My work is to prepare the way for that man so that everyone will go to him. You yourselves know how plainly I told you that I am not the Messiah. I am here to prepare the way for him—that is all. John 3:28
In this passage, John the Baptist is testifying about Jesus, but also saying something about himself. John is being asked about his ministry, and he points out to people that he can only testify to what he sees and knows. He tells people that he must decrease as Jesus increases, because his job is to herald Jesus. His job is to be the messenger, not the message. He basically is saying this:
“Folks, if you are wanting to follow after me, you have missed the picture. I don’t have anything to give you but Jesus, the one about whom I testify. Don’t look for salvation in me. Look to Jesus, the savior”.
I think the use of the word “testimony” is interesting. It reminds me of our own judicial system. You see, I think that the best testimony comes from those who have no vested interest in making themselves look good or important. In a court room, the most powerful testimony comes not from the “expert witness”, but from the eyewitness. The eyewitness simply says, “Here is what I saw, plain and simple. Believe me if you want, or disbelieve me if you want, but all I can do is tell you what I saw with my own eyes”.
The expert witness tries to establish his/her own credentials as an interpreter of the truth, and they have something to gain or lose based on their testimony- their “expertness” and credibility. The eyewitness has no vested interest in making him/herself look better, but is interested in saying only what they saw or experienced. That person has powerful credibility in my opinion.
John the Baptist simply wanted to point to Jesus, not to make a name for himself. How good are we at simply being the witness that no one can refute, because we are saying, “This is what Jesus did for me!”
Prayer: Father, help me always point to you. Truth will always come from me if I am faithful in pointing only to you. Give me the courage to be the witness that you would have me to be. Amen