Endorsements are big business, especially in the sports industry. In the last few days, we’ve seen some big endorsements being pulled from players because of their off-field conduct, and rightly so. No company wants to be associated, much less invested in someone of true or perceived lowly character.
While our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ did not need it, He did receive an endorsement from His earthly cousin, John the Baptist:
“John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, ‘This was He of whom I said, “He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.”’” (John 1:15)
John’s declaration that Jesus was preferred before him, even though Christ came after John did not fall on deaf ears. This statement would have got the attention of John’s audience. In the 1st Century, the older person was normally more prominent and of higher rank than the younger. As you read the gospel accounts of John the Baptist, you will find this to be the main theme of his preaching.
What John the Baptist was referring to is the preeminence of Christ. Jesus must be first. Nothing or no one is to be exalted above God’s only begotten Son. Peter, known as a lowly fisherman, boldly preached this truth to his fellow Jews:
“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” (Acts 2:36)
Angels often get great glory in today’s society. While angels are important in the ministry of Heaven, they are not to be exalted or worshipped. Jesus is far above the angels and is exalted higher than those heavenly creatures:
“[Jesus] having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.” (Hebrews 1:4)
The purpose of an endorsement is to give superiority to the object being endorsed. It is considered to be above or before others. John the Baptist’s endorsement accomplished both. Furthermore, not only does this last prophet of God endorse Christ, but also the rest of the New Testament does. The writer of Hebrews informs us:
“But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.” (Hebrews 8:6)
The first six verses of Hebrews chapter 8 tend to cause controversy because they teach that we have a High Priest and need no other. However, this is not meant to be controversial. It is rather an endorsement of the preeminence and sovereignty of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Prophet Isaiah foretold of this coming sin-bearing Servant, whose sacrifice would be greater and fulfilled promises more perfect and everlasting than any found in the Old Testament. Isaiah also informed us of the coming Messiah’s preeminence:
“Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently;
He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high.” (Isaiah 52:13)
Where does Jesus rank in your life? Anything less than number one falls short of God’s plan for you. Our Lord and Savior, Messiah Jesus, must have preeminence in our lives. Whether you are a believer or nonbeliever, the requirement is the same.
Only the Lord Jesus Christ could say the following words without being considered a liar or lunatic:
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Which way are you going?
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Copyright © 2014 David Jeffers