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Exalting Jesus

We live in a world that pushes the pursuit of greatness. Everyone is to take all of their ability and skill and maximize their potential. Become glorious– wealthy, healthy and wise. Be capable, competent, strong, secure, and independent. It often ends with self-worship – idolatry.  The whole goal of life can turns into getting your own glory, setting up your own fame, and chasing your own reputation. Some Christian theology goes right along with this world based idea, saying, “Love Jesus, he’ll make you rich, he’ll make you happy, he’ll make you brilliant, he’ll make you powerful, he’ll make you victorious.”

John the Baptist had a very different viewpoint. His desire was for Jesus to increase and for himself to decrease. Are you exalting Jesus with your life?


Photo credit: Speedboat (cc)

John 3:22-24

After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he remained there with them and was baptizing. John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because water was plentiful there, and people were coming and being baptized (for John had not yet been put in prison).

Working together

Between the baptism of Jesus and the arrest of John the two cousins ministered side-by-side for a brief period. Jesus’ disciples were baptizing people along with John’s disciples, both preaching repentance of sins.

John 3:25-26

Now a discussion arose between some of John’s disciples and a Jew over purification. And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you bore witness—look, he is baptizing, and all are going to him.”

Competing ministries

John’s disciples brought a complaint to John regarding the success of Jesus. Human nature is often competitive, even when advancing the Kingdom of God.

John 3:27-28

John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.’”

What God gives

John did what God gave him to do. As the forerunner he could do no more. John let his followers know people were flocking to Jesus because God willed it. John did not come to intrude on the place of the Messiah.

John 3:29-30

“The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease.”

A friend’s joy

John introduced the bride (the church) to the bridegroom (Jesus). John’s joy was complete in knowing Jesus ministered alongside him in the desert. His desire was for Jesus to continually increase, while he, the servant, decreased.

Making Jesus famous

Followers of Jesus are not in competition with one another. They work in cooperation in order for lost people to become introduced to the Savior.

The goal of every believer should be decreasing so Jesus might increase, in their lives and throughout the world.”

The challenge

Cooperate with others! Work together to see Jesus become famous. Put Him first in your life and encourage others to do the same.

What can you do to increase God’s work in your life? Share your comments below.

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