Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
… You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but rather, ‘I have been sent before him.’ The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands by and listens for him, rejoices greatly when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. This then is my joy, and it is complete. He must become more important while I become less important.” John 3.28-30
I am sure that we all have either been to a wedding or perhaps, participated in a wedding. They are such happy occasions most of the time. I enjoy watching the groom’s face when he sees his bride for the first time. It brings joy to the heart to see the groom with his bride.
John, who had been conceived by a miracle, Luke 1.13-18, had a purpose from birth. He was to make the people of the Lord ready to receive Jesus when he came.
Jesus and John were in the same general area in Judean territory, both teaching and baptizing. A dispute came up between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew. The disciples went to John, but they did not bring up the dispute. It appeared they were jealous on the part of John for everyone was flocking to Jesus! It would appear that John had done his job well.
Instead of reacting with jealousy, John reminded his disciples what he had already told them. He was not the Christ. He was the friend of the bridegroom that rejoiced greatly when he heard the bridegroom’s voice. His joy was complete. John knew that his role was to lead others to Jesus, not to compete with him for their attention.
It is also our role to lead others to Jesus. Or do we try to compete with Jesus for their attention? He must become more important while I become less important.