S (Scripture): John 1:19 Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 He confessed – he did not deny but confessed – “I am not the Christ!” 21 So they asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not!” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No!” 22 Then they said to him, “Who are you? Tell us so that we can give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
23 John said, “I am the voice of one shouting in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.” 24 (Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.) 25 So they asked John, “Why then are you baptizing if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”
26 John answered them, “I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not recognize, 27 who is coming after me. I am not worthy to untie the strap of his sandal!” 28 These things happened in Bethany across the Jordan River where John was baptizing.
O (Observation): John points to Christ, not himself. John says, “I am NOT the Christ!” He then quotes Isaiah which declares that John (and others) are encouraged to make straight the path for the Lord.
As for baptism, John helps to clarify that baptizing is a blessing for others. Baptising is a marker, an indicator that one is anointed and joined to God. However, John only baptizes with water. As we will soon find out, the Spirit will become a part of baptism, once Jesus has been crucified, and the Spirit has been set free!!!
A (Application): How many times do we point to our own actions as pure and holier than the thoughts and actions of another? When we have a fault, we look to blame others. When someone else faults, we point to them for their faults.
Instead, let us point to Jesus Christ. For Jesus is the one that challenges us, receives our repentance, and then forgives us.
As leaders in the church, we point to Christ. Christ is the one who saves. All Christians are called to point others to Christ, as did John the Baptist. We take no credit; we give credit where it’s due – in Christ’s name.
We help make the path straight for the Lord, by being honest about our faults and giving credit to God for our successes.
P (Prayer): Lord, help us to point others to you. Amen.