“He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, ‘I am not the Messiah.’” vs. 20
“Know thyself!” is a bit of ancient wisdom sometimes attributed to Socrates, though it probably even predates him. It’s an important truth, a maxim that can guide our efforts at personal growth, but probably the first step in such self-knowledge is knowing who we are not, and that’s where John the Baptist is the perfect model. When people came asking who he was, his response was to tell them who he was not. He was not the messiah…and neither are we! While it is true that others can see Christ in us we should never imagine that we are the messiah…and that’s a good thing. We’re not in charge of saving the world! We’re not even in charge of saving ourselves. We read stories of people with messiah complexes, and their inflated egos can wreak havoc in the world. Their insufferable pretensions not only mislead the gullible, but when the self-deceived operate from positions of power the usual consequence is disaster. In a week we’ll be celebrating the coming of the true messiah, and in his shadow, as his servants, we are free to be our authentic selves. He has already charted a path through the sufferings and the blessings of this world. All we have to do is walk in his footsteps…and find joy in the journey.
Thought for the Day: Why are people with messiah complexes so dangerous?