Friday, October 5, 2012

Odd Man

Matthew 3:1-12

When I was in 5th grade, my family changed churches and that also meant a school change because our new church had a school.  I didn't fit in too well.  My old school had an excellent academic reputation while my new school didn't have very good academics, so I came in further along than my classmates.  My old school started band in 4th grade and my new school started in 5th grade.  This meant that I went to band with all the 6th graders.  My classmates didn't like that I was in the 6th grade band and the 6th graders didn't like me being in their band.  I was extremely shy at that point in my life, and I'm sure I appeared snobby to my new classmates.  It was a tough year and I didn't feel like I belonged, but God was still with me.  We can feel like we just don't fit in, but God can and wants to use us.  Please read Matthew 3:1-12.

John wrote a very interesting description of John the Baptist in verse 4.  Just the fact that John felt it important to describe the clothes he wore and the food he ate should point out to us that he was different in some way.  We typically do not read about fashion choices or diet (unless it is pointing out what is in the law) in the Bible.  It is believed that John the Baptist may have been a Nazirite, which is a person set aside for God.  Luke 1:15 (NLT) says of John the Baptist, "...He must never touch wine or other alcoholic drinks."  We find the law about the Nazirite vow in Numbers 6 and verse 4 says, "As long as they are bound by their Nazirite vow, they are not allowed to eat or drink anything that comes from a grapevine—not even the grape seeds or skins."  The vow also required that they were not to go near a dead body during their vow, which may have explained his clothes made of camel hair.  He was not wearing the skin of a dead animal.

The point is, John was visibly different because of what he wore and what he ate.  But notice that even though he really didn't fit in, God was using him in amazing ways.  People were recognizing their sin and coming to him to be baptized.  Notice Matthew 3:5 (NLT), "People from Jerusalem and from all of Judea and all over the Jordan Valley went out to see and hear John."  This man was different from everyone else, yet people came out to hear his message.  God had set him apart and was using him in powerful ways.  It probably wasn't easy to be different from everyone, yet he continued to be the person that God called him to be.

We may feel different, in fact I believe that is one way the enemy tries to stop us from doing what God wants us to do.  If we feel odd doing something, maybe we will not want to do it, so we are told lies that no one will like us if we do what God wants.  Don't get me wrong, there will always be people who don't like us, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't do what God called us to do.  Someone may think you are different or strange but there are probably hundreds of others that can relate to you and will listen about the love of Christ through you.

Do you feel different?  Do you believe that God still has a message that you can share with many people?

This post is linked with Faith Filled Friday.

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