What Jesus Did! 'Real Places, Real People, Real Savior' — John 1:26-28

Monday, January 17, 2022

John told [the Pharisees who asked him what right he had to baptize], "I baptize with water, but right here in the crowd is someone you do not recognize. Though his ministry follows mine, I'm not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandal." This encounter took place in Bethany, an area east of the Jordan River, where John was baptizing.
— John 1:26-28 NLT

Key Thought

"A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..."© If we are not careful, we can find ourselves looking at the story of Jesus as we view a work of fiction. In his gospel, John wants us to know that his account of Jesus is more than just a good tale. It is a story about real places, real people, and a real Savior. Yes, there was real water for baptism. There was a real city around which all of these things involving John the Baptizer happened. There were real, everyday people who came to this place along the Jordan River to open their hearts to the Kingdom of God. John reminds both them and us that there was a real Savior on the scene. God would walk among them as Jesus. He would get the dust of the streets on his feet. He was so great that John said he was not worthy to do the most menial work of a slave — kneel down, unlatch his sandals, and clean his feet. Dirt, sweat, feet, rivers, people, cities, crowds ... real places, real people, real Savior, real Jesus!

Today's Prayer

O what wondrous love you've shown, O God, by sending your perfect Son to live in my imperfect world. O what wondrous grace you've given, dear God, when you allowed yourself to be soiled by the dust of my existence so that I could live for the praise of your glory. I praise you. I thank you. I love you. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • John 3:16-17
  • Philippians 2:5-11
  • Matthew 3:13-14


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Illustration of John 1:26-28 NLT — "I baptize with water, but right here in the crowd is someone you do not recognize. Though his ministry follows mine, I'm not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandal."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.