Are You a Window?

Put yourself in John the Baptist’s shoes for a minute. He was the first prophet called by God since Malachi, 400 years earlier. Seriously, let that sink in. God had been silent for that long! John the Baptist had a thriving ministry going on; he had people following him. “Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him…”1 He was very popular and well known. He had the special purpose of preparing the way for the Lord. Some wondered if he was the Messiah. He was highly respected and would have been seen as the main preaching voice of the day. All that to say, if John wanted to, he could have leveraged all that attention to make a name for himself.

He could have, but John knew his place and he also knew His God.

John said about himself, “He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.2 In John 5, Jesus said that John was a burning and shining lamp. Lamps back in those days were made of clay. John was simply an earthen vessel for the Lord Jesus Christ to shine through. He knew he was not the light, but that he came to bear witness about the light.

John is also remembered for his famous saying, “He [Jesus] must increase, but I must decrease.”Look at a significant event that happened in John 1:35-37. I love John for this move he is about to make. It says, “The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God!’ The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus.” Boom, just like that, the men he was investing in left, and followed Jesus. John was spending time with his dudes, and then the word says “he looked at Jesus.” Man, what could have been going on in his heart as he was looking at Jesus? I don’t know, but I presume there was a mixture of reverence, relief, and excitement.

John then tells his two disciples, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” The word behold means to fix your eyes upon. The best discipleship is when the discipler tells his disciples to behold the Lamb of God. Why choose this phrase to describe Jesus? Jesus is the one God’s people have been anticipating for years and years. This is the Messiah. This is Immanuel, God with us. “To call Jesus the Lamb of God meant that finally, at the climax of Israel’s history, God was sending the final sacrifice for sin that would end all other sacrifices.”4

John’s ministry was not about him. John knew he could not save souls nor forgive sins. John was not in ministry to fix an ego problem; he did not look to ministry or fame to validate his soul. “The increase of Jesus is the goal of John’s ministry.”5 One way we know this about John, was by looking how he discipled men. John lived a life that was all about Jesus and he pointed men to Jesus, and “his” guys knew what to do when Jesus arrived on the scene. They followed Jesus!

I once heard a man say that as followers of Christ, we should aim to be “windows.” What is the purpose of a window? Windows exist for people to look through them. Imagine being near the Rocky Mountains, and you are in a cabin that has a large window. That window exists so you can see the beautiful grandeur and majesty of the Rocky Mountains. No one in that setting would be like, “Hey guys, come over here and check out this beautiful window!” No…they would say something like this, “Guys, come check out this view! Aren’t those snowcapped mountains a sight to behold?” It’s not about the window; it’s about what you can see through the window.

John’s life was a window. When people looked at John, they did not stop with John. They looked at his life like a window that revealed the grandeur and majesty of the God Man, Jesus Christ; The Lamb of God. This is a challenge and a huge reminder for me. I need my heart to be realigned with this truth often. Is your life, job, relationships or ministry about you, or are they windows for others to see Jesus. This perspective changes everything.

John’s example is to be commended, but being like John the Baptist is not enough. The answer to becoming a humble window for others to see Jesus is to do exactly what John tells us to do – “Behold, the Lamb of God.” Jesus, who is God, humbled himself. He laid aside his glory and became a man. He did not come to be served, but to serve and gave his life as a ransom for many. The Son became Fatherless on the cross, so that we can be adopted into the family of God. Jesus’ humility (dying on the cross) and his perfect attributes are what made John the Baptist humble, and it is what will compel us to be humble windows also.

Here is your homework. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you Jesus as you read John 1-3. Write down everything you learn about Jesus in those chapters. Spend time reflecting on these things until God gets bigger and you get smaller in your heart!

1 Matthew 3:5-6, ESV
2 John 1:8, ESV
3 John 3:30, ESV
Piper, John. We Have Found the Messiah, Desiring God, 30 November 2008,  https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/we-have-found-the-messiah
5 Ibid

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