John the Baptist and His Role in the Ministry of Jesus
It is interesting to me how the life of John the Baptist prepares the way and groundwork for Jesus' ministry. In Luke's gospel even before the conception and birth of Jesus we hear first about the conception and birth of John. The Baptist's whole life is presented as a preparation for the beginning of Jesus' ministry.
When Jesus finally leaves Nazareth to begin his task for the kingdom of God, he first goes to John and there at the Jordan receives his baptism. Moreover scripture scholars now tell us that after the baptism it appears that Jesus initially joined with John's disciples in their work with and for John. So John was for Jesus not only a herald of his coming but for a period of time served as his mentor in proclaiming the arrival of the Kingdom of God.
The Gospels (Matthew 11,3, Luke 7, 19) tell us that when Jesus finally began his public ministry on his own John had some doubts as to whether or not Jesus was the anointed one. So he sends two of his own disciples to ask about this. Jesus responds that his works of healing and his preaching provide the answer John is seeking. Then, after John's disciples leave to return to John, Jesus proclaims to his followers his profound estimation of John's accomplishments and his role as a prophet. And according to Mark's gospel (1, 12) it is only then after John's arrest that Jesus fully begins his public preaching and ministry.
I believe that each of us has had, are even still has, our mentors, our guides in the development and practice of our faith. You might say they are our visible Guardian Angels. We owe them a great debt of gratitude and we thank our Lord for bringing them into our lives.
-Jim Blumeyer, S.J.
PLEASE PRAY FOR THOSE ON RETREAT THIS WEEK AS WELL AS OUR DECEASED RETREATANTS.
PLEASE PRAY FOR PEACE IN OUR COMMUNITY