Luke 3:15-20 John the Baptist Remains Faithful
John was not tempted, it seems, by the adulation of crowds who thought he might be the Messiah. His vigorous preaching and austere life, a ragged man from the desert who lived on grasshoppers, convinced so many that the time was near. But John pointed ahead to Jesus, away from himself. That is John’s greatness, a humble pointer to Jesus.
Herod, you are so puny. You made John’s ministry end abruptly. All his vehement preaching, exhortation and prophecy should have warned you. You were dealing with things much bigger than yourself, you being a second-rate “Herod the tetrarch,” Herod Antipas. As you put his preaching to an end, his prophecy and witness were being fulfilled as Jesus came on the scene.
And your life, Herod, full of all the evil things you did, your life is barely remembered, only a footnote in history, remembered mainly because of your execution of a good man, faithful John. And John’s prophetic words live on, still lively with his humble witness, “But he who is mightier than I is coming, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie . . . .”
Lord, let me never be too impressed with the temporary powers, the glorious, the leaders, the headline makers of this day, this world. Let me be impressed with the humble and faithful people who are following your lead.