What Jesus Did! 'Greater than I' — Luke 3:15-17

Friday, February 13, 2015

All the people were hoping {for the Christ to come}, and they wondered about John. They thought, "Maybe he is the Christ." John answered everyone, "I baptize you in water, but there is a person coming later who can do more than I can. I am not good enough to untie his shoes for him. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. He will come ready to clean the grain. He will separate the good grain from the straw. He will put the good part of the grain into his barn. Then he will burn the part that is not good. He will burn it with a fire that cannot be stopped."
— Luke 3:15-17
Illustration of Luke 3:15-17 — "Maybe he is the Christ."

Key Thought

The Super Bowl has come and gone for another year. If you're interested in football, you might remember several key plays about this year's game. What I find interesting, however, is that invariably the outcome of the Super Bowl, along with other key games, is often dependent upon the guys who are frequently overlooked—the men in the trenches, the offensive and defensive linemen. Most coaches suggest that turnovers and skill position people are crucial to a victory. While that may be true, the outcome of the game is usually determined by the players whose work is seldom discussed unless they mess up. John was one of those men in the trenches. He could have kept a huge following for himself. He was immensely popular. Instead, John kept his integrity and didn't change his message for anyone, including an adulterous king. John stuck to his purpose, pointing others to Jesus and away from himself. Jesus emphasized that this sort of servant is the greatest kind of person in his Kingdom. Jesus said this kind of servant is also the greatest kind of person we can be!

Today's Prayer

Father, make me a servant. I want to live knowing that I am pleasing you and honoring Jesus. If folks can't remember me, but they know Jesus because I've touched their lives, then make their praise of your Son satisfaction enough for me. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

The people asked John, "What should we do?" John answered, "If you have two shirts, share with the person that does not have one. If you have food, share that too." Even the tax collectors came to John. They wanted to be baptized. They said to John, "Teacher, what should we do?" John said to them, "Don't take more taxes from people than you have been ordered to take." The soldiers asked John, "What about us? What should we do?" John said to them, "Don't use force or lies to make people give you money. Be happy with the pay you get." All the people were hoping {for the Christ to come}, and they wondered about John. They thought, "Maybe he is the Christ." John answered everyone, "I baptize you in water, but there is a person coming later who can do more than I can. I am not good enough to untie his shoes for him. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. He will come ready to clean the grain. He will separate the good grain from the straw. He will put the good part of the grain into his barn. Then he will burn the part that is not good. He will burn it with a fire that cannot be stopped." And John continued to tell the Good News, saying many other things to help the people. (John criticized Governor Herod. John criticized Herod for the bad thing he did with Herodias, the wife of Herod's brother. John also criticized Herod for the many other bad things Herod did. So Herod did another bad thing: He put John in jail. This was added to all the other bad things Herod did.)

Luke 3:10-20

Related Scripture Readings

When you do things, don't let selfishness or pride be your guide. Be humble and give more honor to other people than to yourselves. Don't be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of other people, too. I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon. I will be happy to learn how you are. I have no other person like Timothy. He truly cares for you. Other people are interested only in their own lives. They are not interested in the work of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 2:3-4, 19-21

When John's followers left, Jesus began to tell the people about John: "What did you people go out into the desert to see? A weed blown by the wind? What did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No. Those people that have fine, nice clothes live in kings' houses. Really, what did you go out to see? A prophet ? Yes, and I tell you, John is more than a prophet. This was written about John: 'Listen! I (God) will send my helper ahead of you. He will prepare the way for you.' I tell you, John is greater than any man ever born. But even the least important person in the kingdom of God is greater than John."

Luke 7:24-28

So the followers came to John. They said, "Teacher, remember the man that was with you on the other side of the Jordan River? He is the man you were telling people about. That man is baptizing people, and many people are going to him." John answered, "A man can get only what God gives him. You yourselves heard me say, 'I am not the Christ. I am only the one that God sent to prepare the way for him.' The bride always belongs to the bridegroom. The friend that helps the bridegroom just waits and listens. He's happy just to hear the bridegroom talk. That's how I feel now. I'm so happy that he (Jesus) is here. He must become more and more important. And I must become less important.

John 3:26-30

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.