Today's verses are John 1:25-27: "They asked him, 'Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?' John answered them, 'I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie." My child, the religious leaders tempted John to exalt himself. They wanted him to claim he was the Christ, the chosen one, the anointed one of God, or Elijah, the greatest, most faithful Old Testament prophet, or the prophet about whom Moses predicted would come and everyone in Jesus' day anticipated coming any moment. All these positions accompanied power, prestige, position, and popularity from the Jews for John. With this following, it would have been easy for him to fall prey to the temptation to lift himself up.
But he didn't. He said he wasn't worthy to tie the strap of the sandal of the one about to come. I had not yet been noticed by them. Yet John was saying he wasn't even worthy, as a lowly servant, to put his fingers on the strap of my dirty sandals when I finally did enter the picture.
Today, I want you to examine your heart. I want you to study your own self-exaltation. I want you to be introspective about your own self-aggrandizement. Is it there? Do you think the world revolves around you? Have you fallen prey to the temptation of your own greatness and self-importance? Do you believe yourself to be greater than you really are? Has pride consumed your heart?
If so, place your life as a mirror against my own perfect, selfless, sacrificial life. See in me the Father's intention for all humanity. See in me what the Father desired for all humans to be: servants, not superstars. He desired all humans to serve, not be served.
John knew this reality. He knew that he was nothing and he existed first and primarily to lift me up.
Do you know this truth? Do you see your sinful condition as not even being able to untie the strap on my dirty, scruffy, dusty sandals?
Pride is thinking of your greatness. Humility thinks my Father is great. Pride points to self. Humility points solely to my Father. Pride yearns to be served. Humility desires only to serve.
I am your Creator. I gave you all you have. Every gift you have came from my divine hand. In me alone you live and move and have your being. All you have is only because I chose to give it to you. Do you believe this?
Look inside your heart. Be honest. Do you have John's perspective on life? Do you have his vision about me? Or do you believe you are greater than you really are?
Your answer has eternal consequences.