But when [John the Baptist] saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? (Matthew 3:7)
There are times when it’s important to timid in our response to others, and then there are times to speak the truth. What I find fascinating about John the Baptist is that he wasn’t afraid of offending others with the truth. He didn’t mince words at all, and he got straight to the point.
Sometimes in the 21st century church there’s a desire to mask what’s true for the sake of not being offensive. Whereas that’s an understandable idea, John the Baptist serves as an example of one who wasn’t interested in attracting crowds but to whom the crowds flocked anyway. There’s something refreshing about hearing what’s true, and John was a master at being blunt. He didn’t believe in a “bait and switch” mentality of luring people in with a palatable message only to let them hear the real stuff once they were committed.
The truth is, the Gospel message of Jesus is offensive, and there are some who don’t want to hear what it has to say. However, just because the message is offensive, that doesn’t mean we should stop sharing it. Have you been timid in sharing about Jesus? John’s example is one of boldness – so let’s pray that we, too, can be bold.
Father, I want to boldly proclaim the Gospel of Jesus. Keep me from being afraid of offending others with the message. In the same token, keep me from being purposefully offensive simply for the sake of being offensive. In the end, may others come to know You because of my willingness to be bold.