If you’ll bear with me for just a few moments, I’ll share the reason why I want you to stop reading this blog.
Head to Head–Competing For Heads
So John the Baptist is baptizing in the same area as Jesus when some of his disciples say: Rabbi, Jesus is baptizing and everybody’s leaving us and going over to him.
It seems they’re concerned about the competition for followers. That’s how it was then and that’s how it is today. Followers are a big deal in the minds of most people. How many follow you: on Instagram, or on Twitter, or on your blog? Or how many attend your church, or attend your home group, or men’s Bible study? That number, whatever it is, never seems big enough. There’s always someone out there with more followers. But that’s not how God’s kingdom is supposed to work.
John’s answer tells us how it’s supposed to work in God’s kingdom. John says to his disciples: Look, a person can’t receive anything unless it’s given to him from heaven. And you yourselves heard me say, “I am not the Christ.” I’ve been sent to prepare the way for the Christ. Jesus is the bridegroom so he’s the one who gets the bride. I’m just the best man. And as the best man I love to see people leave me and go over to Jesus. After all, that’s my mission. There’s nothing that pleases me more. (John 3:22-30)
Stop Reading This Blog
So that’s why I want you to stop reading this blog. If this is some kind of replacement for church, then I’m asking you to go to church instead. I realize some of you don’t have the health to go to church so of course, this wouldn’t apply to you. But if at all possible, go to church. You’ll hear God’s word spoken there, and the spoken word is more impactful. You’ll hear God’s word from someone more educated in communicating Jesus than I am. And perhaps most importantly, you’ll experience community in Christ, where you’ll have opportunity to love people the way Jesus instructs us to.
So go to church. Go every Sunday. Go to a church that teaches from the Bible. If you want you can email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll do what I can to help you find a good one.
Engage the Christian community there and make them your family. Then study Jesus with that church family and never stop going deeper into who He is.
Nothing would please me more. After all, that’s my mission. Jesus must increase, but I must decrease. (John 3:30)
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).
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.” 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.’ 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.” (ESV, BibleGateway)
[Image via AllStars Youth – Creative Commons]