John 1: 6-14
“6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” NIV
‘The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighbourhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish’ (14, The Message).
We move quickly from the God who became man (1-5,14), to ‘a man sent from God’ (6). John Baptist was not God. He knew He was not God. But God gave him an important job to do. He was a signpost, pointing to Jesus. He didn’t stand in the spotlight. He never confused his role with the Lord’s. He consistently pointed away from himself to Christ. So he stands as an example to all Christian witnesses:
‘He came to show everyone where to look, who to believe in. John was not himself the Light; he was there to show the way to the Light’ (8, The Message).
Although Jesus made the world, when He came into it He was not, by and large, recognised.
When He came to His own people – the Jewish race – a people uniquely prepared by God for the coming of their Messiah – they showed Him the door. The put out the ‘unwelcome’ mat.
But here and there were people who did receive Jesus. When they did so they became children of God. And that’s why John kept on pointing to Jesus, because only He can bring folks into God’s family. We are not all children of God by birth, but we become such by new birth, when we trust in Jesus.
Remember, ‘You cannot at one and the same time demonstrate that you are a great preacher and Jesus is a great Saviour.’
Take your cue from John. Lift up Jesus!