John answered them, “The person who has two tunics must share with the person who has none, and the person who has food must do likewise.” — Luke 3:11 NET
There is somthing very fine in John’s behaviour on this occasion. The people were expecting Christ, and when John rose up in such brightness they were ready to accept him as the Messiah. So intense was the excitement, so wild was the enthusiasm, that almost the whole nation flocked to the Jordan to see and hear John. One word from him claiming to be the Messiah would have kindled a feeling among the people which would have crowned him as king. But the picture which we see is this great man pushing away the honours which lay within his grasp, and saying, “Nay, they are not mine to wear; put them on the head of Him who is coming after me.”
Many of us are ready to accept honours for ourselves when we are doing Christ’s work. We like to have people praise us and commend us. Sometimes we are in danger of striving to get honour for ourselves, rather than to put honour upon Christ. How much more beautiful was John’s self-renunciation! It is pleasant when we have helped people to have them come to us with their grateful tributes, to have them show their love to us and put honour upon us. Let us beware, however, lest we take that which belongs to Christ, and also lest our friends see only us and see not Christ. Let us keep ourselves out of the way, that they may behold Him. Let us remember always that there is One coming after us, yea, standing unseen beside us, while we do our work, that is far mightier than we, and that we should strive only and always to put the honour upon Him utterly forgetting ourselves. He will look after us and honour us, if we will only seek His honour and never our own. But if we rob Him here of the praise that is His, to wreathe chaplets for our own brow, we shall find ourselves stripped of honour and crown in the day of Christ’s manifestion.
Daily Word of God - February 15
Public domain content taken from Come Ye Apart by J.R. Miller.