Have you ever worked really hard on some idea only to have someone else come along and take credit for it, even indirectly? What emotions did you feel?
The human need to be significant and important, at very least for recognition is universal. Ego is a tough wrestling opponent. Yet, as we’ll read in this week’s text, John the Baptist was able to find joy and peace by putting his own ego last and Jesus first.
This Sunday we’ll be reading John 3:22-36 as we continue our exploration of the fourth gospel.
John’s gospel is the only account that indicates that Jesus and John had a time when their ministries overlapped. Jesus began with John the Baptist’s endorsement, and now, we find that he is present when the first hint of controversy arises. His disciples are jealous at the rising popularity of Jesus and his message. John was very popular, probably more popular than Jesus at this beginning stage…he had all the trappings of what passes for successful ministry. Yet it was his joy to step aside for the elevation of Christ.
What reason does he give for that in v27?
Does that help you in any struggles you may have in embracing an intentional humility?
v30 is a powerful statement. It sets the tone for the entire church movement. We haven’t always been very successful in remembering who it is that everything orbits around. How do you think it can bring you joy, like it did for John the Baptist, to allow the reality of Jesus to increase in your life? What would be decreasing in your life as this takes place?
In yet another way, the kingdom of God moves counter to the world’s assumptions, we we find ourselves flourishing through this triumphant decline.
Hope to see you on Sunday!