The role of John the Baptist as witness is highlighted in several ways. First, there is the unequivocal declaration of John 1:20 that John the Baptist “confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, ‘I am not the Messiah.'” John the Baptist cannot be any more categorical about who he is not—not the Messiah, not Elijah, nor the prophet.
Second, John the Baptist’s witnessing activity actually overshadows his baptizing activity throughout. This is noted not as an invitation to ignore the baptizing function of John the Baptist, but rather as an encouragement to take greater stock of what it means through the Baptist’s example to be a witness. After all, in our present-day discipleship, we are not in a position to baptize Jesus, but we certainly can testify about Christ by professing and practicing our faith.
We as Lutherans have not set a good example of evangelizing. It has been said that on average a Lutheran invites someone to church every 27 years! Whether that is true or not, we all need to do a much better job in proclaiming Christ as Lord and Savior.
Prayer: Lord, take away our timidity and give us Your vision. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Thomas W. Corbell,
Pastor of Mt. Hermon Lutheran Church in Statesville, NC.