“And he went and beheaded him in prison…”
– Mark 6:27
John the Baptist knew his ministry was for a season. From the time he was born, Zacharias and Elizabeth shared with him the fantastic calling on his life. I would imagine John pondered the stories of how God began speaking to his father about his future ministry after four hundred years of silence. “What did you go out to see,” Jesus asked, “a reed shaken by the wind?” No, everyone came down to see the forerunner of Christ. The one that Jesus Himself called the greatest prophet. What an endorsement!
John knew that he was not the Messiah, he ensured that everyone else knew it too. He was the friend of the bridegroom that rejoiced when Jesus showed up on the scene, encouraging those that followed him to begin following Christ. When his disciples began questioning Jesus’ ministry, that open-air preacher wisely told them, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven.” A greater than Solomon and Jonah was present, John the Baptist knew it. His name was forfeited to Jesus when he said, “…this joy of mine is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.”
John the Baptist’s ministry ended with his imprisonment and beheading because he was not afraid to proclaim the truth. He would not cave to public pressure and opinion, nor the fear of the government threatening to take his freedom away. His ministry, including the branding and followers, were effortlessly forfeited because it had run its course. John did not try to hold on longer than God had wanted him to.
It is incredible, yet not surprising, how many corporations and ministries are bowing to the unbiblical demands of the world. In efforts to hold onto a name and what has been built, compromises are made. Rather than caving to ungodly demands, Christians must consider that these corporations or ministries have run their course. If we support that which Jesus no longer endorses, whose kingdom are we really building? It could be that if they remain, Jesus’ name will no longer be elevated.
What about your life today? As a Christian, do you find yourself compromising to things that are ungodly so you can remain where you are? If so, have you considered that this season in your life has just run its course? Better to forfeit what you have built and allow Jesus to take you into the next season and be blessed!