This is a far cry from anything we see in our day......
John 1:19-28 ~ by J. C. Ryle 'Expository Thoughts on John'
John the Baptist was an eminent saint of God. There are few names which stand higher than his in the Bible calendar of great and good men. The Lord Jesus Himself declared that "Among them that are born of woman there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist." (Matt. 11:11). The Lord Jesus Himself declared that he was "a burning and a shining light." (John 5:35). Yet here in this passage we see this eminent saint lowly, self-abased, and full of humility. He puts away from himself the honour which the Jews from Jerusalem were ready to pay him. He declines all flattering titles. He speaks of himself as nothing more than the "voice of one crying in the wilderness," and as one who "baptized with water." He proclaims loudly that there is one standing among the Jews far greater than himself, one whose shoe-latchet he is not worthy to untie. He claims honour not for himself but for Christ. To exalt Christ was his mission and to that mission he steadfastly adheres.
The greatest saints of God in every age of the Church have always been men of John the Baptist's spirit. In gifts, and knowledge, and general character they have often differed widely. But in one respect they have always been alike: they have been "clothed with humility." (1 Pet. 5:5) They have not sought their own honour. They have thought little of themselves. They have been ever willing to decrease if Christ might only increase, to be nothing if Christ might be all. And here has been the secret of the honour God has put upon them. "'He that humbleth himself shall be exalted." (Luke 14:11)
If we profess to have any real Christianity, let us strive to be of John the Baptist's spirit. Let us study humility. This is the grace with which all must begin, who would be saved. We have no true religion about us, until we cast away our high thoughts, and feel ourselves sinners. This is the grace which all saints may follow after, and which none have any excuse for neglecting. God's children do not all have gifts, or money, or time to work, or a wide sphere of usefulness; but all may be humble. This is the grace, above all, which will appear most beautiful in our latter end. Never shall we feel the need of humility so deeply, as when we lie on our deathbeds, and stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Our whole lives will then appear a long catalogue of imperfections, ourselves nothing, and Christ all.