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The Gospel of John-Day 5

March 22, 2019 by Matthew Sink 0 comments

John 1:20-28 And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 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.”

(Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.) 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 Bible holds up very few “heroes” that really seem, well, heroic. We see Abraham’s bouts of doubt and David’s bouts of lust; we see the Disciples at their very worst; our first glimpse of Paul is of him holding the coats of those who stoned Stephen. It’s as if the Scripture writers go out of their way to let us see the warts on these people. But from the beginning, John the Baptist is different.

I’m not suggesting John was perfect. Of course he wasn’t, nor did he pretend to be. In fact, in these verses, comparing himself with Jesus, John says, “I’m not even worthy to untie his sandals.” John was just a man… but he was special. Why? Because he devoted his life to pointing people to Jesus.

Think about John’s story. In the womb, before he was born, he “leapt” in the presence of Jesus. When his disciples saw Jesus, John basically sent them to Him. He baptized Jesus; he asked questions about Jesus; and eventually, he gave his life. In all of this, John was a minister just like me – pointing people to the Lord. But he was a minister unlike me in that he did it so well. In fact, Jesus said, “I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John.”

When my time on this earth is finished, I can hope for no greater legacy than a life poured out for Jesus. Lord, let it be so – let my life glorify You and point people to You. Show me how to do that, LORD, and give me the courage to live that way.

 

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