A debate broke out between John’s disciples and a certain Jew over ceremonial cleansing. So John’s disciples came to him and said, “Rabbi, the man you met on the other side of the Jordan River, the one you identified as the Messiah, is also baptizing people. And everybody is going to him instead of coming to us.” John replied, “No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven. John 3:25-27(NLT)
Reading arguments is a Facebook™ staple! The warnings from years ago have proven true; the anonymity of social media – at least the lack of face-to-face (and isn’t THAT ironic on Facebook) – has provided a medium which dehumanizes humans, and allows much more boldness (read that: crude, cruel and no-consequences interaction). Opinions – both considered, as well as flagrantly hip-fired – volley back and forth in the posts and comments.
And great is the carnage of friendships and character!
And there is no such thing as a “winner” or even an end to these
debates arguments; the
comments roll-on into the internet stratosphere, multiplying until Jesus
Irony persists – certainly on this page; a blog, this Rocky Road Devotional is little more than an extended comment for the social media pot. (Thought I’d go ahead and admit that before anyone has a chance to comment).
The debate between John’s disciples and others was Facebook for the first century; ego and vitriol are not new.
The Baptist’s ministry was winding-down and Jesus was the new face to follow in the crowd. His Facebook account had more hits than Madonna, and Twitter was blowing up with Jesus sightings. Pinterest couldn’t get enough of the new preacher.
John’s disciples couldn’t handle it.
But John could; he simply let his followers know that the salvation they were proclaiming was walking in front of them now. The Kingdom of God was here. The advertising season was over, the debate closed, and their campaign victorious! Now it was time to step aside and let Jesus be seen.
And that is our set of marching orders…let Jesus be seen.
The biggest set of irony here is the debate over which is greatest, the sign pointing to the Kingdom, or the Kingdom itself. From our perspective twenty centuries later, it seems ludicrous that the Baptist’s disciples would confuse that point. But we’re not much different, arguing over contemporary music or traditional, King James or Revised Standard, or (my favorite) Wesley over Calvin.
We are good at straining-out gnats and swallowing camels!
What useless arguments have you allowed yourself to be drawn into lately? Did anyone see Jesus in any of it?
If the answer is “yes” then God be praised.
If the answer is (as most often it is) “no” – what did you learn about your response the next time the bait of an argumentative post looks just too delicious to pass up?