Called to Vindication, Not Indictment

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“A man named John was sent from God. He came to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.” (JN 1:6-8)

The priests and Levites of his day took advantage of John the Baptist’s time on the witness stand. They third-degreed him, as the best prosecutor would do to a crime suspect. They were highly suspicious of John’s truth.

But we are all called to be suspicious of anyone claiming to be truth-bearers. Even John became suspicious of Jesus, so he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the One who is to come, or should we wait for someone else?” (Matthew 11:2-6)

Jesus responded by testifying to John about the healings he accomplished via his Father’s grace and his Spirit’s power. The power of this Trinity is vindicative—constantly showing God’s truth.

Isaiah was sent to usher-in an age of truth that would set souls free; “to bring glad tidings to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners, to announce a year of favor from the LORD and a day of vindication by our God.” (IS 61:1-2)

But Isaiah was sent not only to tell the truth, but to plant the seeds of God’s justice in our hearts so that truth would feed centuries of human generations. Harvesting and sharing that truth is life-sustaining. Isaiah concludes:

“As the earth brings forth its plants, and a garden makes its growth spring up, so will the Lord GOD make justice and praise spring up before all the nations.” (IS 61:11)

As the centuries of drought between Isaiah’s and Jesus’ time proved (and the hunger between Jesus’ time and ours), crops left in the ground just die and are plowed under.

Paul teaches us to be wise farmers of God’s wisdom and to be just as tenacious in its vindication as John the Baptist was, even from the seclusion of his prison cell. Paul, after all, would do the same from prison cells of his own. From that perspective, Paul teaches us:

“Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophetic utterances. Test everything; retain what is good. Refrain from every kind of evil.” (1 THES 5:16-24)

As Christmas nears, we anticipate the rebirth of truth’s spirit in our hearts so we can nurture it and bear the light of vindication for others seeking freedom from an ultimate indictment.

–Tom Andel


  1. As in the day of John the Baptist, the messengers (bishops and priests) speak, and we do not listen. The Lord himself speaks through his words in holy scripture, and we ignore him.

    We hear all kinds of meaningless voices and messages to which we give credence, seeking these false prophets all the more.

    Something to ponder as the birthday of Christ approaches. Make straight the way of the Lord! Be prepared for his coming!

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