John 1-2 (The Daily Walk Bible).

Sometimes it’s important to realize that even some of the giants of the faith had some questions or doubts about God’s plans. Here John the baptizer boldly proclaims that Jesus is “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” He was certainly under the influence of the Holy Spirit, so we can understand if he spoke better than he knew! But to have boldly made that proclamation, and then later to have his disciples come and ask Jesus if he was the “one to come, or should we look for another,” seems like quite a difference. The difference is in John’s circumstances. In John 1 he is being looked up to and revered as a prophet, later he is in prison and wondering what in the world happened. So you see, even the best of us can struggle from time to time. Our spiritual maturity is not a straight line slowly going up. We could only hope! Sometimes it dips a little. When it does we need to do what John did: take our concerns to the Lamb of God. He knows them anyway! And he can help us overcome out doubts and fears. He does with John by reminding him of what the Scripture says, which is an important reminder for us as well.

John has Jesus driving the money changers out of the temple at the beginning of his ministry. The other gospels have it at the end. Many believe that Jesus only did it once, and that it has been moved in some of the gospels for theological reasons. I think that John has written his gospel deliberately to include events that the others didn’t, and that it makes sense that there were two instances of Jesus cleansing the temple. The first, at the beginning of his ministry, catches the religious authorities by surprise and is so popular that the don’t feel that they can do anything about it. The second comes when they are plotting against him and becomes the last straw that really drives them over the edge!

With the religious authorities we see the animosity that they world can have for Jesus, and by extension, us. He reminds us that this will happen: “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you” (John 15:19). This warning should help us to understand when others are antagonistic, and remind us that we need to be faithful. It is more important to please God than to please the world!

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