Life's busy, read it when you're ready!

Create a free account to save articles for later, keep track of past articles you’ve read, and receive exclusive access to all RP resources.

Search thousands of RP articles

Articles, news, and reviews that celebrate God's truth.

Get Articles Delivered!

Articles, news, and reviews that celebrate God's truth. delivered direct to your Inbox!


December 30 – John the Baptizer bears witness to the light

“John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.”” – John 1:26-27 

Scripture reading: John 1:19-28

The Apostle John makes clear that John the Baptist was not the Light. But the forerunner came to bear witness to the Light (John 1:8). In John 1:19-28, we have the record of John the Baptist denying that he is the promised Christ. Reports about the preaching of John the Baptist had created great excitement. Rumour suggested that the Baptist was the Messiah. His preaching was powerful. He had an impressive method of urging repentance.

A delegation came from Jerusalem. The priests and Levites asked John the Baptist who he was. An avalanche of meaning is found in John’s response: “I am not the Christ.” John knew that they were wondering whether he claimed to be the long-awaited Saviour. There had been much Messianic fervour in the first century. There had been many messianic pretenders. The delegation asked whether John was Elijah. He dressed like Elijah. It is true that John came preaching with the fervour and spirit of Elijah, but he was not the Old Testament prophet come back from Paradise.

But the committee needed something to report back. John confessed who he was: “the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord’” (John 1:23). This implied that the Messianic King was coming. John is the road builder who is preparing the way for the coming king.

John humbly compares himself to the Messiah. He is not worthy to untie the strap on Jesus’ sandal. John will present this glorious and preeminent Saviour to the covenant nation.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that you would be humble. Ask God to help you to understand how lowly you are in comparison with the glorious Saviour and that you would willing to serve your beloved Master as a bondservant.

Rev. Nathan Brummel is Professor of Systematic Theology and New Testament at Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary, and an associate pastor at Immanuel United Reformed Church in DeMotte, Indiana. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at

Enjoyed this article?

Get the best of RP delivered to your inbox every Saturday for free.