Even before John the Baptist was born, he was given the task by God of getting everybody ready for the coming of Jesus. In one way of thinking, we have been given a similar commission to get folks ready before the return of Christ. That’s not the only thing about John worth copying.
He was aware of his own unworthiness, attesting that he wasn’t even worthy to lace up Jesus’s sandals. (John 1:27)
He was convinced about who Jesus was, the Son of God, the payment for our sins, the promised Savior. (John 1:33-35)
He told people what he knew about Jesus. (John 1:15)
He understood it was all about Jesus, not about him. (John 3:30)
He took his doubts and discouragement straight to Jesus. (Luke 7:19)
When all was said and done, John the Baptist fulfilled his mission. I know I could stand to be a lot more like John, especially when it comes to his boldness and his single-mindedness. Jesus Himself affirms that no one ever born was greater than John.
Yet in the next breath, Jesus says that whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John. (Matthew 11:11) How can that be? John did some amazing things. I’d be hard-pressed to equal his accomplishments.
The greatness Jesus is talking about doesn’t come from what you and I do, though. It comes solely from what He does for us. His death and the salvation it purchased get us admission into the kingdom. We just have to accept it. Once we’re in, Jesus entrusts us with the most amazing job ever — to tell His story.