Nobody Likes Change

(Today's post by Chris Queen)

John 3:22-36

Let’s face it – nobody likes change. People say they do, but the rest of us can see right through it. Change can be difficult, especially when it’s not the change we want.

Of course, God enacts change in our lives. Some of those changes are welcome, while others force us to grow or move in a different direction in our lives, like it or not. We can resist major change with defiance, kicking and screaming or pitching fits, or we can face change in the right way.

In a short passage in the last part of John 3, John the Baptist was forced to face a change in his ministry.

23 Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were coming and being baptized. 24 (This was before John was put in prison.) 25 An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing. 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.”

How did he react? John could easily have reacted in different ways. He could have become angry and resentful: “Great, now here comes Jesus, stealing my thunder.” He could have moped: “Woe is me. My moment in the sun is over.” He could have reacted in jealousy, devising some sort of bold statement or stunt to grab the spotlight. But instead, John displayed true humility.

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. 30He must become greater; I must become less.”

Where did John’s humility stem from? His knowledge of who Jesus is. He wasn’t just John’s cousin or the hot new rabbi on the scene. He’s the Son of God. And John was uniquely aware of his role as the one to prepare the way for the Messiah. He knew his purpose, which allowed him to face change with humility.

How do you react to God’s work in your life? Do you meet the changes He makes in your life with humility, even when they don’t line up with your desires?

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