John was in the wilderness at Bethany. The Jews had heard of his preaching, and sent Priests and Levites to talk to them. They asked him if he was the Christ. He immediately denied that he was. Then, they asked him if he were Elijah. He also denied this. I imagined that they must have been very frustrated with him. So, they asked him then who are you. John, then quoted from the book of Isaiah. He said I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness. I am the one making the path straight for the Lord. When they asked him why he was baptizing if he were not the Christ. He said that he baptized with water, but there is one from among you that I am not worthy to unstrap his sandal.
The story of John the Baptist is really cool. We know from the other gospels that when his pregnant mother was in the presence of Mary, that John jumped in his mother's womb. He knew from the time of his birth what his mission in this life was to be. He was sent by God to prepare the hearts of his people for the revealing of their salvation in the person of Jesus Christ. He pointed them to the prophecies of his ministry in the book of Isaiah. He warned them that there was one among them that he was not worth of. It is sad that just a few years later these same Priests would be part of the group that would push for the execution of Jesus. They missed the message. They heard John, but they never listened to him. When Jesus began his ministry it did not take long for the Priests to forget the words of John.
I think we have a mission. We should make the path straight for the Lord. God has placed us all in the wilderness of fallen humanity. We should be that voice in the wilderness pointing others to their salvation. It is helpful to remember John's words. There is one whom I am unworthy to unstrap his sandal. Sometimes, I think we oversimply Jesus. How often do we really sit and meditate on the complete unworthiness that we stand in. When we talk about Jesus do we really see ourselves like that, or do we fool ourselves into thinking we are not that bad. We aren't so horrible. There are worse people than us. There are murderers and immoral people. We are least trying to do the right thing, right? That is such a foolish way to look at things. If we haven't had a moment like Isaiah when he saw the Lord sitting on his throne, then we have really missed something. Isaiah confessed to God that he was undone. Have you ever been undone? Have you ever thought of Jesus sitting at the right hand of the Father? Sin usually breaks down to one thing. pride. We set ourselves up as a god. We get to make the rules. When we think that we aren't that bad, that is exactly what we are doing. We are moving the standard to ease our own conscience. There is only one rule maker. He sets the standard. His standard is perfection, and we just don't measure up. We will never measure up. We should stop comparing ourselves to other men, and begin to compare ourselves to the Holy Son of God.