11 Indeed I baptize you in water for repentance, but One is going to follow me who is much stronger than me. I am not worthy to carry His sandals, He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire.
John not only came preaching a message of repentance; he also came to prepare the way of the Lord. He came to put the focus on the One who was to follow Him: Jesus.
It has been said that John was the sign post that pointed people to look to Jesus.
This is also true for every one of us who is born again; our desire must always be to show Jesus to people. We do this through the way we think, which directs the way we speak, and the way in which we act.
In John’s gospel John the Baptist said:
It is necessary that He must become greater, but I must become inferior – John 3.30.
John recognized the superiority and greatness of Jesus, and also his own unworthiness. He stated that he was unworthy to carry His sandals. In both Mark and Luke’s gospels John is recorded as saying that he is unworthy to untie His sandals.
The undoing the thong of sandals and carrying them was a task that only the lowest servant of a master’s household would do. Therefore, in saying this John recognized Jesus as His Master, and also recognized himself as the lowest of servants.
Later Jesus was to describe John as the least in the Kingdom of God.
It is also important for us to realize that Jesus took upon Himself the role of a lowly servant when He washed the feet of His disciples.
Paul put it this way:
 Though He was God, He did not demand and cling to His rights as God.
 He made himself nothing; He took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form – Philippians 2.6-7 (NLT).
We are also His servants, and Jesus said that no servant is greater than His Master (John 15.20). In all things we must be like John the Baptist and recognize the greatness of Jesus and our unworthiness.
Elizabeth C. Clephane, expressed this in her hymn: Beneath the cross of Jesus
|Upon that cross of Jesus
mine eye at times can see
the very dying form of One
who suffered there for me;
and from my stricken heart with tears
two wonders I confess:
the wonders of redeeming love
and my unworthiness.