Short Meditations in John 3: 27. Right Perspective
Jn 3:28 You yourselves can testify that I said, `I am not the Christ but am sent ahead of him
When God blesses a ministry, the great temptation is to begin to thing we are Someone. When God uses us and uses us, how easy it is to fall into deception and think we are really someone great. Yes, of course it was the Lord but He has used Me because I am someone special, I have got it right, I saw the truth as others didn’t, and I stepped out as others didn’t and so, yes, I am someone special! My ministry proves it.
Moses had to warn Israel against this pride: “The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers.” (Deut 7:7,8) They were who they were, not because they were great in number but because God had chosen Abram and then Isaac and then Jacob and set His love on them.
Similarly Jesus had to pick his disciples up over this issue: “They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.” (Mk 9:33,34) This competitive spirit – for that is what it is, setting yourself up against others – was seen more than once in the disciples, for instance it had been there in John himself: “Master,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.” (Lk 9:49) It is a basic insecurity in not realizing who you are and who it is who has called you and the measure and extent of your calling.
When it came to John, when his disciples came with this same insecurity, and this same sort of competitive spirit that flowed out of it, John was able to say to them, “You yourselves can testify that I said….” i.e. you will remember and you know the truth of this, that I told you beforehand that I am not the Christ, I am not the one for whom Israel has been waiting al these past centuries. I told you that and made it clear, so you don’t have to bang the drum on my behalf, I don’t need defending. I am not the Messiah, that is not my role. My role was simply to go ahead of him and prepare people to receive him. I am resting in that and so should you (implied).
This principle of knowing who you are and knowing the extent of your calling by God is absolutely vital for anyone called to a public ministry in the body of Christ. Only in this confidence can we minister and expect to be fruitful and be resourced by him. Going beyond our boundaries takes us outside that resourcing and invites weakness.