Wanna Be’s, it is a term people use to describe a person that longs to be “Center Stage” and does all the center stage actions, but alas is simply not the center stage guy. Elvis’s impersonators, Comicon Star Trek impostors are a couple of the examples of Wanna Be’s that come to mind. They go all out and invest their savings and community to “Be the Guy.” But no matter the expense or efforts, it is not destined to happen.
In contrast, John the Baptist was the complete opposite of a “Wanna Be”. He was a warrior and a unique person for all of history. He was sent to change the hearts of the Jewish people and prepare them for the Messiah. His ministry called on all who would listen to personally take responsibility for their sin and to change course.
They were to repent and be baptized in recognition of their desire to be redeemed for their own sin. It was no longer to be a national issue where the day of atonement would package up a national sin problem. Each person agreed with God that they were personally sinners and unable to live a perfect life.
John the Baptist never thrived on the limelight, and though He had an amazing following by the time Jesus started His ministry, the Baptizer knew it was time to turn out the lights, His party was over. John’s disciples were sad, the Jewish leadership would become ecstatic, but John would never look back. John the Baptist knew his mission was complete and all he had left to do is to support Jesus as the Messiah and let his own ministry fade out.
I am sure as John the apostle reflected upon Jesus and John and had heard the discussions thru the years about “The Baptizer” and about Jesus’ relationship and competition with His cousin. Now reflecting on the story, John wanted all to know that John’s ministry was well purposed and well done. In addition, John wanted the world to know that all that happened with our Lord was planned and inevitable. Jesus was doing exactly what the Messiah needed to do and was right where He needed to be!
This passage also reminds us that we too are inevitably linked to our Lord and His plan for our lives. We, like John the Baptist, are not “Wanna Be’s”. God calls each of us to be like Him. We no longer conform to the world’s pattern, but are transformed by the Holy Spirit, time in God’s word and prayer and fellowship with other believers. (Romans 12:1-2). He calls us to be His ambassadors. (2 Corinthians 5:20). We are to live each day as John the Baptist did, announcing the great news of our Savior!
We do not ever lose heart, we do not listen to the jeering of the crowd, we simply follow the Lord’s lead with a grateful heart, a humble spirit, and a tenacious attitude to finish the race and keep the faith.
God Bless You!
22 After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized. 23 Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were coming and being baptized. 24 (This was before John was put in prison.) 25 An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing. 26 They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”
27 To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. 28 You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ 29 The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. 30 He must become greater; I must become less.”[h]
31 The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. 33 Whoever has accepted it has certified that God is truthful. 34 For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God[I] gives the Spirit without limit. 35 The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.