24And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind?
25But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings' courts.
26But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet.
27This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
28For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.
Luke 7:24-28, King James Version
In the last devotional we turned to Luke 7 and read the story of the Centurion commended by Christ. Today we return to Luke 7 and read of Christ's commendation of John the Baptist.
Who was John the Baptist? The people knew from the prophecy of Malachi 3:1 that a prophet would come before the Messiah appeared proclaiming his imminent arrival. Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the LORD, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.
But, who did the people go out to see? Jesus asked this same question. What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings' courts. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet.
They expected the coming of the Messiah to be proclaimed by one who would be gorgeously appareled, because they expected the Messiah to come as their earthly King and overcome the rule of Rome.
Again and again we are reminded of the proclivity of man to look to the rich and powerful for salvation. Christ purposely came as a babe in a manger, born into a poor family. Then, when it was time for His earthly ministry to begin, He sent John the Baptist as the prophet who proclaimed His coming. God chose the weak things of this world to confound the wise!
Who do you go out to see when you look for a savior? Who do you go out to impress as you live your own day to day life? What is your chief purpose in this life that has been given to you?
John the Baptist was commended by Christ because He knew and fulfilled his chief purpose in life: Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. (Westminster Shorter Catechism)
As Christians, no matter what our social status or profession, our chief purpose is to glorify God in everything we do. Through the Christians on earth who represent all walks of life, God chooses to advance His Kingdom.
God Bless You,