John 3:25-30 “Then there arose a question between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying.
And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.
John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.
He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.
He must increase, but I must decrease.”
Today we continue along and see something that sounds all too familiar to some of us today. We see that because Jesus and His disciples began baptizing people and John was in the baptizing business himself, that John’s disciples were a little concerned about it.
In verses 25-26 we see simply that John’s disciples brought up to John that Jesus was baptizing, and more people seemed to be going to Him than to John. We see the same thing today among many local churches. Some well-intentioned people, some not-so-well-intentioned people have said to me even how people are going to this church more than our church, and will act like churches are in competition to each other. I’m often saddened by this. I’m not speaking of unbiblical churches vs Biblical churches. I’m speaking of Bible-teaching churches. The reality is, we should be unified in the Holy Spirit, not competing for who can get the greater number of people in their own pews. When the Lord opened my eyes to the reality that I am a MEMBER, a PART OF the Body of Christ and not outside of it or a lone-ranger, it is set in my heart to see others in the Body working together, with the Head being Christ alone and not this or that preacher over another.
But these are things that have been happening from the beginning, where people tend to see others in competition just as John’s disciples, seemingly well-intentioned, were as they were looking out for their teacher/rabbi. We can read though, the same thing John had to tell the people often: Jesus is the focus, Not John.
John begins explaining that a man can receive nothing except it be given him from heaven. He is explaining that Jesus having people go to Him, was part of God’s will. We can rest assured that, as Psalm 75:6-7 mentions, Promotion comes from the Lord.
John then reminds the people that he told them already that he was not the Christ, but rather was the one sent to go before, and bear witness of, Christ. Therefore John was not trying to be in the spotlight, or be “the man.” John reminded them that Christ was the One who was important, and the whole purpose of the ministry he did. We need to remind ourselves this thing today still…that in any ministry we need to glorify God and Jesus whom He sent, and not our own name or any other person. If the ministry isn’t about God, then it’s little more than dross.
John uses the example of the bride, bridegroom, and friend of the bridegroom. Throughout scripture, the church (the Redeemed of the Lord, those who are saved) is called the bride. Jesus, is the bridegroom, and John is the friend of the bridegroom. John’s disciples were concerned because the “bride” (the people) was going to the Bridegroom (Jesus) rather than the friend of the bridegroom (John). But John explains that this only makes sense. Afterall, the friend isn’t the one trying to get married to the bride. Rather, it’s all about the bridegroom. The friend however, can be excited FOR the bridegroom. And that is what John was. John was glad to see the people going to the very Lamb of God which was set to take away the sins of the world.
In the last verse for today we see one of my favorite verses. I often remind myself of this verse, where John explains that He – Jesus – must increase, but John must decrease. We would do wise to remind ourselves of this every day. Even within our own selves, we must let Christ increase in us as we decrease. If we want to be full of the Lord, let us empty ourselves of us!
I love you all and continue to pray for you. I pray that the Lord Bless you indeed, continually, and draw you closer to Him every moment of every day! Remember to keep the brothers and sisters around the world in your prayers as well! Have a very blessed day today!
Love always in Christ Jesus,
Your friend always,