The Mission of John the Baptist: Matthew 3:11-12 (John 1:29-34)
““11) As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12) And His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”” Matthew‬ ‭3:11-12‬
John the Baptist had one primary mission and it was not baptizing. His mission was to introduce the Messiah to Israel. He made this very clear in John 1:29-34. Listen to a few of these verses; “32) And did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’ 33) I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.”” John‬ ‭1:33-34‬
He introduced Jesus as the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world and the One who baptizes with the Holy Spirit and fire. John was a forerunner for Jesus. He was the advance man sent to prepare the way for the Son of God.
John’s mission was not to glorify or promote himself. His mission was to point Israel to Jesus. When Jesus stepped up, John gracefully stepped down. (John 3:22-36)
I cherish his response to his disciples in verse 30; “He must increase, but I must decrease.” Every pastor and spiritual leader should have the same single mindset. Our mission is to point people to Jesus Christ and make sure that He gets all of the glory and attention. John faithfully fulfilled his mission.
This may have been the greatest virtue of John the Baptist. Though his ministry gained huge momentum and fame, he never competed with or distracted from Jesus Christ. It is tempting to market and promote ourselves, but John died to that prideful carnality. He made sure that every eye, ear, mind and heart was pointed to Jesus Christ!
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global