December 08, 2009

The Opening Act

Matthew 3:1-12

“After me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry.”
Matthew 3:11


During the 2008 U.S. presidential election, I noticed something on bumper stickers that mentioned the vice presidential names. Their names appeared in smaller text than the names of those running for president. Vice presidents, whether they win or not, are continually reminded that they are not the main attraction.

We learn something important from John’s awareness that he was born to be “the opening act” for Jesus. John the Baptist spent his entire ministry preparing the people of God for the coming Messiah. He took his calling and work seriously, not because of wealth, public opinion polls, or a cushy political appointment. He was a walking and talking reality check for false expectations of Jesus. His task was to cut through religious clutter and hypocritical lifestyles to prepare everyone to hear the truth about Jesus.

John’s sermon was to the point: “You brood of vipers! … Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.” John was interested in helping God’s people open their hearts to the only One who was capable of bringing them new life and setting them right with God.

John accepted his role in order to serve Jesus. That’s our calling too. In every way we can, we must point people to the Messiah, the Savior, and show how he alone brings life.

Dear Lord, prepare me for your arrival into all areas of my life. Help me accept my role of being a support for your ministry. In your name I pray. Amen.

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

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