John the Baptist on Leadership

Daily Readings: Genesis 5-6, Psalm 2, Matthew 3

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?’” –Matthew 3:13-14

Imagine John the Baptist being born today. Here is a man with a massive following. People are fascinated by this prophet. They are flocking in large numbers to hear him preach. His message is clear, After me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry.”

Then Jesus actually shows up.

This is the moment. John has been preaching this and it has finally come to fruition. Jesus approaches him to be baptized along with the others. Prophets throughout the centuries preached that this day would come without ever seeing it come to pass in their lifetimes. Not John the Baptist. John paved the way! John was the one the prophet Isaiah spoke about! The moment is finally here!

Get out the cell phone! Get Facebook Live ready. Make sure to get a picture from the right angle, with the right lighting, and just at the right moment as Jesus is about to be submerged in the water. Get one as he is coming back out as well. We are going to break all Instagram records on this one! The Messiah has arrived and John the Baptist knew all along!

“But John tried to deter him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?’”

This wasn’t about John. It was about Jesus. This wasn’t John’s time to shine, prove that he was right all along, build additional credibility with his followers, and increase his own star power. He was simply a humble messenger.

It got me thinking, “How I would respond if I was John the Baptist?” We live in such a narcissistic society. It is extremely challenging to not get caught up in the culture of today. How many shares, likes, and comments? Am I viewed as an authority on this topic? How can I gain more of a following? This may seem worse now than ever, but this is exactly how the Pharisees and Sadducees thought back in the time of Jesus. It was all about them. John the Baptist was ready and willing to step aside.

The world needs more leaders like John the Baptist. Whether leading a project at work, running a seminar, or preaching the good news, the world craves humble leadership. Today I want to model John. The world already has enough Pharisees.

Thought to ponder

Where are the biggest areas of my life where I tend to make it all about me?

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