Our economy is not God’s economy: many of the things we value God does not, and many of the things that God values we do not. Today we read of people who valued what God values and did so because they had turned away from the things that God does not value…
After John’s messengers left, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear expensive clothes and indulge in luxury are in palaces. But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written: “ ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” (All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus’ words, acknowledged that God’s way was right, because they had been baptized by John. But the Pharisees and the experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John.)
John the Baptist’s followers came to ask Jesus if he was the one. Jesus affirmed that he is the one, and then he shared with the crowd that John was a prophet of God – a messenger of the Lord. Jesus also said that the least in heaven is greater than John. In other words, the brightest and most lauded on earth will be humbled in the heavens.
Our economy is not God’s economy. Many of the things we value God does not value.
Unfortunately, many of the things that God values we do not.
We can see an example in this story today. Many people who listened to John and Jesus believed what they said. We see in this passage that, “All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus’ words, acknowledged that God’s way was right, because they had been baptized by John.”
It is interesting that those who were baptized by John acknowledged that God’s way was right. They started to value what God values after John’s baptism. Why? Because they were living in repentance. John’s baptism was a statement that the person was repenting – turning back from – their former ways. The people who valued what God values did so because they had turned away from the things that God does not value.
“But the Pharisees and the experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John.” Notice that the religious leaders of the time didn’t think they had anything to repent from. They wouldn’t be baptized by John and as a result we can expect that their hearts wouldn’t be open to God’s ways or the things God values.
So what do you and I value? And have you considered whether there are things in your life which are worldly values and not God’s values? Are you pursuing things which mean a lot on earth and not so much in heaven?
It’s pretty difficult to avoid and always make the right choices in the North American suburban reality. Yet the kingdom of God is now and here. Where are you and what do you value? Let’s turn away from the worldly values toward the values of God and see how it changes our lives…