“I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness.”
Asked to identify himself, John the Baptist first answers by saying who he is not: he is not Elijah, nor is the Prophet (both expected forerunners of the Messiah), nor the Messiah himself. Then who is he? His answer is elusive. Invoking a line from Isaiah, he calls himself “the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the Lord!” In other words, asked to say who he is, he identifies himself in terms of his relation to Another. It is unclear at this point if John himself knew the identity of the one he was awaiting, the one whose sandal strap he was unworthy to tie. What is important is John’s recognition that he does not proclaim himself. The message of his life is more like a question, to which Another will provide the answer. Is this not the life of every Christian? It is impossible to name the identity of a Christian except by reference to the One we follow. Unworthy as we may be, we are called to clear a path for Him in our families, our communities, our places of work, and our moment in history.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2019