28 You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent before Him.’
John the Baptist continued his rebuke of his disciples. His disciples should not have been surprised that the focus of their ministry should shift to Christ.
28 You yourselves bear me witness,
The “you” here is John the Baptist’s disciples. “You yourselves” is emphatic in the Greek. His disciples heard a clear message from John about who he was; he was simply a forerunner of the Messiah.
that I said,
John the Baptist was about to explain that the purpose of his ministry was to glorify Christ. His ministry was not to glorify himself.
‘I [emphatic] am not the Christ,’
John left no doubt about who and what he was. The Baptizer clearly had the right perspective on himself. He had no messianic complex. Ministry should not revolve around someone whom God has not appointed from eternity to be the Messiah. John clearly understood his place. He did not overestimate his ministry, and he did not underestimate it, either. He understood that he was a forerunner of the Messiah, not the Messiah Himself.
John contrasted who he was to whom Christ was.
‘I have been sent before Him.’
God sent the Baptizer ahead of the Messiah to introduce Him to the nation Israel. His task was to prepare the way for the Messiah.
We need clear perspective on who we are in ministry.
It is important that Christian ministry not be driven by popularity. We need to keep a clear perspective about Whom we serve. Our focus needs to point to Christ. Our joy should have its source in how Christ is glorified through our ministry.
John had a very undiminished view of the fact that God had given him a subordinate rank to Christ. It would save a lot of heartbreak on our part if we did not think that we were the world’s answers for mankind! In any case, God deems all service for Him valuable, whether it is successful or not.