40 Days with Jesus – October 10th – Luke 3:15-22
‘As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ, John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.’ (Luke 3:15-17)
Today we are continuing in Luke’s gospel account, where we find John the Baptist out in the desert preaching and baptizing people. His ministry at the time is flourishing, the people love him, and some even think he’s so great that he might actually be the Messiah. For years, the Israelites were waiting for God to send them a redeemer.
While he was preaching they asked him, “Are you the Messiah? Are you the one we’ve been waiting for all this time?” John’s answer was simple and humble, “No I am not. He who is coming after me is greater than me. Actually, I’m not even worthy to untie his sandals.” In this moment, where he could have falsely taken the fame, he pointed people to Jesus.
He pointed people to the true Messiah, the one who is greater than him. Now, John’s response about untying Jesus’ sandals could use some explanation. In the time of John the Baptist and Jesus, the roads were nothing like they are today. They did not enjoy the luxury of concrete as we do, but muddy, dirty paths mixed with animal droppings and trash. Their feet were filthy dirty all the time. Most people would not even touch their own feet, let alone someone else’s feet. Most of the people would hire servants who would wash their feet for them. This was a job reserved for the lowest of the lowest class in society; it was a job for the servants. John the Baptist told the crowd, “I’m not even worthy enough to do the job of a hired servant… Jesus who is coming after me is much greater than I am!”
So, how about you? Are you living your life in a way that is pointing people to the greatness of God? My hope and prayer for our church during these 40 days is that we would grow in our desire to make Jesus’ greatness known in our city and world.
Would you pray today the words of John the Baptist? “Jesus, you must increase, but I must decrease. Help me to make my life about proclaiming your greatness.”
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