“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me. If I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not deemed true. There is another who bears witness about me, and I know that the testimony that he bears about me is true. You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. Not that the testimony that I receive is from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me.
Jesus words give us a peek into his success. When he speaks of doing nothing on his own I realize that he was no rogue prophet but one connected to heaven. His words and his works are powerful because they are heavenly. His miracles and his words give us such a clear image of the Father. In these we get a glimpse into God's compassion for the helpless and the anger of God towards those who will not help the helpless. Yet the Lord gives us a peek into his humility when he points to the words of John the Baptist.
Was there ever a prophet like John the Baptist? Some may point to a miracle worker like Elijah and think a prophet is mainly marked by power. Others may point to Isaiah thinking that prophets are known by their ability to predict future events. But John the Baptist did neither - he simply called people to repent in the waters of baptism.. and oh so many lives were changed in those waters. In John we saw a simple but powerful man who, as Jesus said, burned brightly for God. Such is our call - to burn with the inner flame of God.
Reignite that inner flame in me Lord. Help me to burn in words and works.