Be still and rest in the Lord.
John 3:31-36 (NRSV)
The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks about earthly things. The one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, yet no one accepts his testimony. Whoever has accepted his testimony has certified this, that God is true. He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has placed all things in his hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but must endure God’s wrath.
Today’s passage comes just after some folks came to John, the baptizer, and attempted to stir up trouble. It seems some of John’s followers were jealous that Jesus was getting more attention than their own rabbi, John. John shut it down quickly, reminding them that he had told them from the beginning that he was just the messenger to point everyone toward the Message—Jesus. In his response, he said, “The one who comes from heaven is above all” not once, but twice. This is important. No one is as important as Jesus, for it is only through Jesus that we can truly hear words from God. It is only through Jesus that we will have eternal life.
Too often human beings get territorial. Even when we aren’t trying to be THE BEST, we want those around us, those whom we follow, to be THE BEST. Competition among congregations comes to mind. “Our pastor is better than yours. Our LOGOS program has more children than yours.” John reminds us that this is all nonsense, because there is really only one important thing—God’s love for us, which is so great that God sent a Savior so that we can live eternally in God’s presence.
Merciful God, thank you for the messengers who remind me to listen to the true message. Thank you for folks like John who point me and others toward Jesus. And, thank you for Jesus, the Christ, who came not so that we will be THE BEST, but so that we no longer care about such silly things. May I point someone toward Jesus today. Amen.
Go with God.