A Humbling Thought

Mark 1:7 (ESV)
And [John the Baptist] preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.”

Could you be so humble?

The peaceful transition of power takes humility. John the Baptist had his fervent disciples. John had authority and success. John was the prophet’s prophet. Prophets of the Old Testament predicted the coming of this prophesying messenger to “proclaim the coming of the Lord.” Imagine John’s feeling of significance. John was the baptizer, ushering people to repent and be cleansed of their sin. God had bestowed upon John this much-needed work of change. That said John knew well his life plan. John was to prepare the way of the Lord and then humbly step aside. This was a divinely arranged transfer of power. Not all transfers of power go well. This week we have witnessed an ugly transition of power when President Trump refused to “prepare the way” for President-elect Biden, inciting his disciples and followers to overturn the election. On January 6, what ensued was the overtaking and desecration of the U.S. Capitol by “Trumpist” as Congress met within the building to ceremonially receive the outcome of the vote by the Electoral College, proclaiming Joe Biden our president-elect. By no means do I see Biden as a “messiah.” I do see one man’s inability to take the decision of the people and humbly prepare the way for his successor. Imagine if John the Baptist had done the same and challenged Jesus’ ministry. Imagine if John had incited his followers to march to the Temple and undermine Jesus’ ministry. Much like this week, the good news is the outcome would not have changed. John the Baptist would still have been set aside as Jesus went to work for our salvation. John the Baptist is an exceptional example of the peaceful transition of power. If you were in his place, could you be so humble? To relinquish such authority may be a challenge. It is often missed that the authority we receive has been bestowed upon us by a higher authority. I truly believe our power and success is not ours to cling to; human power and success are fleeting.  As my brother and mentor told me upon my installation at my first church, “God is already preparing your replacement.” A humbling thought that began my ministry. A humbling thought for any leader. A humbling thought for President-elect Biden, too.

 “It gets quiet when you realize someone’s forgotten you and even quieter when you see you’ve been replaced.” Anonymous   

About Pastor Steve

Pastor Steve Hodges is an ordained minister, pastoring a church in central Virginia.
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