Knowing Jesus

How do we know we belong to Jesus? John, whom we also identify as “the Baptist”, was a prophet in the mold of the Old Testament. Theologians consider him to be the last of the Old Testament prophets. In his message to the people he was blunt and even harsh. To the people who came out to him to be baptized, he bluntly called them “a generation of vipers”. Even with such blunt harshness, the people came to him in droves and considered him a prophet. He called them to change their lives, to live a life that reflected repentance and warned them not to depend on the fact that they were descendants of Abraham because God could raise up children of Abraham from the stones. John’s words are worthy of consideration. John warned the people not to depend upon a connection that did not produce in the individual, actions consistent with that relationship. In those days, both John and later Jesus, pointed out the hypocrisy of the way religious people lived. While the religious people identified with Abraham and Moses, their lives did not reflect the way that Abraham and Moses had lived. In other words, their actions denied the relationship that they claimed. The same came be true today for those of us who claim to follow Jesus. Following Jesus is more than believing a certain set of doctrines or adhering to a certain theological position. Following Jesus implies a relationship with him that has impact on the way that we live our life. Does the way we live our life reflect more the values of the world that ignores Jesus, or the way that Jesus lived and taught? It is a question worth pondering.

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