The Bible holds up very few “heroes” that really seem, well, heroic. We see the Abraham’s bouts of doubt and David’s bouts of lust; we see the Disciples at their very worst; our first glimpse of Paul is of him holding the coats of those who stoned Stephen. It’s as if the Scripture writers go out of their way to let us see the warts on these people. But from the beginning, John the Baptist is different.
I’m not suggesting John was perfect. Of course he wasn’t, nor did he pretend to be. In fact, in these verses, comparing himself with Jesus, John says, “I’m not event worthy to untie his sandals.” John was just a man ... but he was special. Why? Because he devoted his life to pointing people to Jesus.
Think about John’s story. In the womb, before he was born, he “leapt” in the presence of Jesus. When his disciples saw Jesus, John basically sent them to Him. He baptized Jesus; he asked questions about Jesus; and eventually, he gave his life. In all of this, John was a minister just like me – pointing people to the Lord. But he was a minister unlike me in that he did it so well. In fact, Jesus said, “I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John.”
When my time on this earth is finished, I can hope for no greater legacy than a life poured out for Jesus. Lord, let it be so – let my life glorify You and point people to You. Show me how to do that, LORD, and give me the courage to live that way.