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Point of difference

19/11/2023 - Matthew Destry

Do you like standing out, or blending in?

In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said,

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord;
make his paths straight.’”

Now John wore a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

Mathew 3:1-6 (ESV)

They answered him, “He wore a garment of hair, with a belt of leather about his waist.” And he said, “It is Elijah the Tishbite.”

2 Kings 1:8

Life on the fringes

“in the wilderness”

A new story, a new song

‘baptised by him’ //  ‘confessing sins’

A prophetic life

‘the kingdom is at hand”

What made JTB stand out?

The Nazirite Vow – set apart for God

Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When either a man or a woman makes a special vow, the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to the Lord, he shall separate himself from wine and strong drink. He shall drink no vinegar made from wine or strong drink and shall not drink any juice of grapes or eat grapes, fresh or dried…. All the days of his vow of separation, no razor shall touch his head. Until the time is completed for which he separates himself to the Lord, he shall be holy. He shall let the locks of hair of his head grow long….All the days that he separates himself to the Lord he shall not go near a dead body.

Numbers 6:2-3, 5-6 (NIV)

No grapes or grape products: a vow of sobriety

No cutting of the hair: a vow of primitivism

No dead bodies: a vow of purity

Examples: Samuel, Samson (a bad example), even Paul took the vow for a time

To live a prophetic life of difference:

1/ Jesus, be my comfort

2/ Jesus, I give you my image

3/ Jesus, set me apart