3 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea …….
4 John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. 5 People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. 6 Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.
John the Baptist was called to prepare the way for Christ. Much like a sovereign or head of state is assigned a team to prepare for a trip to one of their lands. The work involves heralding the message abroad, working out potential flow issues with the plans on ground, and security detail, are just a few things that need to be addressed. John was thus in a spiritual way, similar to the ancient herald. His job was to prepare the way for God’s son. This would involve ensuring the people had a repentant heart, in order to be ready to receive Christ.
Though he had a very important role, you couldn’t tell it by looking at John. We are told he wore really rough clothes, stayed in the dessert, and ate bad food. His whole agenda was to humbly promote Jesus, and not himself. Indeed humility is an attribute that goes a long way with God, for Jesus later said John the Baptist was the greatest of all prophets.
Because of His humility, John was able to take his eyes off himself, and focus on God. He drew other people towards God. In fact John said, he wanted God to increase, and that himself would decrease. Humility is a predecessor to repentance, and must be present in you, in order to see God work fully in your life. John embodied this characteristic.
Pride opposes humility, and is the desire of the flesh (sinful nature) while humility is an attribute of the Spirit. Let God continue to work the fruit of humility in your life, as you focus on Him this Christmas. Become like John the Baptist, and find ways to put yourself last, serve others, and diminish self advancement. Let go doing things your way, and allow God to work things out. These are steps towards being more humble. As you do, I pray may you truly decrease and allow Him to increasingly be seen in all you do, bringing glory to His name.
– Pastor Olu Jegede