“This was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders sent priests and Temple assistants from Jerusalem to ask John, ‘Who are you?’ He came right out and said, ‘I am not the Messiah.’ ‘Well then, who are you?’ they asked. ‘Are you Elijah?’ ‘No,’ he replied. ‘Are you the Prophet we are expecting?’ ‘No.’ ‘Then who are you? We need an answer for those who sent us. What do you have to say about yourself?’ John replied in the words of the prophet Isaiah: ‘I am a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Clear the way for the LORD’s coming!’’” (John 1:19-23, NLT).
All four Gospels highlight the unique role of John the Baptist in the life of Jesus. In Luke 1:36, we know that John and Jesus are distant cousin. John was “a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the LORD’s coming! Clear the road for him!’” (Matthew 3:3). John’s appearance in the Gospels was a way that reminds us of the Old Testament prophets whose ministry involved unorthodox outfits and unusual diets: “John’s clothes were woven from coarse camel hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. For food he ate locusts and wild honey” (Matthew 3:4). Small wonder that the religious establishment sent a delegation to John to inquire about his identity. Would he claim to be a prophet? John made it clear he wasn’t a prophet; he was the fulfilment of a prophecy!
John the Baptist knew his role and lived it. He was a charismatic figure whose life and message drew crowds, and he could have cashed in on his notoriety. Instead John used a striking word picture from Isaiah: “I am a voice shouting in the wilderness.” To make sure people didn’t miss the point, he added, “I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandal” (John 1:27). John was not seduced by his own stardom, influence and popularity. He knew who the “star” really was and gladly pointed everyone toward Jesus Christ, the Saviour. I love it when John said, “He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less” (John 3:30).
Think about this: “It’s all about me” is the attitude of many in our world today. The bottom line for the Christian, however, is that it isn’t all about me – it’s all about Jesus. Every act, every word, every motive, every plan, every desire should revolve around the centre, Jesus Himself. Only then is life in balance. Only then can we point people to the Saviour. Yes, in our life, Jesus must become greater and greater, and we must become less and less. It’s all about Jesus.
In your act, word, motive, plan, desire and thinking, is it all about Jesus?
How can you make Jesus the central focus of your life today?
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.