No this isn’t a post about the mask filters
Today I read Matthew chapter 3 and we learn about John the Baptist. One thing I love about him is he only has one filter: truth. Imagine for a second that you believe in something written hundreds of years ago, but everyone you know either rejects what you believe, supports what you believe, or wants to chop off your head? Doesn’t sound like the most pleasant life, does it?
This is the life that John the Baptist lead. Every morning he has the choice to wake up and turn on all the filters for his peers, but he absolutely refuses. John says and is later proven right, that God is done letting the Jews play their game, and he is sending his son to turn the religious culture on his head. But John didn’t teach condemnation and tear down the establishment. Instead, he chose to teach out of love, a foreshadowing of Jesus’ teaching, and even offer to baptize the religious leaders.
There is one thing that deserves our attention. John chooses to teach an unpopular message with a love and truth filter and as a result, he is ostracized from his community and people. Would it just be easier not to speak up and live out his life following what he believed and not share it? Of course, but is that how we are to live?
Keep most of your filters on your mask
Since we all have the wonderful privilege of living in a world struggling with a pandemic, most of us understand the purpose of a filter. A filter allows us to only let the good in and keeps the bad out. John has a truth that he has a need to share with his world. Living in that culture, John understood the teachings and knew when he went against the grain that he would suffer the consequences of the truth. Over 2,000 years later, not much has changed in this regard.
If you don’t believe me, just look at any protest. Regardless of the message or peaceful nature of the protest, people will react out of fear and hatred. What are we to do with this? Regardless of your religious or spiritual beliefs, I think we could all take a lesson from John. He preaches a message and in that message, he applies the filter of love and truth. That means the only thing that gets through is filter is love and truth. Hate, discontent, frustration, and many other responses to his teaching didn’t get through John’s filter either. His message was pure and therefore any backlash didn’t change his passion to reach more people.
From a literary perspective, I love the foreshadowing of John to Jesus. Jesus later preaches the same message of love. We see that he outright said there are only two commandments that are deal breakers in his sight and love is at the center of the commandments. We can learn a lesson here. If we properly filter our life, then the negativity of this world can’t affect us or tear down our message.
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