Staying Humbly Focused…
John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” Mark 1:4-8
Notice there is no birth narrative. There are no angels, shepherds, or magi. There is no preteen visit to the temple during one of the festivals, and in fact, there is no Mary and Joseph at this point. Mark’s Gospel story begins with the “Forerunner,” who is the last voice to declare the coming of the Messiah!
Here is John, an exotic character sans Elijah, proclaiming a return to God. John’s message is viral, albeit hyperbolically stated by Mark that “all” in Judea and Jerusalem were traveling to the Jordon River, a 42 mile journey from the capital city. This statement, a prologue of sorts, serves as a geographic reference pointing to where the Gospel will emanate. The message of Jesus Christ will move from Jerusalem and Judea to the ends of the earth.
What strikes this fellow hitchhiker is John’s humbleness. His message is clear: One who is more powerful than he is coming. Some say this is Mark’s rhetoric, but most certainly, eyewitnesses were still alive to refute him if these were not John’s words. John’s passion, focus, and message were evident and popular, but his humility is what sticks out to me.
It is more and more prevalent to find Christians with a lack of humility in our times. I pray that the servants and messengers of Christ practice the humbleness of the “Forerunner.”
Please continue to humble me and keep me passionate and focused as I bring your message in word and deed. I also ask you to grow humility in other hitchhikers, reminding us all: You are the Creator, we are the created; you are the Savior, we are the saved; you are the Inspirer, we are the inspired.
In humility, I pray in the name of the one who is EVERYTHING. Amen!