Over the River
Lord, I humbly come before You today. Teach me who You are through Your Word.
Read John 1:19–28
19 Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.”
21 They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”
He said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?”
He answered, “No.”
22 Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’”
24 Now the Pharisees who had been sent 25 questioned him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”
26 “I baptize with water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. 27 He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.”
28 This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectBefore reading today, spend a moment answering the question, “Who am I in my relationship with Jesus?”
John the Baptist clearly knows who he is not. He sees himself simply as a voice calling others to prepare for the coming Messiah. He urges his listeners to get ready for the Christ who is soon to come. It is interesting to see who sends emissaries to check John out (24). If we were there, I’m sure we’d see the crowds press closer to hear John’s answer. Eventually, we see the Pharisees become frustrated and demand he gives “an answer to take back to those who sent us” (22).
John responds in the same way Jesus did when he was tempted by Satan in the wilderness. He gives them a verse of Scripture, which they would recognize as coming from the prophet Isaiah (Isa. 40:3). So John knew not only who he was not; he also knew who he was.
Even though he was drawing huge crowds and was known to be a dynamic speaker, John
continued to remain humble, despite his human relationship to the Savior (27). No matter how well we feel we know Jesus, it is imperative that we remain in a relationship of humility to him. He is our Lord and King, and we must never forget that.
Who are you in Christ? Is your identity rooted in relationship with him, or are you distracted by work or achievements?
Jesus, help me to get my priorities straight. May I allow You to be the center of my life.