I’ve had heard from a few of you through email and am glad you are joining in the study of John. We’re still in John 3; it is so full!
In verses 22 – 35, John the Baptist is speaking to a certain Jew about Jesus. The Jewish man says to John “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan – the one you testified about – well, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.” Sounds kind of like a line I might hear working out at the Y someday? “Did you hear…?”
Same bait; new situation. The trap is set and the bait is laid out. The question was whether or not John would take it. “To this John replied, “A man can receive only what is given from him from heaven…He must become greater; I must become less.” That my friend, is exactly how to respond to the big green-eyed monster. (Why do they call it that any way? If anyone knows, please let me in on that!)
Do you see the trap and bait Satan is laying out in your path? I have struggled with several of these: other parent’s relationship with their kids, other people’s ministries, other’s apparent closeness with Jesus, other’s lack of struggle with their kids. Over the years, I have gotten so much better at seeing another rejoice and rejoicing with them. John talks in this passage how his joy is complete now that Jesus has come. His joy is in seeing Jesus do what He came to do. Like John, my desire is to rejoice with others as well.
Last spring, Greg and I had a house to sell. We put it on the market in November, right before Thanksgiving. Shortly after that, the market fell apart. Every time I would go to the house to get it ready for another showing, it was a test. Would I complain or praise? Would I fear or have faith? After several months, I had an idea. Every time I saw another house for sale, I would pray for the family that was selling it and every time I saw a house that was sold I would thank the Lord for selling it. This SO helped my attitude on a day to day basis. When our home finally sold 7 months later, I found I was so thankful and had grown through the process.
Holy Spirit, open my eyes to see the bait when it is laid for me. Help me, like John to be “full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice”. When I hear of another person’s success, help me to say, “He must become greater; I must become less”. Like John, may the true desire of my heart be to see Your kingdom come and Your will be done; however that may look in my life!
And now…help me to not pass out as I attempt to run in this high humidity we call summer in the Carolinas!