Bible Readings: John 1:6-9, Matthew 3:1,2,11, John 3:30
There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.
John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near. I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
“He must increase, but I must decrease”.
It is interesting watching the relationships of children develop within families as they grow up. When a second child arrives, the family dynamics change, especially for the older child who has, up to that point, been in the limelight. If further children arrive the dynamics will change again as their individual personalities and gifts change and develop.
John the Baptist was a cousin to Jesus and was around six months older than Jesus. In the normal order of things, Jesus would have looked up to John, but in God’s order, that was not to be the case.
Both Jesus and John had prophetic words spoken about them after their conception, about God’s plans and purposes for them. Of John it was said “You, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him (Luke 1:76), while of Jesus it was said “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob's descendants forever; his kingdom will never end." (Luke 1:32-33)
John’s ministry became established some time before Jesus set out on his ministry, but John was aware that he was the forerunner of Jesus; the warm-up act if you like, preparing the way for the star turn, and saying of their relative ministries, ‘He must increase, but I must decrease’. For a man who was forthright enough to call the crowds that followed him a brood of vipers, this shows a tremendous amount of grace and humility in John.
Each one of us is created by God for a special plan and purpose. Let us be both faithful and content in the purpose that God has for us and let us not be afraid to recognise and support the emerging gifts in other people.
Let us also remember that we are not the main attraction, we are a voice in the wilderness pointing to Jesus, the true light who came into the world two thousand years ago, and whose kingdom will never end.
Father God, may my life point others to Jesus, and may I be faithful to the plans and purposes you have for me now, at this point in my life, and in the future, however that might work out.
It’s all about you, Jesus