READING: 2 Samuel 19-20, John 1:1-28
I know the words of John the Baptist are true for him, for me, and for every human being who has ever lived. When priests and Levites came from Jerusalem to ask him who he was, his answer was simple: “He did not refuse to answer, but he declared: ‘I am not the Messiah’”(John 1:20). He was, John clearly said, not the Redeemer to come. He was not the one who would bring redemption through his death on a cross. He would not be the provider of eternal life, the conqueror over death. In fact, he himself would need a savior, and he himself would struggle with trusting Christ in a difficult time. He was indeed, the text reminds us, not the Messiah.
Nor am I or you, but it’s easy to act as if we were when we’re pastoring God’s people. Some younger leaders who do not want to fail assume that they must be the instrument of God to fix any broken home, the evangelist to lead every sinner to the Lord, the preacher to expound the Word with perfection, and the leader who all believers will follow. And, even we older believers sometimes fall prey to the same trap of the enemy. We might forgive ourselves for our youthful inexperience, but surely our years of training and service would give us all the right answers. We may not be the Messiah, but we’re surely the “fixer,” we think.
Perhaps my words are a bit exaggerated, but I stand by my conclusion: we’re not the Messiah – and our responsibility is only to proclaim and point to the one who is.
PRAYER: “God, forgive me when I think I have to – and can – solve all the world’s problems.”
TOMORROW’S READING: 2 Samuel 21-22, John 1:29-51