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25 Now a discussion arose between some of John’s disciples and a Jew over purification. 26 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.”
27 John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. 28 You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.’ 29 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. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease.”
It would be messed up if the Best Man at a wedding tried to take the place of the Groom. It might make a blockbuster romantic comedy, but in real
“I heard there were 500 people going to that church,” somebody might say. “Yep, their music just wasn’t as good as _____” somebody else might say. All of these kinds of comments are like talking to the bride about how handsome the Best Man is! Jesus is the groom. Everything that points and facilitates the bride getting to the groom is the Best Man, a bridesmaid, a cab driver, or a sign on the door.
“He must increase, but I must decrease” is John’s confession that his own life isn’t really about him, no matter how much work goes into it. John the Baptist! His birth was announced by angels! It was a miracle that he was conceived! Miracles surrounded his birth announcement and his life in his mother’s womb! But when it came to Jesus, he told his own followers clearly that he was not their goal. He was super glad when he found out Jesus had arrived on the scene, and he was ready to pass as many people away from his own group and on to Jesus.
Church history is a long dysfunctional history of politics, preference, and bridegroom’s trying to woo the bride of Christ. Say what you want about history, but each one of us is responsible for the current church that we pass on to the next generation. Let’s rejoice at the voice of Jesus. Let’s be blushing brides loving the Lord and not become distracted. The Lord Jesus is greater than every amazing event and joy in our lives, no matter how epic. As we aim all of it towards Him, we make an entire life of exalting Jesus that will have a blockbuster sequel in eternity.