Sunday 14 December, 2014
22 After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the countryside of Judea. There he spent some time with them. And he baptized people there. 23 John was also baptizing. He was at Aenon near Salim, where there was plenty of water. People were coming all the time to be baptized. 24 That was before John was put in prison. 25 Some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew began to argue. They argued about special washings to make people “clean.” 26 They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan River is baptizing people. He is the one you gave witness about. Everyone is going to him.” 27 John replied, “A person can receive only what God gives him from heaven. 28 You yourselves are witnesses that I said, ‘I am not the Christ. I was sent ahead of him.’ 29 The bride belongs to the groom. The friend who helps the groom waits and listens for him. He is full of joy when he hears the groom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. 30 He must become more important. I must become less important.
Both John and Jesus, along with their disciples help, baptise people. Increasing numbers of people were going to Jesus rather than John and John’s disciples became upset. John doesn’t hesitate to set his disciples straight and explains that what is happening is God’s doing. He also explains his role and that of the role of Jesus. John is happy that people are flocking to Jesus and that he has fulfilled his part in getting things ready for Jesus’ ministry.
I take a couple of things from this passage of Scripture. Firstly, ministry is not a competition. This passage alludes to John’s disciples versus Jesus’ disciples. If people are being led to Jesus and lives are being transformed then we are to be happy in this success. Don’t get jealous get happy that people are coming to Christ!
Secondly, and rather obviously are the words of John, “He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.” Jesus must become greater and greater in our lives. Jesus is to be at the centre of all we do. John’s statement sure brings perspective and it is a wonderful thing to pray over our lives and the church as a whole ie. that Jesus would become greater and greater.
Dear God, may Jesus become greater and greater in my world and I become less and less. Help me to point and lead people to Jesus just like John did. Amen.
Written by Ainslie Woods
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