John 1-3: A 12-Day Reading Plan

Day 4 of 12 • This day’s reading


John the Baptist is often remembered for his humility. Keep in mind, John was a flesh and blood human being and therefore prone to pride and self-promotion along with the rest of humanity. When John’s ministry began, and his preaching started to draw crowds, there must have been some temptation to bask in the spotlight (Matt. 3:4-6) but nothing in the Scriptures suggests he did. 

In the first-century, speculation about the coming Messiah abounded, so it’s not surprising that the authorities questioned John about his identity (1: 19). Yet, John was quick to tell them he was not the Christ (John 1:20). He also denied being Elijah (John 1:21). John the Baptist is giving us a model. In essence, John was saying: “I’m not the Christ. Don’t place those expectations on me. I’m not a supernatural miracle worker, like Elijah. Don’t place those expectations upon me either. I am not the Prophet. I’m simply a voice in the wilderness.” 

John the Baptist was strange and misunderstood. However, he knew who Jesus was while the religious elite didn’t have a clue. John’s knowledge of Jesus prompted him to say he wasn’t worthy to tie His sandals (John 1:27). Genuine self- knowledge should lead us to deeper awareness of our brokenness and lead us to humility. Therefore, self-exploration should lead us to our need for Christ. 

Why is it impossible to have a close relationship with Jesus and remain self-absorbed and boastful?