Matthew 11:11 “Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist.”
John the Baptist is the greatest of all time. After reading through prophets that called down fire, healed lepers, multiplied oil, raised the dead, and other miracles, you would expect John’s ministry to be filled with some pretty amazing stuff. Here is the ministry of John the Baptist (cliff notes version):
1. Start preaching Jesus’ coming at 30
2. Baptize Jesus 6 months later
3. Jesus begins having more disciples than you after 3 months.
4. You get imprisoned, and later on beheaded.
If my ministry were to be described like this, I wouldn’t feel like the greatest of all time. I would feel a little underwhelmed by what the Lord wanted me to do. Fact of the matter was, John the Baptist was given a simple yet important task, and he did it perfectly. Many times people get caught up trying to be fancy, or trying to invent something “new”. We just need to take the simple ministry God has laid out in front of us, and do it as perfectly as possible. Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might. Don’t get distracted or bored from the basics. Before Jesus came, John preached Jesus coming in the flesh. After Jesus’ baptism, John preached Jesus had come, and pointed people to Christ. A great note about John is his lack of competitive drive. John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease. If I could do myself any favor, it would be to get myself out of the way. My lazy flesh is always trying to cut corners. My big ego is always counting heads. I need to cut myself out of the picture, and allow Christ’s kingdom to increase. Williams Carey wrote of his time starting out as a missionary in India “I am in a strange land. No Christian friend, a large family, and nothing to supply their wants.” He suffered from disease, and lost some of his children while on the mission field. It took 7 years for him to baptize his first convert. He only had 700 converts to show for his 41 years in India, but he translated an Indian Bible. His ministry and example set the stage for Adoniram Judson, Hudson Taylor, and David Livingstone. It all comes down to allowing Christ to be increased at the detriment of what you want. We should want to be John the Baptist. John’s disciples come up as late as Acts 10:37. Preach Christ to people, get them baptized, and leave a solid foundation for Christ to build upon.
Assistant Pastor | Lighthouse Baptist Church, Flint, Mi