John told them, ” I baptize with water, but right here in the crowd is someone you do not recognize. Though his ministry follows mine, I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandals.” John 1:26-27
Though many aren’t into eating locusts, dipped in honey or not, there was certainly something appealing about John the Baptist. I would have loved to have him on my staff over the years. Here was a guy who had his own followers, yet he was always clear about his mission – pointing people , including his own followers, to someone else, Jesus Christ.
To John, getting the credit was not what motivated him. Getting the result that God intended was his sole mission. That’s the type of person you want as a leader, role model, mentor.
When Jesus began His ministry, He first saw John waist-deep in the water of the Jordan River. Matthew tells us in his Gospel that John wore skins of camel’s hair tied together with a leather belt around his waist and really did eat locusts and honey. From outward appearances, there was not a lot of basis for him to have a big ego, despite his voice that must have sounded like thunder and had an uncommon authority, as if he had a message from God.
Large crowds gathered, excited with expectation. John’s words resonated wherever the people gathered. Words that were clear and compelling and passionately delivered….
- Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near…
- Prepare the way for the LORD’s coming!
- Clear the road for him! (Matthew 3:2-3)
And for those who came, he baptized them in the Jordan River, saying, “I baptize with water those who repent of their sins and turn to God. But someone is coming soon who is greater than I am – so much greater that I am not worthy to be his place and carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” Matthew 3:11
And through all of that, it is remarkable the way John was able to keep to himself out of the way without a word of complaint. It was clear to him that it was not about him.
It often seems that the greater impact you have, the smaller your ego.
You will be most effective for Christ, when you realize that life is not about you, but all about Him. We all need to look and determine if there is something about ourselves that we need to change to reflect that.