“Mess with me and you mess with the whole trailer park!” “Mess with me? I’ll let karma do it’s job, mess with my friends? I’ll become karma!” When it came to His friend and cousin, John the Baptist, Jesus wasted no time in putting those sentiments into action. Jesus heard that John was in prison for preaching, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” Right away, he traveled 20 miles into a very spiritually dark region, it was referred to as the region of the shadow of death. It was the meanest, vilest, and dumpiest trailer park a person could find. And I imagine Jesus saying to those who laid a hand on John, “Mess with me and you mess with the whole trailer park!” It was there that Jesus carried the exact message of John, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand!” In that dark region, where the shadow of death lurked every day, the meanest and vilest people saw a great light! They were rallying around Jesus, who was rallying around John! Light had sprung up and God’s Holy Spirit of Judgment was beginning to overshadow the land. That is the Incarnation, “Mess with me? I’ll let God do the job, mess with my friend? I’ll become God!” I imagine that to be what Jesus said to Satan!
What a friend we have in Jesus! A friend so full of passion that he would rather suffer crucifixion than to let a cousin be unfairly imprisoned. Satan wants to imprison us by imprisoning the message, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” Jesus is not going to stand for that, but He is going to carry forward with the message, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” The cross of Christ reaches into the darkest regions where the shadow of death waits for another victim. God’s passion for reconciling sinners to Himself knows no limits. Christ is our friend and we are all His ” John the Baptist.” He suffered a brutal torture upon the Cross because He took up our battle against Satan. It is there at the Cross that Satan is defeated, the prison chains fall off, and a great light sprouts. That light is the power of God through the shed blood of His Son who Baptizes us in the Holy Spirit. After all, it wass John the Baptist who Baptized with water, but Christ Jesus who Baptizes with the Holy Spirit.
“Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee; And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:12-17
“In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Mathew 3:1-2