I Am and I Am Not

January 20, 2020

There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to testify about the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but he came to testify about the light. John 1:6-8 NIV

John was absolutely pivotal in eternal history. He was the first witness to say that Jesus, the promised Messiah, the gift of God to once and forever take care of the sins of the world, was here. He was a prophet, and very, very popular. The historical record says, “All of Judea” came out to hear him. Thousands and thousands of people consistently coming to hear you, far exceeding the following of any comparable person—all of that would be a very heady experience to a person not grounded in his calling. But John was absolutely clear about who he was and who he was not. He never got the two confused.

He repeatedly witnessed to the fact that HE was not the Light coming into the world—he was just a witness to the Light. He was not the main attraction. He was only a witness to the main attraction. He was not the answer. He was the one with the responsibility and privilege of introducing the answer. Because he kept these facts clear, John the Baptist was able to keep his heart free of competition and jealousy, and he was able to keep a loose grip on his position. When Jesus arrived and started preaching, John’s followers were quick to point out to him that Jesus was gaining followers. John’s top place on the charts was in danger. John wasn’t moved or disturbed. He knew it was supposed to be that way, and he just kept pointing to Jesus, the One it was truly all about.

As we are witnesses, sometimes we lose perspective. We forget that it’s not about us, our church, our perspective, our opinion, our growth. WE forget we are NOT the Light. Just like everyone else, we are simply witnesses to the Light. We are not the ones who can save or transform. Only Jesus can do that. Our job is to clearly illuminate the path. There should be no competition, no jealousy—only thanksgiving when others are successfully bearing witness and people are coming to hear. I am only truly effective and doing my job when Jesus is the focus, not me, and when my importance pales in comparison to Him.

  • Pray: Jesus, what an honored privilege to bear witness to You. You have done so much in my life. Everything good and attractive about me is You. My church is wonderful and a great tool in Your hands. But it’s all about You. Today help me find joy in being a witness to the Light. Help me never get confused about Who and what is most important. Help me reject every thought of self-importance or jealousy. I am not the Light. You are.