“But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry.”
It’s Not About Me
John the Baptist had every opportunity to make a name for himself. People came from everywhere to see him. They were excited to hear what he had to say. People even hoped John would be the promised Messiah. John dispelled every illusion and assumption when he said, “After me will come one who is more powerful than I.” To the disappointment of many he made it clear, “It’s not about me.”
John’s attitude is one I need to adopt. It is easy to look at my life and declare, “I am a pretty good person.” It is just as easy to conclude, “I am so much better than really bad people.” It is this assumption which puts me in jeopardy with the Lord who is coming as Judge of all. When he comes on the Last Day, he will gather all people to stand before him. He will then use his standard of complete perfection to make his judgments. If I consider myself pretty good or even better than most, I still will not be able to endure that great and dreadful day.
This is why John’s message of humility is where I need to start. My inability to attain the Lord’s perfection will lead to me to conclude, “It’s not about me, or what I can do.” It will also lead me to humbly confess, “I cannot save myself, and I have no other hope than to rely on the Savior whom God promised and provided.”
This is the very Savior to whom John pointed, and Jesus is that Savior who was sent as the faithful Son from God the Father. As such he came to this earth to accomplish what was impossible for me and a world of sinners. He lived without ever breaking one of God’s commands. He endured shame and mockery without bitterness or hatred. He even allowed himself to be crucified without regret or revenge. My rescue from the just sentence I deserve comes as a result of Jesus’ precious work as my Substitute. In the end, my certainty of heaven is not about me, or anything I could ever do. It is all about Jesus.
John could have thought his ministry was all about him, but he clearly recognized his own need for Jesus’ precious work. John’s ministry calls me to repent of my sins. It makes me reject every effort to save myself. Finally, it points me to Jesus who is my Life and my Salvation.
Oh dearest Lord, give me a humble heart which recognizes that my eternal relationship with God is not about me and my blemished works. Lead me to look to Jesus who is my Savior, my Redeemer, and my confidence of life in heaven. Amen.
This devotion was selected from the Daily Devotion archive.
Source: WELS Devotions