Resumen de la Escritura

Isaiah speaks of the day in which God’s Anointed One (Messiah) will bring good news to the poor and hope to the oppressed. Jesus will later read this passage and declare it to be about himself (Luke 4), so we read Isaiah’s prophecy during Advent. The psalmist rejoices that God has restored the fortunes of the people. They have come through a period of difficulty, but God has brought them into a place of joy. Throughout Advent, we also look forward to such rejoicing. Paul encourages the Thessalonians to pray continually with an attitude of gratitude and rejoicing, and the God of peace will sustain them. In the Gospel reading, John the Baptist repeats the theme from last week—that he is merely the messenger to prepare the way for the Lord.

Preguntas para la reflexión

Read Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11. God is coming. How do Isaiah’s words of praise and justice inspire you to act in response?
Read Psalm 126. How do you celebrate the justice that you have seen come to fruition while hoping for future justice? How does your anticipation of the fullness of justice affect your faith?
Read 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24. How can you return to the basics of faith during this Advent season?
Read John 1:6-8, 19-28. How is this Advent season both familiar and new for you? How might simple announcements of Jesus’ coming change your experience of the season?

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