Message: John 1 is such a familiar book. It’s the most recommended read for new believers because it establishes who Jesus is and why he came. It’s always challenging to move beyond all of the thoughts and ideas that have been shared or preached often but what I sat on today, was the role of John. He came to prepare the way for Jesus and he started something very new and very different from what had been taught. He didn’t come from the religious leaders and he wasn’t established by them. He was put in place by God just for this. We read about his mother’s surprise conception back when Mary conceived and went to see her. His father was the temple priest that was silenced by God for the entirety of the pregnancy. He came first in conception, and he came first in ministry, but he says something interesting here, and kind of funny. He tells the crowd “I was first but he came before me.” Sounds confusing right? Depending upon which version you are reading verse 15 comes out sounding a little crazy. John was pointing the way to Jesus. God created him for that purpose and what we don’t read about anywhere here is how John’s ministry developed. We hear about his conception and his birth and then we see him baptizing people and pointing toward the ministry of Christ. We don’t know what kind of visitations he had from God or from angels and we don’t hear about the instructions he was given.
Command: Point the way to Jesus.
Promise: People will be saved.
Warning: If we get caught up in ourselves, and entangle our own thoughts and ideas into the ministry we will not clearly point to Jesus, and we will start pointing towards ourselves.
Application: This is what we are called to do. We are the GPS system directing people to Christ. He is the way-maker, and we are the way-pointer. We are called to give clear instructions that direct people to Christ. We aren’t called to draw people to ourselves or to our ministries. We are called to point people to Jesus. As soon as we forget that, we become consumed with our own identities and status. Status might be our concern for how people perceive us, and it might be our concern for position in church leadership. John was a solid example of pointing the way. He prepared the people for the ministry of Jesus, and when Jesus literally came out to where John was ministering, he transitioned the people directly to Jesus. He humbled himself in front of all of those people who were following him and said “this is the Lamb of God who came to take away your sin.” Those who were following John immediately started following Jesus from that point on.