During the Life of Christ course at The Way of Life Bible Institute in Richmond, Virginia the teacher and students discussed how John the Baptist knew his calling. He came to earth to fulfill a mission like we should do. What makes us different is that unlike John the Baptist, we don’t stay in our lane.
Zechariah and Elizabeth had prayed for years for a son. God had not forgotten this righteous couple, but He had a perfect time to answer their prayer. Had their son, John been born sooner or later, he would not have been the forerunner of Jesus.
God orchestrated it just so John would be born several months before Jesus so he could prepare the way for Jesus. John was born to usher in the Messianic age.
John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus and was the forerunner of Jesus in four distinct areas.
- Birth: He was born a few months before Jesus.
- Baptism: He baptized before Jesus; however, he baptized with water; Jesus baptized with the Holy Spirit.
- Preaching: John the Baptist preached one sermon: “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 3:2) Jesus followed him preaching the same thing.
- Death: When John the Baptist was beheaded, Jesus knew His death was soon to follow.
John the Baptist was born to be the forerunner of Jesus and to point others to Jesus. John did nothing more, and John did nothing less. Many have asked the question, “Why didn’t John the Baptist become a disciple of Jesus.” John explained that God did not call him to become a disciple. While Jesus called others to become His disciples, that was not John’s purpose. Had John tried to do so, he would have gone against God’s purpose for his life. John the Baptist knew he had to stay in his lane.
An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing. They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan–the one you testified about–well, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.” To this John replied, “A man can receive only what is given him from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Christ but am sent ahead of him.’ (John 3:25-28)
What is the lesson we learn from John the Baptist?
God has a special purpose for each one of us. We should fulfill the purpose for which we were created. We are to stay in our lane and do the work of ministry that God has mapped out for us.
When we do not stay in our lane several things happen:
- We leave our work undone. People are waiting for us to minister to them.
- We get into someone else’s lane for which God has not equipped us to do ministry there.
- We interfere with someone else’s ministry and keep them from fulfilling their purpose.
Use John the Baptist as your example . . . STAY IN YOUR LANE.