Living God’s Word
John 3:22-36 Giving Credit Where Credit is Due
22 After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized. 23 Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were coming and being baptized. 24 (This was before John was put in prison.) 25 An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing. 26 They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”
27 To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. 28 You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ 29 The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. 30 He must become greater; I must become less.”
31 The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. 33 Whoever has accepted it has certified that God is truthful. 34 For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit. 35 The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.
Living God’s Word:
Pastors, Christian leaders, and possibly yourself, may be tempted to focus more on the success of their ministries than on Christ. It’s easy to get trapped by all the praise. Others may project a false humility or even a destructive self-hatred. Healthy humility, as modeled by John, defines itself in truthful comparison. John did not say he was nothing. He identified himself in relation to the most important person in his life. Because of John’s profound understanding of his purpose in life, he eagerly pointed to the greatness of Jesus. John welcomed the success of Jesus’ revelation as the Messiah even though he realized his own moment in the spotlight was passing. The more Jesus was recognized, the more John could enjoy his own success. Humility combines the persistence to do and be what God has called us to be, the wisdom to recognize those things we cannot do and be, and the vision to always see ourselves in relation to God’s greatness.
Making it REAL in your life:
God has chosen you to serve Him. When you acknowledge the gifts God has given, can you respond with a sincere “Thank You.” God wants you to experience the joy of serving Him. Your praise comes in recognizing who is working though you. Take time to recognize how God is working through you to help others.
Words to Live By:
John the Baptist steps aside when Christ comes because Jesus is the Son of God from heaven and possesses the Holy Spirit without measure. God reveals His wrath against those who do not believe in His Son and deprives them of everlasting life. But He gives everlasting life to all who trust in Jesus.
Lord Jesus, give to me a full measure of Your Spirit, that I may always remain faithful to You and bear witness to You. Keep me humble and always mindful that I do if to Your glory. Help me to live a life of humility and at the same time say “Thanks” for all the ways you choose to use me in reflecting the Light of Christ to others. Amen.