Early in Jesus' ministry, before John the Baptist was thrown in prison, there's a time when both Jesus and John are baptizing disciples but in different locations from each other. John's disciples are worried: "Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you bore witness-- look, he is baptizing, and all are going to him." (John 3:26) All? Well, not quite. A few verses before (John 3:23) you can read that John the Baptist is still baptizing. But more are going to Jesus now than John. (John 4:1-2)
Jesus is on the rise, John is on the decline, and his disciples are troubled. But not John. His goal all along has been to point his disciples to Jesus. Remember? "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" So how does he help his disciples work through their jealous fear of loss of influence? With a calm, level-headed, and (most importantly) humble analysis of the situation:
Having a platform is fine (really! John did!) as long as you use it to spotlight the Savior. But John the Baptist reminds us to hold that platform loosely. If you have it, it came from God. If you lose it or it decreases, that's from God too. Your platform should be all about Jesus anyway. Make sure your joy is in him, not in your influence. No one likes to see the best man hog the spotlight at the wedding.
When I quote Scripture In this blog, unless otherwise indicated, the quotations are usually from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission.
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