One of the most influential men in all of history is a man who lived in the desert. He ate locusts and wild honey, wore clothes from camel’s hair with a leather belt, and lived for one purpose alone – to point others to Jesus Christ. His name is John the Baptist.
In his day John was a figure of national prominence. It is worth noting that the ancient historian Josephus wrote more about the life of John the Baptist than about Jesus Christ. John was so well known, so popular and revolutionary, that some even thought he was the Messiah.
The Bible says of John, “This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light but was sent to bear witness of that Light” (John 1:7–8).
“That all through him might believe…” The word him is not referring to Jesus but to John. It’s saying that John was not the light; he was just bearing witness of the light. And it is also saying that through him people might believe. In other words, God was working through John.
John was a popular man. A lot of people admired him. If John had wanted it, he could have been a great leader. He could have made a lot of money. But John knew that is not what it was about. He was there to point people to Jesus. He used his popularity and the momentum God had given him to point people in the right direction.
This week we continue our Advent series as we take a deeper look at John the Baptist’s life and ministry and discover what we can learn from him as we strive to be a witness for Jesus and influence people in our family, in our neighborhood, or in our workplace and point them to Jesus.