I’ve been enjoying a little meditation on John the Baptist tonight in the gospel of John chapter 1.
John the Baptist
– spoke of the Lord (v23)
– saw and pointed out the Lord (v29)
John’s humility is a great challenge to my pride.
– When others asked him if he was the Christ, he confessed that he was simply “a voice”.
– John humbled himself before the greatness of Him who came after him, who was before him in eternity past. John did not say he was unworthy to walk with the Lord, though that indeed was true. He did not say he was unworthy to speak for the Lord, though this was also true. Instead he said he was unworthy to perform the very menial and humiliating service of unclasping the Lord’s shoe (sandal). He did not even say “I am ONLY worthy to untie His shoes”. He said “I am NOT WORTHY” even to stoop down and untie His shoe.
John’s attitude was, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). He was content to be a friend of the Bridegroom, and hear His voice. This was the fulfillment of his joy. His purpose was to point others to the Saviour, and he did so willingly (1:36-37). His joy was to see others pointed away from himself to Christ, to be unnoticed so Christ could be preeminent. He did not seek the praise of men.
Yet at the close of his ministry, when he was imprisoned and out of public view, and Christ was now manifested, he received the commendation that was truly worth while: from Christ Himself. “Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist…” (Matthew 11:11). Though John was out of the limelight, his task was complete. He had given Christ first place, and the Lord was pleased to place great honor upon this true and humble servant.
So in my life may I seek to give my Teacher and Lord the preeminence, and may those things that I say and do point others to the One who girded Himself with a towel to wash His disciples’ feet, yea, delighting in His Father’s will, and for the joy that was set before Him, took the lowest place on account of my sin, enduring the cross with piercéd feet, that I might walk in fellowship and harmony with Him and His Father.This meditation was inspired through comments made by Dr. A.J. Higgins and Mr. Larry Beotte.