One of the most interesting characters in the Bible has to be John the Baptist. This hairy man, wearing camel’s skin and eating locust and honey, had a very important job. His focus was never on himself, but rather he strived to shine the spotlight on Christ. God gave this man the responsibility to prepare the way for Jesus.
In today’s text, the curious Jews from Jerusalem sent priests and Levites on a mission to discover more about this man in the wilderness who was teaching people something new about God. When questioned about his identity, at first, John was reluctant to say much. Perhaps he was still wondering what his role would be in the coming of the Messiah. However, when pressed, John unequivocally stated that he was not the Messiah, but rather a “voice of one calling in the wilderness” (v. 23). John was a messenger who would help people prepare their hearts and lives for something brand new.
Some Pharisees pushed back and questioned John about why he was baptizing people at all (v. 25). But John responded by stating that he was simply preparing people for not just someone, but the One. The one, “whose sandals I am not worthy to untie,” John says (v. 27). His dedication to the Lord and his new task consumed him. John’s new task was getting everything, and everyone, ready for someone they had long-awaited.
As followers of Christ, our new task is similar to John’s mission. We are called to turn the spotlight off ourselves and shine it on Christ. We have been called to be a voice in our own wilderness and help people prepare themselves for an encounter with the Lord.
>> What areas are you in that seem like a wilderness and are in desperate need of Christ? Begin praying for opportunities, wisdom, and the courage for your new task of being a voice pointing people to Him.
Lord, let us not forget that you are our reason for living. Teach us to walk in such close step with you that all who know us can’t help but see you.