Bible always leaves a space for the one coming next. And the one coming next is important and sometimes more duty to do on earth. Moses was a great leader but not chosen to guide Israel to the Promised Land. David was great, he talked to God and did many things in His name and he even was saint but his son was chosen to build the first temple of God on earth.
John the Baptist was a distinct man, he was a prophet of Most High (Luke 1:76) he was strong in spirit. But he was aware of a mightier one following him. Even Jesus showed this attitude saying, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. John 14:12. It is good to keep this attitude in our life to get rid of many conflictions.
It is John the Baptist who introduced the baptism with water among the Israelites. He does know the real meaning of it and that is because he is getting confused when Jesus himself get ready for it. Jesus reply to the confused John is relevant: “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfil all righteousness.” The obedience of John caused Jesus to institute Christian baptism, something essentially different and greater than the baptism of John, which foreshadowed it. Obedience changes the world around us, as it happened in Cana. The servants obeyed the direction of the ‘Woman’ : “Whatever He says to you, do it.” That changed the entire scene with happiness and joy.
The God himself did not regard equality with God. To fulfill all righteousness, he “emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men”. Philippians 2:7. It is hard to empty ourselves but it is essential for Jesus to change water into wine. The attitude is more important in Christianity than the acts. The tax collector went to his house justified rather than the Pharisee (Luke 18) because of his humble attitude before God even though he was a sinner. Jesus reminds: “for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted”.
The symbolism of baptism itself is humbleness accepting our original sin and God’s suffering to save us. The Pharisee did everything as the law requires but that was not enough for him to be justified. The same thing Paul teaches, Christians are saved by righteousness by faith or in other words law of the spirit and not righteousness by law (Romans 10). “And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” Romans 8:4. This is really happened just after when Jesus baptised and the Spirit descended upon him. God anointed Jesus with holy spirit (Acts 10:38) thus there is the need of the holy sacrament of confirmation. That’s why we are called “Christians” or anointed ones. It is not just priests and religious who are supposed to make it happen. Every single one of us is called and anointed. And that’s why confirmation is one of the essential sacraments of initiation. Without it, one is not fully incorporated into the Church, which is a missionary community.
So let us be ready to listen the one who is coming after us whether it is our children or partner, whether the follower or the leader, whether the Priest or the Pope, next one always carry a mightier mission. Let us empty ourselves to be filled by God, by His grace, to be sweet and tasty for others. Humble ourselves before God and before man, in Temple and in our workplace, in the public place and in our home so that we will be justified.
After me comes he who is mightier than I, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. Mark 1:7