#12. “Content to be the least.”Ambition

#12. “Content to be the least.”Ambition

Rugged individualism in a leader has always attracted attention. The straight-talking man who comes out of nowhere to expose evil and promote justice has ever been welcome amongst the downtrodden. Such was John the Baptiser, the camel skin-clad wilderness preacher.

In another world, this not only impressive, but uniquely talented man could easily have used his persona and his oratory skills to promote nationalism in Israel. The Jewish leaders would have generously employed his mass appeal to draw thousands into their ambitious schemes.

But it could never have been.

Before John was born the angel Gabriel announced to his father, Zacharias:

“And he will go before him [Jesus] in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the disobedient to the understanding of the righteous, to make ready for the Lord a prepared people” (Luke 1:17)

The Christian need look no further than John for a true representation of godly ambition. Jesus elevated John to the greatest of heights when he said of him:

“Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist! (Matthew 11:11).

When John came in from the wilderness it was to preach Jesus. He cared so little for the applause of men that he told everyone to repent because of the judgement to come.

This preacher was not there to build a successful ministry to convince the people of his credentials—God did that! Instead, he insisted: “Jesus must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).

When we see that true ambition is embodied in men like John, who promoted the cause of Christ in every way—even unto death—we are content to be the least in the church.

Such ambition continues to change the world!

John Staiger


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