Today’s Reading: Matthew 3

John Baptist was a strange kind of preacher if you compare him to our preachers today. Modern day preachers wear suits, while John the Baptist wore camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist. His diet was to eat locust and honey, his pulpit, well he didn’t have a pulpit. He walked around the Jordan River shouting out his message. He preached in a remote place where few went unless they were looking for John the Baptist. His style, well while modern day preachers like to tell stories and a lot of jokes to make the audience feel comfortable and speak for 20 minutes. John didn’t tell any stories and he never made a joke. As a matter of fact, his message was serious. He didn’t speak long but he was hard hitting.

In the minds of the Jews at this time, the wilderness represented a hostile and ominous place. It is the place of hunger, thirst, death, outlaws, and demons. It is home for dangerous creatures—scorpions and snakes. The wilderness was considered an area of primal chaos or as cursed by God. John the Baptist went into this dark region to do battle with the forces of evil. Where is the wilderness today?

For some, it may be found in the boardrooms of companies where the bottom line is making a profit—no matter the moral or human cost. For others, it is in schools where kids are under great pressure from other kids to conform and become the kind of people they never thought, nor desired to be. For some, the wilderness may be found in the media. Others may find the wilderness to be in their own homes—where family squabbles are the norm and chaos runs rampant. Still others may be lost in the wilderness of materialism where money is king and perhaps others find wilderness to be in the feeding of their lusts and desires, where they find themselves lost and unsatisfied, but so addicted that they crave more and more of the same. Where is the primary arena where you are having it out with Satan?Where do you find your relationship with Jesus Christ to be most vulnerable?

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