By Campus Missionary Mary Rowley
We’ve been given the voice of God. Just take a minute and process how awesome that truly is. After our salvation, I don’t know if there’s a more awesome gift. We speak with the power and authority of God. As Jesus put it in Matthew 17:20, “If you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”
It would be easy to misuse that kind of power. When someone tells you that you brought up a really good point during Bible study or your testimony inspired them, you could easily puff up your feathers and take all the credit. Of course you’ll make a short comment about God getting the glory, but really, who is your audience thinking about? You.
John the Baptist certainly had that kind of opportunity. He was respected by people all around as he did his work in the Jordan River. He knew that his birth had been a miracle, that his life was the stuff of prophecies. But when he preached, he didn’t puff himself up. Instead, he said, “After me comes one 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 1:7-8).
John understood that his work had nothing to do with him and everything to do with God. He rejected the opportunity to take the credit and focused his entire ministry on the coming of Jesus. Although we are in a different context, we too should work towards this goal. We have the opportunity to take the credit, but it is not our credit to take. We should always be focused on the second coming of Jesus, and everything we say and do should point towards it. The good news is that we don’t have to do this alone. As John pointed out, he baptized with water, but the baptism of Jesus gives us the Holy Spirit.