Monday, April 15, 2013

Monday Musings: Increasing Christ

Yesterday's song, "Steal My Show" made me think of this Scripture. I think perhaps TobyMac is in good company.

"Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying. And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him. John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease."
      ~John 3:26-30

John the Baptist was going about his regular business, baptizing people and preaching about the One who was to come. Then verse 25 happens. I believe the phrase "the Jews" means non-believers, for a couple of reasons. First, John's followers were mostly likely as Jewish as the other men. So why the distinction otherwise? Second, the phrase "there arose a question between..." indicates debate, disagreement, or even confusion. The latter is implied when they are compelled to take the question to a higher authority, namely John. Often in the Gospels, the questioner is a Jewish leader who is trying to muddy the waters, or trip up Jesus. I assume such to be the case here.

The "they" in verse 26 is unclear. Did the non-believers in question accompany John's followers to speak with their Rabbi? Or did they merely plant a little seed of jealousy into the minds of those men? Either way, a group of men approached John with a PR mission: Salvage John's reputation from this upstart who is trying to steal his show.

A piece of my heart hopes that the questioners were there, just waiting for John to fly into a jealous rage. I love the places in the Bible where sowers of dissent, trying to trap God's people get caught in their own snare.

John gently reminds the men, "Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him."

John compared himself to the the best man at a wedding. I'm sure weddings have changed a lot over the centuries, but this brings a modern "wedding picture" to mind. The best man is standing at the head table, glass raised, all eyes on him as he gives a toast. A chorus of "Here, here!" follows as everyone in the room agrees and "drinks to that" (punch of course; this is a "dry" blog).

And that's it. The best man is done. He has had his moment in the limelight, and all focus now returns to the bride and groom. Even during his shining moment the best man (if he is really good at all) is pointing attention to his dear friend the groom, whom he has never seen so happy and knows will be only happier with his lovely bride at his side for the rest of their lives.

His final words drive the point home. "He must increase, but I must decrease."

In other words, "Thank you for worrying about my image, boys, but it ain't my show. It's His, and I'm just happy he lets me be part of it."

John had a role to play, The Forerunner. He was never the star, only the opening act. When his part was finished he was happy to fade away into the background of history and watch the rest of the show, so to speak.

I hope I always remember to let Jesus "steal my show," or better yet that I remember it's His show, and I'm so blessed even to have a walk-on role.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday Songs: Steal My Show by TobyMac

Some songs strike a chord with me on the first note. This is one of those songs. Honestly, I was hooked even before I heard that first note. The title caught me when the DJ announced it. I cranked it up to hear the words, and I still crank it up every time it comes on (which is not nearly often enough, IMHO).

TobyMac - Steal My Show (Official Lyric Video) from tobymac on GodTube.