John The Baptist – An Invisible Hero
John the Baptist was our first matchmaker. See for yourself:
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.”
Bride = All of us.
Bridegroom = Jesus (AKA God)
Friend of the Bridegroom = John the Baptist
The friend of the bridegroom is an underrated role. The friend takes care of all the stuff that the bridegroom doesn’t need to worry about. The friend of the bridegroom is not the main event. In fact, life goes on without him. The wedding will take place either way. But the friend has the honor of being used. The friend can give the toast, arrange the flowers, call the DJ, etc – but the friend doesn’t get married. John the Baptist prepared the way for the Bridegroom to meet the Bride. In other words, John the Baptist “hooked up” (as you youth like to say) Jesus with all of us. When someone hooks 2 people up, what does that person do? Does that person show up to all the dates? Should that person go around telling people that he/she was the reason they got together? Does the person tell the Bride and Bridegroom what to do? Does the matchmaker micromanage the relationship?
The answer to all these questions should be a resounding NO! The friend of the Bridegroom disappears. He arranges the connection, and then realizes that he must decrease for the sake of the Bridegroom. He realizes that glory is mutually exclusive. Glory is a zero sum game. One person’s glory means a decrease in the other. He chooses to decrease, so the Bridegroom can receive His due glory. He knows that more attention on him would jeopardize the Bridegroom’s glory.
When we understand the role of the matchmaker, we can change the framework of how we see ministry, and helping the world. Almost everyone I know wants to help the world. But almost everyone I know wants to get the recognition. We will help as long as others know it. We will lead people to God, and then stay too close to them so they know the hierarchy – 1) God 2)YOU 3)Them
This is toxic. This is very wrong. You cannot play a close 2nd place to God. We all know you don’t want to be God. But you may want to come right after Him. I want to suggest that you will not get much credit if you are making real, effective change. You have to disappear. You have to be like John the Baptist. You have to decrease so the One you are championing can have His way. It is designed this way. It is in the order of things for God to get His glory – and for you to quite frankly get out of the way. Our role in this world is to introduce God to people. When people interact with the living God, they don’t need you anymore. You have to be content with being trampled over. In the end, it has nothing to do with you – your ministry and your feelings don’t matter. The only thing that matters is the introduction. Be a matchmaker with manners. Do not overstep your boundaries.
After reading such a challenge, most of you would even wonder if its worth it to live this anonymously. However, John the Baptist says something that is very key: “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.”
After you hear the Bridegroom’s voice, you will be full of joy. You will be complete. How many times in your life have you felt a completion of your joy???!! Are you kidding me? Sign me up for this. Whatever it takes – I want to know the Bridegroom’s voice, and I want my joy to be complete – I want to decrease as much as possible for His increase.
You don’t get robbed in God’s economy. If His requirements seem steep, it’s because you are looking at them on the surface. You have to look deep beneath how things appear when you are interacting with the definition of Love. It is only in this interaction that we can begin to understand the depth, breadth, and height of the love of God. Any other love is fake and ephemeral. Even though I am taking a break from John Baptist Records and am focusing on just Jeevo, it has been my joy and privilege to name my company after the man that paved the way for love. May your joy be complete. May we decrease together. Peace, and much love to you – Jeevo.