IRVIN WASSWA-Tylertown Campus Pastor LHBC
19 And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” 21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” 22 So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”
Growing up as a child, my hope was to one day be some kind of hero in some way. For many of my peers they aspired to be Superman, Batman or Spiderman. For me, I aspired to be a professional athlete. Those guys were my heroes. I would dream of getting the chance to score the game winning touchdown or make the game winning jump shot at the buzzer to win the championship. I would imagine the crowd going wild, chanting my name and celebrating me! At the end of the day, I wanted to be the “hero” who everyone worshipped, celebrated and marveled at for who I was and what I had done! You been there?
It would have been so easy for John the Baptist to have this same sort of “hero mentality” in his ministry in the early part of the first century. Though he was unique (ate Locust and lived in the desert) his ministry was BOOMING! Many people from all over Israel were coming to hear him preach. There were many who were receiving the message and getting saved! He had quite a bit going for him. Then a moment came for him where he could have very well taken all the spotlight and glory for himself. Some religious leaders approached him asking who he was. John the Baptist could’ve easily played the hero card and said, “Wait, you don’t know who I am? I’m John THE Baptist. Only one of the most holy dudes of all time.” He could have even said he was the Messiah if he wanted to. Here is the deal though, John the Baptist knew who he was and knew his role and responded in humility: I am NOT the Christ. Rather, I am here to prepare the way of His coming. Jesus is the hero, not me. I am here to tell others about Him.
In the same way church, that is our role as Christians– to prepare the way of the Lord to move and work the lives of our families, our neighbors and communities. If we are not careful, what can happen to us is that we develop this “savior complex” about ourselves where we think we are the ones that can save our friends, our families and our communities because we want to be the heroes and at the end of the day be worshipped for what we’ve “done.” Can I keep it real with you today friend? You and I are not Jesus. Listen, we do not have the power to save our friends, family and loved ones, Jesus does. We do not have the capability of satisfying a person’s thirsty soul, Jesus does. We do not have the ability to bring someone back into a right relationship with God again; Jesus does by what He accomplished on the cross. Jesus Christ is the Savior, He is the hero.
We are called to “prepare the way for His coming” in the hearts of those around us. How do you do that in this season? By being that godly parent, investing in the lives of your young ones. You do that by loving and serving your neighbors by meeting needs in the name of Jesus. You prepare the way for the Lord coming into the hearts of people by praying for God to move in their hearts and lives and by sharing the Gospel! The Lord wants to work and move in the hearts and lives of those around us. Let us prepare the way for His coming by living out the Great Commission.
May we as the people of God choose to adopt the heart and attitude of John the Baptist in these days by understanding that we are not the Savior but rather we point others to the Savior. We are not the Christ, but we live for Him and tell others about Him. May we choose today to prepare the way of the Lord moving and working in the lives of those around us. By the way, Jesus is coming again! May we prepare the way for His coming by being believers who point others to Him!
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Heavenly Father, thank you Lord for sending your Son Jesus to die on the cross so we can have a relationship with You again. Help me to remember that You alone are Savior and Lord, not me. Give me boldness in these days to choose to point others to follow and worship You. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
1 Peter 5:10
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.