John the Baptizer is an interesting character to encounter in scripture. In particular, as John’s gospel tells us about the wild hermit preaching in the wilderness, John the Baptizer sounds larger than life. And in some ways, with all the hoopla of Christmas, we might expect that John would be the kind of big personality messiah that the story demands.
Except John isn’t the Messiah. John is insistent that he isn’t the one for whom we have been waiting, not the one whom the angels proclaimed and the shepherds worshipped. He is just a messenger. John is only pointing to the true Messiah.
And is that One an even bigger personality than the wild and bombastic John? No. Yes. Maybe?
John points us to the Lamb, Jesus who comes into the world through a young virgin, who is born in a manger, who is baptized rather than baptizing. Jesus comes into the world in ways we wouldn’t anticipate or expect, and John is a reminder of that.
And yet, Jesus comes. Comes to take away all sin and to save us all. Comes from quiet and unexpected places. Thank goodness there is John to loudly point us in the right direction.
Unexpected Christ, you bring salvation from quiet corners and hidden places. Amen. — EP