John 1:30b (HCSB)
‘After me comes a man who has surpassed me, because He existed before me.’
This is a quote from John the Baptist, and it’s incredible. He’s speaking about Jesus. What makes this so “incredible” cannot be realized unless one reads it in light of Luke’s Gospel. In chapter one, Luke describes the scene where an angel named Gabriel visits Mary (the soon to be mother of Jesus), telling her about how she will become pregnant with the Messiah. Then, he tells her the following about a relative named Elizabeth (the mother of John the Baptist)…
Luke 1:36-37 (HCSB)
“And consider your relative Elizabeth — even she has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called childless. For nothing will be impossible with God.”
Did you catch it?
John the Baptist is actually six months older than Jesus, yet he said that Jesus… “existed before me.”
Why would he say something so strange about someone who was six months younger than him?
Because, Jesus was not just a mere man. Jesus is God.
Look at what else John the Baptist said about Him…
John 1:29b and 34 (HCSB)
“Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! …I have seen and testified that He is the Son of God!”
When we share Christ with others (what He did), we must also make sure that the hearer understands who He is. Knowing who Christ is (in light of what He did) provides the backdrop and context for as to why Jesus was qualified to be the One… “who takes away the sin of the world!” John the Baptist exemplified this very pattern, and we can learn a lot from it.
May our evangelism always include that He existed… before us all.
Godspeed, to the brethren!