Jesus had a remarkable family. Of particular note, was Jesus' second cousin, John. In case you are like me and need to look it up, second cousins means that their parents were cousins themselves, not siblings.
John was fated to prepare the world for Jesus. He did this by spending most of his time in the desert, eating little, and practicing solitude. Masses of people thought that John was holy, so they came to see him and learn. He would call them to repentance, asking them to be baptized as a declaration of their new life. Many came and made a commitment to all that John taught.
John's most important teaching was that he was only a messenger. There was someone who was coming after him who was far greater. John himself was not worthy of Him. When Jesus' came to him one day John pointed him out and told everyone that Jesus was the greater one. He told the crowds that Jesus would take away their sins!
What happened later is more astounding. John faded from history -- of his own choice. He taught the people someone greater was coming. He came. John was done. He taught people that his baptism with water was nothing like the baptism of fire that would bring the Holy Spirit to people. His message was small and there was a greater message, so he sent people Jesus' way.
In many ways, John becomes a symbol of what we do. We live out lives pursuing holiness. As people come to us to learn more, we point them at Jesus. Then, we get out of the way. Jesus saves them from themselves and gives them the Holy Spirit. We can then disappear, proclaiming Jesus to another person.
This is part of a series: Reflections.