Today, we will take a quick look at our continuing study on the first section in the gospel of John. So far, we have seen the beautiful word-portraits depicting the deity of Christ and His involvement in creation.
Our passage for today takes a break from the introduction of Jesus, and introduces us to a new character: John the Baptist. In John 1:6, we find out that John is “sent by God.” As a prophet, John the Baptist was completely sent by God. Prophets were God’s mouthpiece. Prophets gave the people of God the words of God. John is usually not listed among the rest of the prophets. But we know that John’s influence was great. For instance, in Acts 18, we find out that Apollos, the great preacher in Ephesus, knew about the baptism of John. Apollos was from Alexandria, in Egypt. He had heard about John the Baptist all the way in Egypt. Through Apollos, we know that John’s influence was quite widespread. The Jews held the prophets in great esteem, and John would have been treated in much the same way. John was much like the other prophets, found in the Old Testament. He was held in high esteem by the people because he was sent by God.
John also came “as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him,” (v. 7 ESV). John’s ministry was not about himself. John did not preach about his own desires or wants. The entirety of John’s ministry was about one thing: The Messiah. John’s prophetic message was solely to bear witness about Jesus. He was pointing forward to Jesus. His ministry was completely humble. The fact that his ministry was focused on Jesus kept him humble.
There are several great implications of John the Baptist’s introduction here in the Gospel of John.
- We should always remember John’s ministry. Be thankful for John the Baptist. Don’t forget the impactful ministry he had. People all over the known world heard about the coming Messiah because John was faithful to preach God’s word. When pondering the prophets, don’t forget to study the last prophet before Christ, John the Baptist.
- Ministry is about humility. John endured a ministry of humility. We would do well to fashion our ministry after John the Baptist. Everything we do should be grounded in humility. Ministry is not about our feelings. Ministry is not about what we want. Ministry is about bravely and humbly declaring the Word of God. We must, like John, get out of the way, and practice a ministry of humility.
- Ministry is all about pointing to Christ. This goes straight to back to point #2. If we are humble in ministry, we will point to Christ in everything. Whether it is preaching, teaching, visiting, singing, evangelism, praying, or administering, do it pointing to Christ. Point to Christ in everything, just as John. Christ is worthy to receive all of our attention and ministry. IF Jesus is the Eternal Word, Creator of everything we see, should we not be like John and point to Christ?
There are huge implications to the ministry of John. If we believe that Jesus truly is who he is, then we must pay close attention to the ministry of John the Baptist. Do all that you can do to point to Christ.