All In

Written on 05/07/2024
Christian Dunn

Verse: Matthew 3:4-6

4 John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. 5 People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. 6 Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.

Ok let’s be honest, how many of you are like me and have literally never thought about verse four beyond just reading it and moving on. Truthfully I can say I’ve read Matthew dozens of times and have never given second thought to this verse. So, maybe it’s just me, but I find it particularly interesting to dig into a little more. God doesn’t include little details on accident.

First, we’re told he’s clothed in camels hair and is wearing a leather belt. John the Baptist's clothing is mirroring the clothing of Elijah (2 Kings). Both men led bold ministries and both wore unusual clothing. They wore plain items and were fully committed to doing so, dressing like this all the time. Interestingly, they both followed the pattern of strict and simple commitment to their diet too. We're told John’s food included locusts and wild honey. Both men were radical in their commitment to showing they take idolatry so seriously that they’ll stay this far away from it. They don’t want to get anywhere near it, so they stay strict in simple clothing and diet so that their lifestyle may also be a testimony to their commitment to God. In the words of Spurgeon, they adhered to “Lord, let not my meat, my drink, or garments, hinder me in thy work” fully.

You know what’s amazing? It worked. Not just his food and clothes, but the way God used John made his ministry incredibly successful. Because John was radically obedient to God’s plan for him we see in verse five that “People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan”. People knew of his ministry and came from all over to confess their need for a savior, to confess their sins and to be baptized in His name. His ministry in sharing the truth was like a revival at the time. It woke people up, it brought a whole new group of people (Jews) to recognize their need for a savior, leading to repentance. John baptized these people and was used to bring them into new life, as part of His Kingdom,

What an amazing testimony. I mean truly when you think about it. He committed his whole life to being radically about the Lord. He was willing to make major sacrifices because he was so serious about not letting anything take his eyes away from his earthly mission. He unashamedly shared the Truth and REVIVAL came to his area. People came from all over to hear him share the hope we have in this world. People were welcomed into the kingdom, all because John the Baptist was obedient and serious about his ministry to be a light in the dark to the lost.

Reflection: what does being”radical” about staying away from idols look like today? Are there any areas where we haven’t set enough boundaries and could benefit from this strict “I don’t even want to go near it” attitude? I know I have tons. This is convicting in almost every area of my life to just check my heart and reevaluate my boundaries.

Secondly, in what ways are you being obedient to the ministry in which He has called you? He has a purpose for your life. He wants to use you. Do you know how?

Lord, thank you again for the opportunity and space to slow down and dig into your word. No word included is an accident and You have so much to teach me through small details. God, show me the areas in my life that I’ve let idolatry creep in. Show me where I can set boundaries for keep my eyes more clearly focused on you. Show me the ministry opportunities you have for me. Guide me in steps of obedience so that I might reflect your light to the dark, broken world around me. we love you Lord, amen.

Guest Author: Becca Artymenko