Gospel reading: John 1:29-42
What is the measure of success? In the world, that can be seen in terms of money, power, influence, and the list goes on. Sometimes we in the Church get caught up in the same kind of measuring process. Statistics become more important than people, sanctuary size is above loving them, budget crises outweigh ministering to them, and not offending people pushes out true teaching of them.
This Gospel reading offers us a glimpse of success from God’s perspective. John the Baptizer had everything — a from a worldly perspective. He could speak and even kings trembled. People marveled at his words and life. They considered him a prophet, no, even more than a prophet. He had it made.
But in this text, John shows that his success is tied to one greater than he, Jesus. Thus, when John sees Jesus he identifies him as the one whom he baptized (out of the multitudes!). But he was different, because John saw the Spirit descend on Jesus. The next day he is more direct; he points his own disciples toward Jesus (John 1:35). In other words, “he must increase and I must decrease!” (John 3:30).
Are we willing to be in that kind of partnership in the kingdom? Will we point people to Jesus, or is it a split decision? Will my own needs for survival allow me to decrease so that Christ might increase? Where is my ministry focus?