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John 1:24-28

(Now those who were sent were from the Pharisees. And they asked him, saying, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” John answered them, saying, “I baptize with water, but there stands one among you whom you do not know. It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.” These things were done in Bethabara, beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing. ~John 1:24-28)

Previously we discussed that “Priest and Levites were sent from Jerusalem to ask John who are you?” Now it is mentioned here, that “those who were sent were from the Pharisees.” This is significant because the Pharisees were a group that had basically taken over the religion in the land of Judea. They made all the rules and people had to obey. This was the very group that would oppose Christ, and in whom Jesus would have His most heated discussions, then plotting His death. Now these Pharisees perceived themselves to be the religious authority in Judea, and believed as arrogant as it is, that if a prophet came from God he, would be one of them. So they asked John, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” Basically in there arrogance they were saying; what business do you have doing this if you are not one of us? Basically we are the religious authority, we speak for God, you are not one of us, so what are you doing out here preaching and baptizing people. John comes back with a beautiful answer, basically telling them that they do not have the authority that they think they have, and they don’t even have insight into the plan of God’s redemption for mankind. “John answered them, saying, ‘I baptize with water, but there stands one among you whom you do not know. It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.’” John was saying to them you don’t even know what is going on. He is here, the Messiah is here, He is living among us, and He is in the flesh, walking among us right now. He was saying to them, don’t be concerned with what I am doing, the Messiah is here. John again being the greatest man that ever lived, did not puff himself up, or pound his own chest, and say he himself was someone great, he redirected their attention off of himself, and on to Christ the Messiah, John knew who he was, he knew he was a witness for Jesus Christ.

During this time period, in a rich ruler’s home, he would have hired servants and slaves. The feet were the dirtiest part of the body, people at the time whore sandals, and spent much of their time moving about by walking in the dirt, so their feet were filthy. Only the lowest of slaves, in a rich ruler’s household would be expected to do something as low as to touch the feet of his master, taking off his sandal. John talking about Jesus said “whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.” He was telling these Pharisees that there was One walking among them, that was so Holy, was so Great, that no one was even at the level of the lowest of lowest slaves in His presence. In the presence of Jesus Christ, John being the greatest man to ever live was not even at the level of the lowest slave in a rich man’s house compared with the Holiness of the One who had come into the world. While saying these things Jesus Christ himself was approaching, walking up the Jordan Valley, John had baptized him 40 days prior and He had spent 40 days out in the desert fasting, He would arrive in this very spot the following day.

Now I imagine that these men departed from John bewildered and confused, they probably had more questions after talking with John than before talking with John. Here was a man that people were coming out to see by the thousands, people all over the land were talking about him, and wondering if he himself was the Christ, and that is why the Pharisees went out to question him. The entire time they questioned him, he did not one time inflate himself, nor say anything great about himself, they surely gave him the opportunity. Do you know any man that given the opportunity to talk about himself would not? John did what God had sent him to do, be a witness for Jesus Christ. Are you doing what God has left you here to do? Be a witness for Jesus Christ. We the redeemed in Christ are not here to entertain ourselves, make money, accumulate a bunch of belongings, grow old and die. Jesus our Lord and Savior has left us here for one purpose and one purpose only, to be a witness for Him, in this lost and dying world. He hasn’t even called us to do a bunch of good deeds, but to be a witness for Him. What happens if you feed a homeless man but don’t share with him the saving faith of Jesus Christ? You fill his belly for a short time, but in the end, he will die and face God in judgment, and be cast into hell if he does not put his faith in Jesus Christ during this lifetime. The Holy Spirit of God has led me to believe more and more every day, and the more and more I read God’s word, I am convinced more and more, that we as believers in Jesus Christ are here for one purpose only. And that purpose is to glorify the God of our salvation, to be a voice in a lost and dying world, that there is salvation from your sins in Jesus Christ. Don’t be so wrapped up in the things of this world, use the things of this world to be a witness for Jesus, be wrapped up in telling people everywhere, that (there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved ~Acts 4:12). Jesus Christ is the Way, the truth, and the life. No one, no matter how much you may like them, can go to God the Father in Heaven except by faith in Jesus Christ alone! Please, tell people about Jesus!


Mike Peek