Sunday, March 13, 2011

John the Baptist: Contentment, Not Competition

Since John was writing about stories that he wanted to be read side by side to reveal something, he reminded the reader that this next story actually happened a little while before John had been put in prison, before John had been arrested.

For the few months until John the Baptist was arrested by Herod and put into prison, his ministry overlapped with the Lord Jesus. The Baptist did not really want to have followers. His whole ministry was about pointing to the Lamb of God and urging people to trust in Him.

But when two popular leaders are involved in a similar work, there’s bound to be trouble.

Evidently a Jew, we don’t know who, but John uses that word to mean a Pharisee or Scribe, got into a discussion about baptism and purification with the Baptist’s followers. Something must have been said in that conversation that made the Baptist’s followers feel like John the Baptist was getting compared unfavorably with the Lord Jesus.

They were upset about it. They started feeling a sense of rivalry with Jesus’ ministry because everybody was going to Him now, and He was even baptizing people, which had been John the Baptist’s special thing.

Competition is one of the most toxic forces to enter the Body of Christ.

Rivalry between ministries is one of the wedges Satan, God’s enemy and ours, uses to alienate Christians from each other, undermine projects in churches and block the progress of the gospel.

Who might you be feeling in competition with, or comparing yourself to? John’s disciples had gotten caught up in the numbers game: Who Had The Bigger Ministry.

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1 comment:

  1. AMEN....Those who compare themselves among themselves are NOT wise. 2 Corinthians 10:12 (English Standard Version)
    "Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding."


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