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Sunday, December 4, 2005

Mark 1:6-8
John wore clothing made of camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And this was his message: "After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."

John's clothing and food smack of wilderness and adventure, and I think hearing about him, finding him, listening to his powerful voice must have been the number one experience of many of his listeners. He was their hero.

But our heroes can't really be cowboys. These predictions about Jesus, about his power, about the fire baptism of his Holy Spirit turned the people's eyes away from John and toward his cousin Jesus.

And nobody ever had a hero like Jesus. What man ever raised the dead and forgave sins and healed every disease? His charisma turned hard-working young men away from their work and their families so they could just walk with him, listen to him, learn about how to live their lives from him.

I have had three mentors who contributed more to my life than I can measure. They taught me so much by their words, their actions, and their admonitions. They learned from Jesus, and I learned from them.

All of us can be mentors. But I think only Jesus gets to be the hero. We all learn from him, receive new life from him, and whatever we have to pass on to others comes first from him.

Thank you, Jesus.

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