15 Now while the people were in a state of expectation and all were
wondering in their hearts about John, as to whether he was the Christ,
16 John answered and said to them all, “As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
17 His winnowing fork is in His hand to thoroughly clear His threshing floor, and to gather the wheat into His barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
18 So with many other exhortations he preached the gospel to the people.
19 But when Herod the tetrarch was reprimanded by him because of
Herodias, his brother’s wife, and because of all the wicked things which
Herod had done,
20 Herod also added this to them all: he locked John up in prison.
21 Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened,
22 and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-
Are you the kind of person who lives for the spotlight, or are you the kind of person who is just fine behind the scenes?
If you’re the latter, and if you’re honest with yourself, you’d still love some recognition and praise every now and then, and there are also those moments when you wish you were the one in the spotlight instead of the one pointing it at someone else.
It’s likely that John the Baptist felt this way given the heightened sense of messianic expectations and the public response to his preaching.
So powerful was John’s teaching and baptism ministry that people speculated as to whether he was the long-awaited Christ. If anyone had the opportunity to jump into the spotlight rather than point it, it was John.
Yet he continued to point it. As verse 16 demonstrates: “As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
When many of those around him encouraged him to stand in the spotlight, John did not succumb to the temptation. He knew his place. He knew why God gave him life and the ministry He had called him to, and he stayed the course.
It’s a wonderful testimony for helping us to trust God and resist the temptation to do something with our lives that, on the surface, looks like a dream come true, but in actuality is contrary to the Lord’s will.
- According to verses 15-16, was John different than Jesus?
- What are some specific ways you’ve seen God’s power at work in your life when you’ve faced temptations?
Ask God to give you the clarity and strength to follow His will today and to put aside your own desires.