"I confess I did not recognize Him." —John 1:31
While in the womb, John the Baptizer was baptized in the Holy Spirit by Jesus, Who was in the womb of Mary (Lk 1:41, 15). John was a relative of Jesus. He was leading a great prophetic ministry and calling people to be baptized in repentance (Lk 3:3). John was the greatest person who had ever lived up to that time (Mt 11:11).
Nevertheless, John did not recognize Jesus, although Jesus was "the very reason" John was baptizing (Jn 1:31). This is shocking, for it shows us how easy it is to miss out on Jesus. This explains why only a few wise men and shepherds recognized Jesus at the first Christmas and only a handful of people recognized Him on Calvary. Even today, almost two-thousand years after His birth, Jesus is still unrecognized by much of the world. The world "never recognized the Son" (1 Jn 3:1).
However, John eventually did recognize Jesus (Jn 1:33ff). The apostles, even Thomas, finally recognized Jesus. Throughout the world, people are recognizing Jesus at this moment. Jesus wants each of us to recognize Him now during this Christmas season. Accept His grace to recognize Him. When you do, you will worship Him, live for Him, and tell the world about Him.
Prayer: Father, open my eyes to Jesus now.
Promise: "Everyone who has this hope based on Him keeps himself pure, as He is pure." —1 Jn 3:3
Praise: "The reason [Jesus] revealed Himself was to take away sins" (1 Jn 3:5). Praise the Holy Name of Jesus!
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape Meeting the Risen Christ on audio AV 4A-1 or video V-4A.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 27, 2011
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