“It happened that a man came, having been sent from God, and his name was John. The same came to be a witness, that he might testify concerning the light, that all might believe through him. That man was not the light, but came that he might testify concerning the light.” vs5-8
We are not the light, and all of the self-seeking must stop! We are not here to promote our own ministries but Jesus Christ the Lord, and we do so by working together for the cause of Christ. Paul said, “working side by side for the faith of the gospel (Phil 1:27).” The disciples were often quarrelling about who should be the greatest, but this all stopped after Pentecost! When the Spirit came, He showed the church who is the greatest, our Lord Jesus, the Chief Corner Stone. Peter said, “This Jesus is ‘The stone rejected by you builders, which has become the head of the corner (Acts 4:11).”
This Chief has saved us, and we have done nothing ourselves. If we have zeal, then He gave it, and it is NOT to be trusted or gloried in! We glory in the One who gave Himself for us, the One who washes our feet daily, the One who chose us for eternal life, and the One who is only pleased as we rest and glorify the Son. Do not have any other ambition, or you go against the sovereign grace of God (James 4:5).
The gospel is not human ambition to be great; it is God’s greatness to the vilest of sinners, delivering us from the wrath to come! It is God coming down and condescending, God dealing graciously for Christ’s sake, and God paying the price for our freedom. Thus, rightfully, the gospel glorifies God, and any man not glorifying Him from the heart is exposed before the Father, and he must come down. Our Lord said, “When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, don’t recline at the best place, because a more distinguished person than you may have been invited by your host. The one who invited both of you may come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this man’, and then in shame, you will proceed to take the lowest seat (Luke 14:-9).” It is shameful and humiliating to fight God – to let pride rise up, and to use Jesus Christ to exalt ourselves.
We see, however, that He is patient. The Infinite Son of God, before going to Calvary’s tree, dealt gently with His self-seeking servants, as He does us, but He uses those who give Him glory inwardly. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life–a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).” This is serving people – not trying to be great, but trying to make them see the Great One; it is imitating Jesus Christ in lowliness and meekness! Hear the words of Paul, “Now I, Paul, make a personal appeal to you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ–I who am humble among you in person but bold toward you when absent (2 Cor 10:1).” Paul was no weak minister, but he showed his strength by GETTING LOW and patiently entreating others. He didn’t let sin slide, but he dealt with it graciously, and he teaches us the same, saying, “Brothers, if someone is caught in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual should restore such a person with a meek spirit, watching out for yourselves so you also won’t be tempted (Gal 6:1).” He knew his weakness, so he knew his Strength was Jesus Christ the Lord and faithfulness to Him by imitation.
Brothers, John the Baptist was a great and mighty man, but his greatness was lowliness, giving all glory to Christ. Let us be great in like manner by being nothing.