The Humble Servant
In the second half of John 3, we get the opportunity to see how truly humble John the Baptist is.
Jesus is over in Judea, baptizing those who have chose to follow Him. John the Baptist is over in another area, Aenon, baptizing those who desired to prep their hearts for their Savior (they have not yet met Jesus).
John the Baptist baptized because there was water available. Follow his example by recognizing a need, determining if God has equipped you to fulfill it, and then doing it. Do not get so caught up in the big picture. Just ask, “Where is the water at?” and go to it.
Well John the Baptist’s disciples run to him and say, “Hey! That guy is stealing all of our followers!”
I believe John the Baptist’s disciples had good intentions. I believe they greatly believed in the work they were doing for God and felt like there was an injustice somewhere. But sometimes, a friend’s sympathy and suggestions of injustice can be the worst possible thing for us. This can make us feel sorry for ourselves, start a root of bitterness, and even shake our faith in God.
Are you such a friend? Do you put such thoughts against other people in a friend’s mind, thereby sinning and causing them to sin? In Proverbs 6, a worthless person is one who “spreads strife among brothers.”
The Baptist, ignoring the bait to become envious, retorts, “I TOLD you I am not the Christ! If He is baptizing then it means God WANTS Him to baptize.” From verse 27, we can deduce that the children of God do not earn or choose their spiritual gifts. God gives them to us out of love and mercy.
I think that my kinship with John the Baptist is in his contentment with his lot in life. God chose him to be in second place, and John the Baptist is totally cool with that. I am a very gracious, kind, loyal, and loving person. Some would tell you that I am a doormat, but truly, I believe that my calling is to show others unconditional love – even at a high cost. And I’m totally cool with that. Don’t misunderstand – I’m not a “saint,” and I do have my limits, but for the most part, I am totally content with the hand I was dealt in this life.
The beauty of John the Baptist’s humble spirit is the repeated idea that he does not need all the answers. “I just need to help others see their Savior.” Rather than wallow in self-pity because we are not in God’s special triangle, we can choose to live real. Show people what Jesus means in our lives. Jesus never said, “I love you.” He demonstrated it. If you stop telling people you love them, would they still know it?
John the Baptist then proceeds to give a beautiful analogy of humility with the best man’s excitement (not jealousy) for the groom at his wedding (verse 29). Bitterness for another’s success is a dangerous emotion that eats you from the inside out.
John 3:30 is an excellent mantra to live by, “He must increase, and I must decrease.” When you get a promotion, do you praise God? When your child does something remarkable do you give glory to God? When your paycheck covers all your bills, do you thank God for His provisions?
John 3:31 implies that John the Baptist knows his limitations. Jesus has seen Heaven and speaks of heavenly matters. John himself has not seen Heaven and can only speak of earthly matters.
Verses 31-33 are paraphrased in “The Message” very well.
“He sets out evidence of what He saw and heard in Heaven. No one wants to deal with these facts. But anyone who examines this evidence will come to stake his life on this: God Himself is the Truth.”
Verse 36 has two important parts to it. First of all, anyone who chooses to believe in Jesus as Savior immediately and permanently possesses eternal life. Second of all, the verse makes it clear that with belief comes obedience to the Son by using the two words interchangeably. Unbelief is considered disobedience and results in condemnation.
Have you yet chosen to believe in Jesus?