“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.
He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.”
John 3:28-30 NLT
John the Baptist had the right perspective. His “job” had been telling everyone, who was within ear shot, that “the Messiah, God’s son, Jesus, is coming.” And then once they believed, to baptize them as an outward profession of an inward confession.
However, many thought he might be the Messiah, but John the Baptist made sure to set them right, “I am not the Messiah. I am only here to prepare the way for Him.”
As John the Baptist was baptizing people, his close friends noticed that Jesus (the One that John had been preparing the way for) was now baptizing people just up the river and they were starting to take up an offense for him. After all, this baptizing job belonged to their buddy, John the Baptist. (His name even described his position.)
John the Baptist quickly gives them a word picture to help them understand. It has to do with a wedding…and the positioning of the bridegroom and the best man. “The bridegroom marries the bride. The best man is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows.”
We have all been to a wedding, been in a wedding, or the wedding was your own. We all know that the spotlight is to be on the bride and the bridegroom. If the maid of honor or best man were to draw attention to themselves instead of tending to the bride and groom, we would be abhorred. We would be unsettled in our seats. “This is their day. They are the ones committing their vows to one another. Not you!”
And so John the Baptist is telling the people that the “Real Deal” is here. He, the Messiah, has come. He is fulfilling His work given Him by the Father. He is the Ultimate Bridegroom who has come for His bride. So pay attention to Him. I just paved the way. He is here. It’s all about Him…and not me!”
And, that my friends, is how we are to live. Jesus MUST become greater and greater in our lives. And I MUST become less and less. It’s all about Him on the throne of my life. And about me getting off of it to attend to Him. To know Him and His ways. To become more and more like Him and less like our putrid selves. And you know what happens then?
We will say, just like John the Baptist exclaimed, “Therefore. I am filled with joy at His success.” It’s not about our success. It’s all about His success in me!!