He must become greater, I must become less. John 3:30
John the Baptist was the first among Jesus’ followers to grasp the concept of decrease of self. In today’s culture, we hear “less is more” but usually it’s applying to some physical thing. John’s entire life had been focused on preparing himself and others for Christ’s coming. His diet was narrow, his possessions were minimal and his focus was eternal. His longing was to draw his generation’s attention and allegiance to Jesus. From John’s perspective, the true value of people seeing him was that people would then be positioned to see through him and gaze at Jesus.
Attention is not innately evil. It becomes evil when used as a self-serving end instead of a God-serving means. Those who steward attention as means and not end stand tall and serve strong, knowing that all gifts come from God and therefore draw attention to God. Corrie Ten Boom was a phenomenal example of this. Her way of handling adulation was to take each compliment as a flower, gather them all in a bouquet and then give them back to Jesus.
Today’s challenge is to accept praise on behalf of Christ and give it all back to him at the end of the day – filling it in with gratitude for God’s work in your life.
Today’s reading was John 12:20-28.
20-21 There were some Greeks in town who had come up to worship at the Feast. They approached Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee: “Sir, we want to see Jesus. Can you help us?”
22-23 Philip went and told Andrew. Andrew and Philip together told Jesus. Jesus answered, “Time’s up. The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
24-25 “Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.
26 “If any of you wants to serve me, then follow me. Then you’ll be where I am, ready to serve at a moment’s notice. The Father will honor and reward anyone who serves me.
27-28 “Right now I am storm-tossed. And what am I going to say? ‘Father, get me out of this’? No, this is why I came in the first place. I’ll say, ‘Father, put your glory on display.’”
A voice came out of the sky: “I have glorified it, and I’ll glorify it again.”