Thought for Thursday

He it is Who coming after me is preferred before me, Whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose. John 1:27

Here’s a puzzler for you, what does the term ‘unloose’ mean in terms of the thong that fastens a sandal? We know what the term ‘loose’ means, it would refer to untying or unfastening the latchet. But ‘unloose’? That would have to mean tying or fastening the latchet, even though it doesn’t make much sense. A look at the original Greek makes it plain that John was speaking of untying the shoe latchet (or sandal thong). It was the printers of our King James Version who made the goof. But the message is clear, the great baptizer was very humbly taking his place as a lowly servant of the One who was coming after him. John was not a shy man and had no problem being blunt with religious leaders, soldiers, and even kings. But his head was bowed and his heart in total subjection when it came to encountering Jesus Christ, even though the two were cousins after the flesh.

Remember what Jesus said about John? He referred to him as the greatest of prophets! He held John in very high esteem. John undoubtedly knew this. And yet, he acknowledged that he was unworthy to loosen Jesus’ sandal thong. If John was so humble before his Lord, how ought we to be? Which of us is as great as John Baptist? Do you deserve as high an estimation by the Lord Jesus as John did? No, and a thousand times no. And yet, many of us hold ourselves up as examples of goodness, holiness, and service. A wise man once said that if we were half the men we think we are, we would be twice the men we are. Humility is a struggle for us; we need to learn a lesson from John Baptist.

John was first of all humble before his God. He made no claim to relationship, he made nothing of the fact that he was in the preaching business, he clearly proclaimed that he must decrease while Jesus increased. John put on no airs before Jesus, even admitting that Jesus should baptize him instead of the other way around. John had high praise from Jesus, because of his humility.

If you and I could put on humility like John did, how much more could the Lord Jesus use us? Practice humility before your fellow believers, and it will be easier to walk humbly before your God. -Jim MacIntosh

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