May 1, 2022
May 1, 2022
John the Baptist...The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived
Jesus said this about John, “I tell you the truth, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist.” (Matthew 11:11a - NLT)
What a statement! The greatest man who ever lived! You thought that was Jesus, didn’t you? Well, of course, it was, but since Jesus was talking, He picked someone else. So who was John the Baptist? What made him so great?
John the Baptist was an interesting dude, that’s for sure. He was the homeless man of his day. He wore the same clothes all the time, lived in the wild, ate locusts and honey, but there was more. He was a man on a mission, and he had become the most popular man in the entire region. People traveled for days to come and hear him preach at the Jordan River. And John was the first one to master altar calls. When John spoke, he was direct and demanding, calling people to repent of their sins! People came forward in droves to give their lives to God and get baptized in the Jordan River. The religious leaders came out to hear him. He even had an audience with King Herod himself. He was a powerful, popular man!
But wait a minute, the world has seen many powerful, popular speakers…even preachers. This doesn’t seem like something that would make him the greatest man who ever lived. If not this, what was it?
I think John’s greatness comes down to him fulfilling his real purpose in life…which was to pave the way for the Messiah. There was a prophecy that was hundreds of years old from Isaiah, “Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting, ‘Clear the way through the wilderness for the Lord! Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God!’” (Isaiah 40:3, NLT) This was a prophecy about the Messiah, and John was the fulfillment of this prophecy.
I want you to remember John’s purpose: to pave the way for Jesus. I’ll come back to it. The end of that fulfillment came after John was sure that Jesus was the Messiah. He said, “He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.” (John 3:30 - NLT)
Think about someone with incredible popularity and fame, that they worked so hard for…and then at the very peak of success, just to lay it all down and allow someone else to move into the spotlight. That is incredibly hard. Jesus recognized this! This was not the action of a normal man…this is a part of what made John the greatest man who ever lived.
But the other part that made him so great was that his purpose was not just for him. In fact, I think that when Jesus told us that John was the greatest man who ever lived, what He was really saying was, “Do like John did. Follow his example.”
John was great because he was our example. The purpose he fulfilled was the same purpose we are all called to…to pave the way for Jesus to be known by others as the Messiah that He is. When we do this, we are fulfilling the purpose of John the Baptist, which is also OUR purpose. And to let Jesus shine, we must first decrease so that He can increase.
So how are you doing with this? Is Jesus shining through in your life? Are there people in your life that need to know Jesus? List them in the journal section.
If we really want Jesus to be known by the people in our lives, maybe we need to pray a prayer like this one: “Lord Jesus, I want you to shine in my life. So please help me to understand how I can become less so You can become more. Help me to remember my purpose and pave the way for the people in my life to know YOU. And Holy Spirit, empower me to be a bold witness of all that Jesus has been for me. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
By: By Dan Courtney, Pastor
Today’s Scripture: He said, “He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.” (John 3:30 - NLT)
New International Version (NIV)
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