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John the Cheerleader


Photo by Colin Lloyd on Unsplash


In John three, beginning of verse 22 and through 36, John is on the opposite side of the water from Jesus. Jesus’ ministry is growing, and John is there preaching. He's baptizing, he's continuing his ministry. There's an overlap in timing. It's before John has been put into prison and this discussion about purification arises between John's disciples and a Jewish man. They came to John and they're asking, rabbi, this guy that was with you on the other side of Jordan and you testified about him, he's here baptizing, and all the people are going to him.  What are you going to say about that?

Is this a competition? And John says, he must increase, and I must decrease.  He makes it very clear, I'm not the Messiah. I told you I wasn't the Messiah. I'm a friend of the bridegroom.

I'm not here to take away all the attention from the pride groom. He must increase. I must decrease. That's the way things work.

That's the order of things. That is my role. My role is stating. So then we have a discourse about who Jesus is and it begins, and their new quotation marks in English.

And we don't know whether it's John speaking or John speaking  And by that, I mean John, the writer of the Gospel of John or John the Baptist. I tend to go with John the Baptist as interpreted by John the Evangelist.

It is a discussion. It's not Jesus' words when he said, the one who comes from above is above all. The one who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks of earthly things.  whoever believes in the sun has eternal life. Whoever disobeys the sun will not see life but must endure God's wrath.  These are the words of John one, John or another John.

What I want to focus on today, rather than figuring that out, is this attitude that John the Baptist has. He must increase. I must decrease. It sounds very spiritual.

Sometimes it sounds even hyper spiritual to say,  Jesus is my all in all. I just want Jesus glorified,  want Jesus to get all the attention. But that really is the attitude of a spokesman for Jesus. It's also an attitude we can apply in our lives to any who come after us.

We are most successful when they do better than we do, when they exceed us, when they shine. Now he's the Messiah. He's the one that comes from the Father. But even as we are preparing the way for a new generation, it is a strength of attitude. To be a cheerleader, to be a disciple or a preacher, or a witness or a prophet of God in many ways is to be a cheerleader for God. To get the attention and to be a disciple maker is to be a cheerleader for pushing the next generation into the limelight.

I know that there is a major difference between the two applications, but there's enough overlap for us to learn today. If we get those priorities straight, that we are paving the way for what God wants to do in the world and for who God is in the world and how God reveals himself, especially in Jesus Christ as a Christian message, then, we have our priorities straight that way. And if we apply it to the next generation of leadership, the next generation of disciples and disciple makers, it will be healthy for us to fade away and to,  run our parallel course.

Remain faithful to the end, but to be a cheerleader for all that is coming next. Have a great day.