DEVOTION FOR TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 5, 2017
An Irresistible Offer
A recent study by the University of Michigan revealed that spending extended time on Facebook made people worried, lonely, and unhappy. It also increased feelings of discontent as users compared their lives to others.
Says one researcher, “We want to learn about other people and have others learn about us—but through that very learning process we may start to resent others.”
Perhaps part of the human condition is the urge to compare ourselves to others to find how we measure up. In today’s passage, John the Baptist’s disciples expressed similar feelings of discontent and jealousy. They were growing increasingly upset because people were going to Jesus to be baptized instead of coming to John (v. 26). They viewed it as a competition.
John was quick to set them straight. He clarified his position in relation to Jesus, saying, “I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him” (v. 28). He asserted that his decreasing popularity was exactly as it was meant to be: “He must become greater; I must become less” (v. 30).
John compared himself to an attendant at a wedding. He was never meant to be the main attraction. The attention and glory is all laid at the feet of Jesus. He was only the forerunner of the Messiah; he never claimed to be anything else.
What follows in verses 31 through 36 is a clear message about the identity of Jesus. John repeats that Jesus is not of this world but “comes from above” (v. 31). Unlike John the Baptist, Jesus was not testifying about what someone else had told Him but about what He Himself has seen firsthand. We are urged to believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God; do not resist this offer of grace (v. 36).
APPLY THE WORD
Our discontent, loneliness, anger, and jealousy usually stem from our focus on ourselves. Ask God today to turn your heart and mind away from yourself and toward your Savior. How can you point others to the One who is greater than you? Like John, we need to become less, so He will become more.
Today in the Word is a production of Moody Global Ministries