Luke 3:16 — One Mightier Than I
John answered and said to them all, As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
John the Baptist, second only to Christ, was the greatest man to ever walk the earth. John’s greatness is best summarized by Christ in Luke 7:28. “I say to you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” John was great because he was humble. Our text tells us that his humility would not even allow him to consider himself as worthy to unshoe Jesus Christ. Such humility ought to characterize your life.
Servanthood is an ideal having nothing to do with how we think of ourselves. Rather, servanthood is actually nothing more than what we think about someone else. As we will look at Luke 3.16, we will see how John understood who he really was. We will not see a man suffering from low self-esteem; we will see the second greatest man ever to walk the face of the earth because of his servanthood. If you take one application from this message, I want you to take the following: Take upon yourself the pattern of servanthood which John the Baptist modeled.
John understood that Christ was infinitely greater than he. John’s philosophy of life was based upon the truth of the greatness of Christ’s glory. Until you capture a real glimpse of the greatness of Christ, you cannot develop the philosophy of true servanthood. Not only did John accurately perceive who Christ was, John understood his role as a servant.
Too much of Christianity is ‘What am I doing that will gain attention to me?’ Not enough of Christianity is ‘How excellent is Christ?’ When you change your mindset to think of the superiority of Christ, you will accurately understand the person of Christ and the service done in His name. Are you willing to humble yourself to be a servant? Are you willing to set aside any degree of personal recognition and self-worth so that Christ may be exalted?
What are your thoughts on this verse?
Why does the term servant or slave have negative connotations?
How far does our servanthood to Christ extend?
What practical ways can I be a servant to the people I meet today?