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PHOTOBOMBING JESUS  

| FRIDAY 13TH MAY, 2022

Our Daily Bread 2022 Annual Edition

By Mike Wittmer

Read: John 3:26–36 (NIV) | Bible in a Year: 2 Kings 17–18; John 3:19–36

He must become greater; I must become less. John 3:30

When my pastor asked our class a difficult question about the life of Jesus, my hand shot up. I had just read the story, so I knew this one. And I wanted the others in the room to know that I knew it too. After all, I’m a Bible teacher. How embarrassing it would be to be stumped in front of them! Now I was embarrassed by my fear of embarrassment. So I lowered my hand. Am I this insecure?

John the Baptist shows a better way. When his disciples complained that people were beginning to leave him and follow Jesus, John said he was glad to hear it. He was merely the messenger. “I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him. . . . He must become greater; I must become less” (3:28–30). John realized the point of his existence was Jesus. He is “the one who comes from heaven” and “is above all” (v. 31)—the divine Son who gave His life for us. He must receive all the glory and fame.

Any attention drawn to ourselves distracts from God. And since He is our only Savior and the only hope for the world, any credit we steal from Him ends up hurting us.

Let’s resolve to step out of the picture—to stop photobombing Jesus. It’s best for Him, for the world, and for us.

Read: John 3:26–36 (NIV) 

26 They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.” 27 To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. 28 You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ 29 The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. 30 He must become greater; I must become less.”[a] 31 The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. 33 Whoever has accepted it has certified that God is truthful. 34 For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God[b] gives the Spirit without limit. 35 The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.

INSIGHT

  1. When are you tempted to share the spotlight with Jesus?

  2. How can you turn the attention to where it belongs?

In John 1, John the Baptist announced that it was another, not himself, who would be the sent one—emphasizing this by saying he wasn’t even worthy to untie Jesus’ sandals! (v. 27). Then, the day after baptizing Jesus, John pointed two of his own disciples to Jesus, the Lamb of God. These two (Andrew and, apparently, John the beloved) immediately left John and followed Jesus. These clear examples of John deferring to Jesus display his commitment that “[Jesus] must become greater; I must become less” (3:30).

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, help us understand that our task is to direct everyone’s attention to Your Son, so that He increasingly fills up the frame. Help us see that we must decrease and He must increase. In Jesus mighty name, I pray and believe. Amen!!

Read: John 3:26–36 (NIV) | Bible in a Year: 2 Kings 17–18; John 3:19–36

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