We are like John the Baptist
This was the children's devotion for this past Sunday.
John bore witness about Him and cried out, "This was He of whom I said, 'He who comes after me ranks before me, because He was before me'" (John ).
How many of you have begun putting away your Christmas decorations?
It's been another long Christmas season and you may be ready to put away the decorations for another year. But before you pack up the manger scene, first stop and take a long look at that baby.
[Go up to the altar and take the baby Jesus to show to the children.]
Who is this baby? What is so special about Him?
What is so special is that this baby looks like any other baby boy. But He is so much more! He is also true God. But unless you were shepherds or Wise Men, you would have passed by this Child without giving Him a second glance.
John the Baptist would have been different. Point to John on the painting. We just read this verse in our Gospel lesson: John bore witness about [Jesus] and cried out, "This was He of whom I said, 'He who comes after me ranks before me, because He was before me'" (John ).
Jesus did not stand out. John the Baptist most certainly did stand out. The Bible says of John: "John wore a garment of camel's hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey" (see Matthew 3:4). The fiery wilderness prophet warned the people of
to turn from their sins and be baptized because the was at hand. John stirred up
so much excitement that people began wondering if he was the promised
John immediately put that question to rest, "He who comes after me ranks before me, because He was before me" (see John ). Yes, John may have been born six months before Jesus and began his ministry first, but Jesus definitely ranked supreme. John adds, "He ranks before me because He was before me."
That’s our job, too, isn’t it? We make ourselves less and make Jesus more. We humble ourselves and glorify God. We repent and Jesus forgives. We keep pointing away from ourselves and keep pointing people to Jesus.
We do this because Jesus is much more than a baby or a mere man. He is God in human flesh. He is our Savior. Amen.
The Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for raising up John the Baptist to witness to Your Son Jesus, our Savior. Give all of these children the courage and wisdom to share with their friends, family and neighbors all that Jesus has done for our salvation. In Jesus' Name. Amen.