The Fruit of Prophetic Living
Written by: Richard Greene
This passage illustrates some basic principles in missional living and the discipling process. It also highlights the fruit of a prophetic lifestyle and message. It concerns John the Baptist and two of his disciples. As John was standing with them, he saw Jesus and made the famous prophetic declaration, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” When the two disciples heard these words, they left John and followed Jesus.
This passage begins with the word “Again…”, showing a connection with the previous passage from 1:19-34, in which John’s testimony is presented (1:19). This testimony is significant because it identifies Jesus as the Messiah and John as His forerunner (1:23-27). Two things are worthy of note here. First, the Father chose to reveal the Son to His prophet with a sign: “He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’”
John presents three credentialing qualifications for his assertion that Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah: (1) He “…takes away the sin of the world”; (2) the “…Spirit descend(ed) and remain(ed) upon Him…”; and (3) “…this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.”
John’s life and message pointed to Jesus, not to a method or a theological position, or to a manner of life, but to Jesus Himself. This is the message we have been given to proclaim throughout the nations. The simplicity of this message is its power. Paul wrote, “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” (1Corinthians 2:2)
Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6) Again He said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die? Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26) At the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” And John the gospel writer tells us, “But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” (John 7:37-39)
Brothers and sisters, the same fruit must be evident in our lives and ministries. We work so hard to get people to follow us, to join our churches, or our ministries. But the true fruit of prophetic living is that people are drawn to Christ and to Christ alone. Indeed, the message of the gospel is Jesus Himself. We do not seek the systems, productions, and accomplishments of men; we do not call people to a way, a formula, a method, or a ministry.
We call them to Jesus with the promise that all who believe in Him will receive the Holy Spirit and have eternal life.
“Do you believe this?”
If so, then I urge you to proclaim it everywhere to everyone!
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The Keystone Project is a global missions network of churches and leaders committed to the fulfillment of the Great Commission in this generation.