John 1:6 “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.”
It is worthwhile to study the lives of men; both good and bad. It has been said that even the worst man can serve as a good, bad example! While it is worthwhile to reflect on the lives of all, it is profitable to remember a few. One such man, worthy of remembrance, is the forerunner of the Lord Jesus Christ, John the Baptist. John is worthy of remembrance if for no other reason than, the Saviour’s language; “For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist” (Luke 7:28). Jesus gave this testimony just previous to John being beheaded because of his stand against sin. John is worthy of remembrance because of the servant’s life. A close examination of the biblical account of John’s life reveals several quality traits that make him a man worthy of remembrance.
John was a man, “There was a man sent.” The significant thing about this simple truth is the fact that while others may have forgotten it, John never did. Crowds would make their way to the desert to hear him proclaim the truth and to be baptized of him. He was held in such esteem that Herod feared to touch him because of the people. Yet, when questioned about his prominence, position, and power; his response was; “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness” (John 1:23). Turning their attention away from himself, John would also say, “there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose” (John 1:26-27). John in no way was projecting a false persona, but was keenly aware of his humanity and revealed it when asked to be reassured of Christ true identity. When others attempted to provoke John to jealousy, John responded with, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). Many have fallen victim to that dreadful and highly infectious disease of pride; how soon we forget our feet of clay.
John was a mentor, “teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples” (Luke 11:1). John invested his life in the object that could pay the greatest dividends; dividends that paid interest in both worlds; John invested himself in people! Know the importance of this principle, Paul writing to his young comrade said, “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (II Timothy 2:2). It is worth remembering the subject of the mentor, “teach us to pray, as John.” John’s subject matter was not that of a secular nature, but spiritual. John would teach his pupils to enter into the presence of God and there make your needs known; “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). It is needful to notice the success of the mentor, “teach . . . as John.” Think of this; these men are asking Jesus to implement John’s method of teaching. Men had recognized the successful work that John was doing in the lives of all that had a desire to learn. May each of us be mindful of the great opportunity of investing in things of eternal worth!
John was a mimic, “It is John, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead” (Mark 6:16). This was the testimony of Herod when he heard of the works of Jesus. While John and Jesus shared the same family tree; their similarities were not secular, but spiritual. In John 1:19-20, the priests and the Levites thought that John was Jesus, and in Matthew 16:13-14, we discover that many of the people thought Jesus was John. Both had a hatred for sin and a love for the sinner. Both were consumed with doing the “Father’s” business. And both would pay the ultimate for doing the will of the Father! John would find no better person to mimic than the precious Lord Jesus Christ, and neither can we.
While the ultimate goal should be to be like Jesus, the life of John would be worthy of remembrance! Having viewed the life of John the Baptist, I am brought to a point of consideration, when my life has come to an end, will it be “Worthy of Remembrance?”