John the Baptist Exalts Jesus

22Then Jesus and his disciples left Jerusalem and went into the Judean countryside. Jesus spent some time with them there, baptizing people.

23At this time John the Baptist was baptizing at Aenon, near Salim, because there was plenty of water there; and people kept coming to him for baptism.24(This was before John was thrown into prison.)25A debate broke out between John’s disciples and a certain Jew over ceremonial cleansing.26So John’s disciples came to him and said, “Rabbi, the man you met on the other side of the Jordan River, the one you identified as the Messiah, is also baptizing people. And everybody is going to him instead of coming to us.”

27John replied, “No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven.28You yourselves know how plainly I told you, ‘I am not the Messiah. I am only here to prepare the way for him.’29It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the best man is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success.30He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.

31“He has come from iabove and is greater than anyone else. We are of the earth, and we speak of earthly things, but he has come from heaven and is greater than anyone else.32He testifies about what he has seen and heard, but how few believe what he tells them!33Anyone who accepts his testimony can affirm that God is true.34For he is sent by God. He speaks God’s words, for God gives him the Spirit without limit.35The Father loves his Son and has put everything into his hands.36And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s jangry judgment.”

John is so humble.  Jesus describes John as the greatest prophet that ever lived and “all of Judea” was going out to him at one time, but John makes no claim to grandeur.  John wants what God wants.

This really can help us all know what our purpose in life is.  If you haven’t read the book “A Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren, you should.  But in summary, the purpose of our lives is the same as the purpose of John the Baptist’s life: bring glory to God.  It really is that simple.  John so beautifully fulfills this purpose by just willingly fading away as the spot light moves to Jesus.  There is no jealousy and no pride, just joy.

So often people become jealous when others are successful.  I’ve seen very close friends drift apart because one of them succeeded at something and the other person couldn’t share their joy.  I’ve even seen it separate spouses.  I’ve left it damage my own relationships.  Jealousy is such an awful thing.  Notice that John chooses joy instead of jealousy.  You can’t choose both, it is either one or the other.

Lord, help me to humbly live for your glory.  Help me to be willing to live a life of quiet service to you, and to those around me.  And when I can choose between jealousy and joy, help me choose joy! *obbs*