On the cusp of fame, power, or influence, would you turn it down? Today’s Gospel again features John the Baptist. Controversial but popular, John has gathered quite a group of followers. He has disciples. Peoplecome from near and far to be baptized by him. Pharisees and government leaders are drawn to his preaching. If John was another man, a lesser man, he would have claimed his owngreatness. Instead, John the Baptist is a witness to humility.
“The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Beholdthe Lamb of God … he is the one of whom I said, “A man iscoming after me who ranks ahead of me.”… the reason why Icame baptizing with water was that he might be made known.’”
Rather than point to himself, John points to Christ. Johncould have grasped at what he had accumulated. He could haveseen Jesus as a Messianic competitor. Instead, John knows who heis. He knows his place as forerunner. Because John knows whoJesus is. “I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.”
A life of humility, a life for others, can be challenging tolive. So much of our culture is built around achievement and individualism. We can justify it, too, in pursuit of “greater goods” and higher ideals. In the process, however, wemight miss our own participation in the kingdom of God. John, for all of his humility, was not an afterthought. Inanother Gospel passage, Jesus calls him “the greatest prophet,” even the greatest of men. Why? Because he fulfills themission given to him by God: to announce the coming of the Messiah.
We too are prophets and forerunners. Our witness to the Gospel is meant to point people to Jesus. Consider your own mission this week. To whom are you called to announce the good news of the Son of God?BACK TO LIST