And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not; John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable. And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people. Luke 3:15-18
Steps: 11, 12
The insights that John the Baptist granted people, and the presence of the Holy Spirit was so strong on the people that they wondered if John was the Messiah. Other gospel writers also state that the Jewish leadership was so influenced by the work of John that they also wanted to know if he was the Messiah. To each and every inquiry John said the same thing – he was not the Messiah, but the Messiah was among them and they so far had not been able to recognize Him and had not “seen” Him even though among them. The leadership then asked John by what authority he baptized, since the leadership had not authorized him. John responded that he was the forerunner of the Messiah, and that God had called him to do all of the work which he had done. If they had a problem with that they could talk to God about it.
Prayer for Today: God, we all wish we had the courage and convictions of John to know that he had been called to do a work and he was going to do this work, come what may. Help us to have such an experience that we also will know that we have had a spiritual awakening as a result of these ideas and that our lives will change so that You can use us in special ways as you did John. You know we are tempted to look at our defects before looking to You, but today we want to change that. Today we want to look to You for our experience, strength, and hope. Thank You for Your mercies to us.