Read John 3:22-4:3.
Devotion by: Jessca Richardson
Final Testimony of John the Baptist
No matter how hard we try, jealousy is always something that creeps up in our hearts. We naturally compare ourselves to those around us. Why was she chosen for that promotion over me when I have more experience? Why did he receive that award when I’m just as talented? Why do more people go to that church when our service is just as great? We can become so focused on ourselves and our successes that we end up missing the purpose behind our work here on Earth.
John’s disciples did just that in this passage. They came to John so frustrated because Jesus has started baptizing people. That was supposed to be their thing! How dare He try to take people away from being baptized by their Rabbi! They were so focused on their jealousy that they were blind to the purpose of their work. They believed that the effectiveness of their ministry rested on their efforts. And right now, Jesus threatened that.
John, instead of being filled with jealousy, is filled with joy. He realizes his life’s purpose is to point people, not to himself, but to the Messiah. He knew that no amount of personal recognition mattered because his work wasn’t through of his merit. Everything he had and had accomplished was given to him by God. He allowed himself to decrease so that Jesus could increase.
What a completely different mindset from the way the world around us tells us to think. Everything focuses on how to make sure we are happy and fulfilled, and what we need to do to climb the ladder to make our name known. Instead, let’s challenge each other to think about our life and work in this way: “For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us” (2 Corinthians 4:5-7).