We studied John 1:19-28 today. A passage we all acknowledge we had not paid much attention to. On the outset, it appears very straightforward but on closer look, there are important lessons to be learnt.
It was never about John
Right from the start, when John the Baptist was questioned by the Jews representatives who he was up to the end when the Pharisees asked about the authority by whom he were baptising.
Take note of John's answers:
Who are you?
I am not the Christ.
Then who are you? Are you Elijah?
I am not.
Are you the Prophet?
Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?"
I am the voice of one calling in the desert, 'Make straight the way for the Lord.'
Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?
I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know. He is the one who comes after me, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.
Every question was directed to John, but each of his answer was directed to Christ. He never talked about himself, not even in the slightest bit. He is not the Christ, not Elijah, not the Prophet. He is only the voice and he is one who is not even worthy to do the most demeaning job of that time, that is to untie the thongs of Christ's sandals.
Was is ever about us?
In application, what does it tell us about ourselves? What do we say when we testify for Christ? Who is the main character? Is it not often that we usually draw attention to what God has done for me? How much he loves me? Where is our focus?
We need to look to John the Baptist as the model of evangelism - it is not about our experience, it is not about how touched we were, it is not about what we feel, it is simply not about us.
It is all about God
Yes, God do love us. But we are not worthy of his love, and so we are in no position to elevate ourselves to a platform to show off ourselves as evidences of God's love. His evidence of love is Christ himself. I am still perplexed by this, how are we not evidences of God's love?
But we cannot deny that we are mere channels, not the star.