Week 3 Day 2: John 1:19-34
He said, "I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, 'Make straight the way of the Lord,' as the prophet Isaiah said." They asked him, "Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?" John answered them, "I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie." These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing. The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God." John 1: 23, 25-29, 34 (ESV)
John the Baptist came as a result of a miraculous birth. His parents were well beyond childbearing years. John had a unique calling. He challenged people to prepare their hearts for the Messiah. John the Baptist gave his life for his mission. Yet, John knew his place. He wasn’t in the driver’s seat. He wouldn’t dream of it.
Think about John’s selflessness. He gave his entire life to the cause of Christ. His reward was certainly in Heaven. The result of his work on earth was martyrdom (Matthew 14:1-12).
John presents an extreme example for us. Most of us will not begin or end life so vividly. While John’s circumstances certainly don’t align with our lives, his attitude should. John had no expectations other than to point people to Christ. John didn’t feel like he deserved recognition, attention or reward. There was no sense of entitlement with him. He was called to do his mission to identify the Messiah, after that his job was done. The remarkable thing about John is that he didn’t mind at all.
Let’s make this personal. How much of your life is about you? Your job, your hobbies, your interests, your vegging out, your family, your stuff. How much of your life is about Christ? I’m not saying that you need to forsake all and become a locust-eating, camel-wearing, Pharisee-confronting prophet. How can you take all of the good things you enjoy and all of the other things you endure with John’s attitude? Our goal is not to be great, but to point to Someone far greater.
© Copyright 2009 Allen White
Scripture quotations taken from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version, copyright © 2001, Wheaton: Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.