Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Lesson in Humility - John 1:19-27

"And this is the witness of John, when the Jews sent to him priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, 'Who are you?' And he confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, 'I am not the Christ.' And they asked him, 'What then? Are you Elijah?' And he said, 'I am not.' 'Are you the Prophet?' And he answered 'No.' They said then to him, 'Who are you, so that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?' He said, 'I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, 'make straight the way of the LORD,' as Isaiah the prophet said.'
Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. And they asked him, and said to him, 'Why then are you baptizing, if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?' John answered them saying, 'I baptize in water, but among you stands One whom you do not know. It is He who comes after me, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.'"
(vs 19-27)

Jesus is recorded as saying "Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist" (Mt 11:11). Truly he was a great man as far as men go.

As great as John was he is also one of the greatest examples of humility that we find in the entirity of Scripture. There is much to learn and much to emualte in him.

Something about this baptizing preacher caught the attention of the religious leaders. They wanted to know more about him and so they sent an investigating party to find out what they could of him. "Who are you?" they ask.

John could have told them a mouthful. He could have tooted his own horn. He could have patted himself on the back. He could have - but he didn't. He took no credit or honor to himself but pointed them to the Word of God and to the promised Messiah.

"Who am I? I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, 'make straight the way of the LORD,' as Isaiah the prophet said. I am not He, I am simply a messenger earnestly crying out for you to be ready for His coming. It is He who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie."

Oh friends, if John the Baptist - the only prophesied one outside of Christ in the Old Testament - considered himself far too unworthy even to be a shoe slave of Christ, how much more unworthy should we count ourselves? I for one am far too proud and am praying for grace to learn a lesson in true humility from this precious crier of Christ.

Unworthy in myself, made worthy in Christ,

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