John, The Love of God
The best man at a wedding celebration is not the one who marries the bride. The best man introduces the man who does marry the bride with terms of endearment at the celebration of relationship. The best man knows him well. He speaks truth about him. The best man tells of the groom’s attributes that will give life, hope and assurance to his bride. This is the work of the best man.
John (the Baptizer) is the best man. He does the work of “best man” well. He introduces the Groom, Jesus, as The One who will take away the sins of the world. The One who will shine Light in the dark places. Jesus is The One who is far greater than John. John knows his “place” in the salvation plan to fulfill God’s will and purpose. John is the proclaimer of The One, no more and no less. John is not in competition with the Groom at the wedding of relationship with the Bride. We are the Bride of Christ.
John 3, The Message
The Bridegroom’s Friend
22-26 After this conversation, Jesus went on with his disciples into the Judean countryside and relaxed with them there. He was also baptizing. At the same time, John was baptizing over at Aenon near Salim, where water was abundant. This was before John was thrown into jail. John’s disciples got into an argument with the establishment Jews over the nature of baptism. They came to John and said, “Rabbi, you know the one who was with you on the other side of the Jordan? The one you authorized with your witness? Well, he’s now competing with us. He’s baptizing, too, and everyone’s going to him instead of us.”
27-29 John answered, “It’s not possible for a person to succeed—I’m talking about eternal success—without heaven’s help. You yourselves were there when I made it public that I was not the Messiah but simply the one sent ahead of him to get things ready. The one who gets the bride is, by definition, the bridegroom. And the bridegroom’s friend, his ‘best man’—that’s me—in place at his side where he can hear every word, is genuinely happy. How could he be jealous when he knows that the wedding is finished and the marriage is off to a good start?
29-30 “That’s why my cup is running over. This is the assigned moment for him to move into the center, while I slip off to the sidelines.
31-33 “The One who comes from above is head and shoulders over other messengers from God. The earthborn is earthbound and speaks earth language; the heavenborn is in a league of his own. He sets out the evidence of what he saw and heard in heaven. No one wants to deal with these facts. But anyone who examines this evidence will come to stake his life on this: that God himself is the truth.
34-36 “The One that God sent speaks God’s words. And don’t think he rations out the Spirit in bits and pieces. The Father loves the Son extravagantly. He turned everything over to him so he could give it away—a lavish distribution of gifts. That is why whoever accepts and trusts the Son gets in on everything, life complete and forever! And that is also why the person who avoids and distrusts the Son is in the dark and doesn’t see life. All he experiences of God is darkness, and an angry darkness at that.”
What do we learn?
–John knew his purpose well. He did not fall into pride for being popular with the crowd who followed him. He had impeccable timing, God’s timing, of when to shrink to the sidelines so the Messiah, the Bridegroom, The One who would pay for the sins of the world, to step forward and fulfill HIS mission. “How could he be jealous when he knows that the wedding is finished and the marriage is off to a good start?”
–John stepped back with JOY in his heart…”That’s why my cup is running over. This is the assigned moment for him to move into the center, while I slip off to the sidelines.”
–THE ONE that God sent speaks God’s words. Jesus reiterates this many more times, “I only say what the Father tells me to say.”
–Do we know our purpose on earth? Do we live a purpose driven life? John was a great example.
–Do we know when to pass the baton and move on to what God has next for us? This is a good time to evaluate our own lives who accept and believe in The One as Truth and is The One and Only who saves.
–Know our place. We are not The Light, we only reflect the Light. We are the moon, He is the Son. ; )
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for teaching us about You and your love for us. Your love is compared to the love of the Groom who adores his Bride. Your love for us is so great that sometimes we cannot wrap our minds around it. Thank you for loving us enough to die for us, defeat death, rise again, and prepare a place for us with You in heaven forever. Wow, just wow! May we reflect on that thought all day long. Help us to reflect Your Light well so others can find their way in the dark to Your Light, too.
In Jesus Name, Amen. I believe.