On my morning drive I sometimes see a clown on the side of the road. The clown is usually waving a big sign which is advertising something. The person in the clown suit isn’t important – it could be anyone. In some ways the clown suit hides the person inside. Why they are doing what they are doing is to grab your attention and point you towards a shop.
The problem with the clown suit is that people know it’s a gimmick. It might work once, but after you’ve seen the clown you know that she or he is only there to grab your attention and people start to ignore it.
In some ways John the Baptist like the clown, it isn’t about him. He came dressed up, not as a clown, but more like an OT prophet.
Like the clown, he knew that he wasn’t important. It wasn’t about him. To anybody who asked him, he told them straight –I’m not the Messiah. I’m not even worthy to be a servant to the Messiah. He described himself as a voice. A voice isn’t something you can see. It is something you hear. It is about the message and for John that message was about the Messiah. His purpose was purely to point people to Jesus.
When Jesus was baptising more people than John, John’s disciples got upset, but John didn’t. He knew that his time was coming to an end, and that his role must decrease. He even encourages his disciples to go and follow Jesus. He comes across as truly humble.
It makes me wonder how much I’m like John the Baptist. How much do I really point people to Jesus? How much of life is about me? I see some ‘personalities’ and the personality leadership style and it makes me wonder how much that aligns itself with the way John ministered.
It also makes me wonder how much I hide behind the clown suit. John was genuinely who he was. There was no trick about him. Today people are looking for reality. They aren’t looking for tricks. They are fed up with tricks. It makes me think that if I’m going to point people towards Jesus then it must be in a genuine way, not from hiding behind a clown suite.