John 1:26-27 (CEB)
26 John answered, “I baptize with water. Someone greater stands among you, whom you don’t recognize. 27 He comes after me, but I’m not worthy to untie his sandal straps.”
I grew up in and around Nashville, TN, the home of Country Music. Running into country music stars like the Oak Ridge Boys, George Jones, Reba McEntire, Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, or Taylor Swift would not be uncommon. Interesting enough, while it was fun to rub shoulders with the stars in the grocery store, I learned they were human just like you and me. Although, at their highest moments of fame, some of them couldn’t even go to the store without people stopping, and gawking, and asking for autographs. I’d see stars like Garth Brooks sign an autograph and people walk away in tears. I’ve never been able to put emotion of the star-struck phenomenon into words, but we’ve all seen it happen. You should have seen the ladies who were shaking when they were waiting to meet Harry Connick, Jr. (Okay, Harry’s not country, but I did see him sing with George Jones.)
John the Baptist is becoming famous. People are starting to flock and swoon to hear him. So those in charge, out of fear, want to know who John is, and what he is doing. Could he be the long awaited Messiah? His answer to them, “No.” He goes on to say that not only is he not the Messiah, but someone is coming, and even the rich and powerful, the famous, and the influencers are not worthy to untie his sandals. In the next few verses he will tell us it’s Jesus and why Jesus has come. Here, John simply tells us that we’re not worthy or fit to untie Jesus’ sandals. Not only is this John’s way on clueing us in that Jesus is the Son of God, it’s also to give notice of our place in this relationship with him. We’re not worthy, not worthy of even a servants place in Jesus’ presence. Only a servant could untie your sandals and wash your feet four you.
And yet, this is not posture Jesus demands of his disciples. He doesn’t Lord his power over us, or keep us away. As the Gospel of John has already told us, God became flesh, and dwelt (literally, pitched a tent, camped, and lived) with us.” (John 1:14) Jesus would go on to call his disciples his friends. Jesus example and teachings revealed that with the power and influence that God grants us, we are not to “lord” it over others, but use it serve others.
So what’s your posture toward’s God? It should be, as John the Baptist points out, that of less than a servant. Yet God grants us so much more, frienship, blessings, and authority to go and serve. The privilege of being disciples (learners), and the privilege of walking daily, in relationship with God. Reminds me of (Psalm 8:4).
What an incredible opportunity. We have access to the Almighty, the maker of heaven and earth. What are you going to do with this oppportunity today?
Prayer: Lord I come, bowed down before you, not worthy to untie your sandals, and yet, you have been more than mindful of me. You have lifted me up. You have called me friend. You have granted me privilege. You have sent me away blessed, and blessed so that I might serve others. Amen.