The Opening Act
Most of us have been to concerts where there is more than one band on the stage. The headline and most important band is always the second band. The first band’s job is to warm up the crowd and provide entertainment for the early arriving crowd…until the main act gets to the stage. In Mark’s gospel he opens up with a description of the opening act in the gospel story, John the Baptist. You can read Mark 1 here. Mark tells us that John the Baptist is a fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy about one who would come to prepare the way for the Messiah, the opening act. John came and preached a baptism of repentance. He had a message that was designed to get people to think about their sin. He even baptized people; expressing their desire to repent of their sin. But John was not the main event. And John knew it. In verses 7-8 we read these words from John the Baptist: 7 And he preached, saying, “There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. 8 I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
After Jesus takes the stage, He has some very high praise for John the Baptist. But John was not the Messiah. He was the opening act. When Jesus took the stage, John, who was immensely popular among the people, stepped aside and faded to the background. We all have parts to play in the gospel story. Sometimes we might be the main event in someone’s life and other times we are simply an opening act, or maybe we don’t even get to the stage. Each of us is still important. So, whether the spotlight shines on you, or whether you are the spotlight operator who no one sees, play your role. You won’t be disappointed when the credits role on heaven!