John testified concerning him, and cried, saying, "This was he of whom I spoke, 'He who comes after me is preferred before me, for he was before me.'" John 1:15
What should be the focus of our witness? Should it be on us and our service to God? Should it be about our church and all that we are doing? Or should it be on Christ and what He has done for our salvation?
Look at John the Baptist. "John testified concerning him, and cried, saying, 'This was he of whom I spoke, "He who comes after me is preferred before me, for he was before me."'" Did John testify of himself and all the work he was doing? Did he focus on how many people he baptized in the Jordan River? No, he pointed people to Jesus.
And what did he say of Jesus? "He who comes after me is preferred before me, for he was before me."
Even though Jesus was born after John (being about six months younger), and even though John's ministry came before that of Jesus, John directed people to Jesus and said that Jesus was to be preferred before him. Even though John was a few months older than Jesus, John testified that Jesus already was before him, for Jesus is the eternal Son of God who was made man to redeem us!
John pointed people to Jesus and not to himself, for Jesus is God the Son, the Messiah and Savior! John pointed people to Jesus, saying, "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).
It is through Jesus' holy life and His innocent sufferings and death on the cross that we sinners can have forgiveness and life. He fulfilled the righteous demands of God's law for us and then took upon Himself the full punishment for our sins and the sins of all when He suffered and died on the cross and rose again in victory!
Through faith in Jesus, there is pardon and peace for lost and condemned sinners like you and me. When we repent of our sinful ways and look in faith to Jesus and His perfect sacrifice on the cross, God forgives our sins and pardons us; and He credits us with the perfect righteousness of Christ Jesus, making us acceptable in His sight and heirs of eternal life in God's kingdom.
And the Bible tells us: "There is not salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
O Jesus, the eternal Son of God, come into this world to redeem us; grant that we place our faith in You and Your cross, and also direct others to You and not ourselves, for only in You is there forgiveness, life and eternal salvation. Amen.
[Scripture is quoted from the Revised Common Version of the Bible. Devotion is by Randy Moll. He may be contacted by email at [email protected]. More of Moll's devotional writings are freely available at https://goodshepherdonline.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.]