Have you ever worked really hard on some idea only to have someone else come along and suggest the very same idea and everyone congratulates that person for such clever thinking? What emotions did you feel in that moment? What are you immediately tempted to do?
The human need to be significant and important, at the 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 account.
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 is usually defined as a 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 you might find joy in allowing the reality of Jesus to increase in your life? What would you imagine might 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 victorious decline.
Hope you can join us on Sunday!