In the early 1950s, Billy Graham was becoming a household name. He had just returned to the United States from the United Kingdom, where he drew record crowds during his three-month crusade. Dining with a friend, Graham confessed, “I’m scared I’m going to get the credit for what God is doing, and that’s just not right.”
After a few of John the Baptist’s disciples became jealous that Jesus was baptizing people, they approached their teacher and complained (v. 26). John swiftly corrected their grumblings, giving several reasons not to grumble. First, John reminded them that the source of true ministry is heaven (v. 27). God is the giver of gifts and the author of life. In God’s economy, He is the supplier, and we are merely the workers.
Second, John the Baptist addressed Jesus as the Messiah (v. 28). John’s entire ministry centered on preparing the way for the Christ. In John 1:29, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” The forerunner to Jesus acknowledged, “The man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me” (1:30). He knew that he was merely a vessel for God to use in order to point His people to the Savior.
Finally, John reminded his disciples how he viewed himself in comparison to the Lord of lords. He likened himself to being the best man at a wedding. He was there to serve the groom. His joy was made complete when he saw Christ coming for His bride. John’s purpose was to decrease so that Christ might increase. He could have easily competed with his cousin for the praises of the people, but instead he chose to shine the spotlight on Christ. He made it clear that Jesus deserved all the praise.
Paul Santhouse, vice president of Moody Publishers, welcomes your prayers today. With 3.7 million books sold in 2018, 1,200 titles in print, in 100+ languages, please join the Moody Publishers teams as they thank and praise the Lord.