In His Steps
I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. Matthew 3:11
When Jesus walked the streets of Jerusalem, removing someone else’s sandals was a task that was lower than low. Hebrew slave owners couldn’t even mandate their slaves to such menial labor! Yet what was beneath slaves was considered too great an honor for John the Baptist.
He said that he wasn't worthy, fit, or good enough to carry Jesus’ sandals. This wasn't poor self-esteem on John’s part. He simply knew who he was and who Christ is. John is the messenger; Jesus is the Message. John is the servant; Christ is the King. John baptized with water for repentance; Jesus baptized with the life-changing power of the Holy Spirit and fire. In true humility John pointed to the greater One.
He knew his role and position. John wasn't caught up in outside appearances as evidenced in his testimony, camelhair wardrobe, and diet of locusts and wild honey.
Jesus was never motivated by outside appearances or crowd approval either. Although John protested about baptizing Jesus when he knew that Jesus should be baptizing him, Jesus refused. He submitted Himself to God’s purposes and plans, and His Father was well pleased. Jesus surrendered His equality with God and made Himself nothing. Lower than a sandal carrying slave, lower than our finite minds can imagine. He humbled Himself at birth and baptism, in His life and to death– even death on the cross. (Philippians 2:6-8)
The One who is worthy of all glory and praise humbled Himself for you and me. The One whom God exalted to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name stooped to save and serve an unworthy people who had no clue how much they needed His love and rescuing. (Philippians 2:9)
This is our Great Jesus! Humility personified. Yet how often have we elevated self instead of exalting our Savior? Have the following words and attitudes been part of our vocabulary? It’s my right. I deserve more. I earned it. I’m entitled. I’m not stooping that low. I don’t carry sandals.
He becomes greater and we become less when we follow in the sandal-walking, sandal-carrying steps of Jesus who alone is worthy of all our praise.
HE>I: What most often trips you up from the humble walk that God requires? Faithfully follow in the steps of our humble Savior and Lord.
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