John replied, “No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven. You yourselves know how plainly I told you, ‘I am not the Messiah. I am only here to prepare the way for him.’ It 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. (John 3:27-29)
Daily Bible Reading: Numbers 19:1 – 21:35
Relate: One of the traditions in an American wedding is for the best man to give a speech during the reception. Often a lot of thought and work goes into the preparation for this. He wants to get it right. He wants to say the right thing and he wants to say it well. The thing is, that speech is not for him. It is a wedding gift. If the best man gets up and gives this amazing, heart warming speech and afterwards everybody says, “what a great speech” then he has failed. If instead he says what he has planned to say and afterwards everybody is thinking, “What a great groom” or “what a beautiful couple” then he has done well. His greatest gift is turning everyone’s attention to something greater than himself.
These short verses explain as good as any others anywhere why Jesus could say that John was the greatest man who had lived up until that point. In both Matthew 11:11 and Luke 7:28 Jesus says that of all those born of women, none is greater than John the baptist. Greater than Abraham, greater than Moses, greater than David or Gideon or Enoch or Solomon. Greater than Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Hosea, Samuel, or Daniel. Of all those born of women, John was the greatest. Why? Because he knew who he was and he was able to play his role to the best of his ability. He also knew who Jesus was and he gladly stepped out of the way so that God, Jesus, could receive the honor and the glory. He played perfectly the role of the best man. He prepared the bride for her groom and then he introduced that bridegroom to the world.
Respond: As part of the bride of Christ, as a Christian, I am greater than John. Jesus followed his “no one greater than John” statement with another, “Yet even the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater”. I am a member of that kingdom. If you have acknowledged Jesus as Your Lord and accepted His work of salvation for you then you also are part of that kingdom. You are the bride. Even still, we can learn much from the humility of John. We can say with him that we haven’t anything that did not come from God in heaven. Like John we must recognize that we cannot save anybody, we are not the Messiah. We can only prepare the way for Him to move in our world. And Like John, our greatest joy should be when God is glorified.
God, let my passion be for Your glory.