Written March 15, 2015
We know that revelation is only by the grace of God, and that His revelation of Christ is progressive, but do we realize that consecrated believers, even prophets, can repeatedly interact with Christ in the flesh without recognizing Him?
Surprising as this may be, John the Baptist was such a man.* Described by Jesus as a prophet greater than anyone else born of women (Matt 11:9-11), John was filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb, wherein he leaped for joy at the sound of Mary’s voice when she carried the Lord in her own womb (Luke 1:15, 41-44). Although his family lived in Judea, not Nazareth, John likely saw his cousin Jesus repeatedly as a child as His family traveled to Jerusalem to celebrate the Jewish feasts throughout the years. John likely continued attending the feasts in Jerusalem when he lived in the desert, for he was a devout Jew; Jesus, of course, would have been there as an adult also. It was John himself who disclosed that he did not recognize Jesus as the One for Whom he had been preparing the way: I myself did not know him…. I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, “The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit” (John 1:31, 33). We can thus surmise that prior to Jesus’ baptism, God’s great prophet John saw his cousin Jesus multiple times in the flesh without recognizing Him as the Christ.
(* the Lord has since shown me that this statement is not true of John, for Jesus did not receive the anointing, and thereby did not become the Christ, until His baptism. See more recent post The Moment Jesus Became the Christ, Oct. 12, 2015)
Most of us do not recognize the Word made flesh either as He walks the earth today. Since Pentecost, Christ is manifest in bodily form in us, His Church. Today, we are the Word made flesh; we are the holy Body of Christ! Per God’s magnificent design, every brother and sister is a vital member of Christ, serving one other with specific redemptive functions (see Ro. 12:3-8, 1Cor 12:12-14, 27-28). May God graciously reveal Christ in the flesh to us in great measure from this day forward every time two or more of us are gathered together! Amen.
It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
So very much love in Christ, your sister deanna