Pointing to Jesus
In order for an organization to function there must be unity within that organization. Anyone that has ever run a business with multiple employees, played on a team sport or even coordinated a large social event knows the importance of everyone working together in unity. Everyone is also aware of how quickly pride and jealousy can destroy that unity. One immature person can cause havoc to everyone else when they start demanding what they want instead of what is good for everyone and fulfilling the purpose of the organization. Even worse is when such an immature person is jealous and starts undermining others on the team because they want that position.
While such selfish pride and jealousy are sinful and should not occur among those who are followers of God and have dedicated themselves to serving the Lord, the sad fact is that such sinful pride and jealousy along with many other sins do occur among God’s people. Spiritual maturity does not come in a day. Maturity comes with the hard work of learning and obeying God’s word and the Holy Spirit changing us internally. Spiritual maturity should continue to develop over the course of our life. The Lord desires for us to learn and become wise. Included in that process is learning from the example of others, both good and bad, so that we might emulate the good and avoid the bad.
This morning we have two examples set before us. The first example shows the problems caused when pride and jealousy rear their ugly heads and become detrimental to the purposes of God. The disciples of John the Baptist are jealous of Jesus and come to John with their whining complaint. The second example shows the blessings that flow from humility that result in God being magnified. John rebukes them and then demonstrates his own humility in pointing to the superiority of Jesus.