|Saint John Pointing to Christ by Bartolome Esteban Murillo|
If this is your first time here at The Pen & the Needle and/or your first time reading a “Weekly Blessings” post, let me explain what this is all about – “Weekly Blessings” is a series on The Pen & the Needle where I, or a guest blogger will write a post on something that God has put on our hearts to share with God’s people. It can be anything, as long as it is God-inspired! We’re here every Sunday, so don’t be afraid to come back and join us, or even contribute yourself!
If you were here last week, you remember me telling you about my participation in JordoneWrite’s Bible Study Challenge. I’m still participating by reading the book of John, and God has been giving me some great insight. I have another one to share with you today about John the Baptist.
Now John the Baptist is mentioned in the beginning of the book of John, but the topic of discussion today comes from what we see of him in chapter 3:
The thing that stuck out to me was the fact that John the Baptist compared himself to the best man at a wedding. Let’s look a little closer:
In my research, I ran across some information about something called a Shoshben. A Shoshben is 1st century Judaism’s version of a best man. Now, we all know what a typical, modern-day best man is for – bachelor party, rings, looking pretty at the altar(LOL). But a Shoshben was so much more than that! According to My Hope Box, here were the Shoshben’s responsibilities:
“…wedding planner, the master of ceremony, and even the guard of the bridal chamber…..The would send messages back and forth between the Bride and Groom on their wedding day and would be the only only man trusted to wait with the Bride at the bridal chamber. When he heard the groom’s voice he would rejoice and let him into the bridal chamber, where his two closest friends would finally consummate their marriage.”
Being a Shoshben was a big deal! How many modern-day best men do you know did all of that for the groom?!
When John was saying he was a Shoshben or best man, he wasn’t referring to an Earthly union – he was talking about a spiritual one. The union in question was that of Jesus, the Messiah, and the bride of Christ(us)!
Think about it: John the Baptist was the one who came first, preparing the way and declaring to the people that Jesus was coming. John the Baptist heard from God and I’m sure talked to Him regularly about the status of the people and the ministry. God entrusted John the Baptist with the responsibility of waiting with us – starting a ministry, sharing the word of God, saving souls, and announcing Jesus’ arrival. When Jesus’ ministry started and it was in the position God intended it to be, John knew how to get out of the way and let Jesus do his God-ordained mission.
Now do you see why he was a spiritual Shoshben??