And he preached, saying, “There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” John 1:7-8
We live in a celebrity crazed culture, don’t we? Magazines and tabloids fill our wait time at the grocery store with all sorts of supposed facts, tales and gossip about today’s stars. There is so much info available on their invaded lives that we may even feel like we really know them. The question is, what would we do if we ran into one of them? Would we greet or treat them differently because of their status or just act like a good New yorker and blow them off as if it was no big deal? Recently, I ran into 24 star, Keifer Sutherland’s father and Hunger games actor, Donald Sutherland, at a friend’s condo. I, of course, did what every former NYC resident does, and screamed his name out loudly! No, actually, New yorker’s take pride in blowing off celebs because they feel like they see them all of the time or they feel like they are one themselves, so I just made a head nod to acknowledge him and let him go by without a scene. But I am sure you have seen in either magazines or on tv, celebrities mobbed by their fans. Those doing the mobbing are probably hoping to just get a close up glimpse or perhaps a touch of the hand. They probably think that because this person is a celebrity that they are really much better than themselves. Imagine if their favorite celeb turned to them in the midst of the madness of people clamoring to see or touch them and said to them, ‘there is one who is much greater than me you should be looking for’. It would never happen I know, but can you imagine the reaction. John the Baptist was a man like you and I, but probably just a tad more radical. He was preaching repentance and baptizing people to get them ready for Jesus. He had a following, and in some respects, was becoming popular amongst the people. But no matter how popular he became, he made sure to stop and point out that the really important, all powerful one was coming. People may have thought John the baptist was the the man, but he knew that there was one much mightier than he. He wasn’t the mighty one, Jesus was. John then humbled himself by saying that he was not even worthy to untie Jesus’ sandal. The washing and taking care of the feet was the lowest of the low jobs in that culture and that’s why Jesus set us such a servant example when he washed the disciples feet in John 13. John the baptist was humbled by the majesty of the One who was coming. John wanted none of the attention, but wanted to point everyone to the all powerful, mighty one Jesus. We need to remember, no matter how popular we are, that Jesus is the mighty one, and certainly mightier than any status or power that we think we may have. If He is the mighty one, then we should be going to Him with all of our trials and difficulties. He is certainly able to handle whatever we throw His way. We also should remember to stay humble like John the baptist by having a healthy self perspective in the midst of who Jesus is. Everything I am is because of who Jesus is in me. No matter how God has blessed you, Jesus should be the one we point people to. John was baptizing with water, but Jesus was going to baptize with the Holy Spirit. He had the power to save and change lives. He is the mighty one. Let’s point people to Him and give Him the praise and thanks He deserves.