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JESUS ABOVE ALL - John 3:22-36

March 21, 2017

Jesus- All are going to Him- UNDIVIDED

Both John and Jesus are baptizing and both have a following, both have a band of disciples. John’s current disciples are pretty loyal to him and are concerned for their Rabbi, their leader, their man. It becomes apparent that Jesus is gaining in numbers.

 

Perhaps the understanding that these disciples of John have, is that Jesus and John are kind of equals. That John is worth following just as much as Jesus is, and they have John’s back.  Rivalry!

 

The startling comment from their Rabbi, their leader, that he must become less and Jesus much become greater, came with quite a shock.

 

These disciples of John have failed to do what John’s earlier disciples did. Andrew in John 1 when he heard John Baptist say “Look at that man Jesus the Lamb of God”, they ditched following John and became disciples of Jesus from then on. They became exclusive to Jesus.

 

We often have our favourites - authors, political party, teams. Which is the best? Who is the greatest? Loyal, loyal to the point of blind loyalty. No matter what else we’re staying with our team, our choice.

 

Although it may look like John and Jesus are peers- they are world’s apart. Compared to Jesus, John is just not the one to follow anymore.  But John’s own disciples didn’t register when he said that he was not worthy even to tie up Jesus shoe laces. One is from the earth- limited finite. The other the eternal Word , creator and sustainer of the universe. The ruler over all.

 

If Jesus is above all then our response should be UNDIVIDED - undivided loyalty to Him above all else. No feet in both camps. Not Jesus and John the Baptist or whoever else.

 

Above John the Baptist, Caesar, Greek philosophers, Jewish tradition - in our day Jesus is above the scientists, sport, educationalists, psychologists, above the latest trends and fads on improving life.

 

Because Jesus is above all. He must increase- his voice, his word must predominate – outweigh – all other voices. He speaks the words from God. Leave others, including John the Baptist, to an exclusive following of Jesus, wholeheartedly, UNDIVIDED.

 

As Jesus is above all then our response is that everyone and everything is second to him.

 

As Jesus is above all then all should be going to him, and that should not surprise or alarm anyone.  all should go to him. Hear his voice, receive his testimony, believe, obey, love him as the bridegroom, rejoice in him. Exclusive - go to him for life.

 

Jesus is above all else, so you should be going to him. Why not? What is stopping you? John’s disciples need to make the transition away from John to exclusive loyalty to Jesus. UNDIVIDED.

 

What do we need to transition away from? What do we look to for life?

The temptation for us is the question, “Is Jesus better than all else?”

 

I’ll leave it to you to fill in the blanks...

If I had ____________________, then I would really have life.

 

Whatever fills the blank, and it’s not Jesus, then it is for you something better than Jesus, and above Jesus. But it’s a lie. That blank is an idol.

 

Because John, the author- simply explains- Jesus is above all. This is not a subjective statement - does it feel that Jesus is above all. It is a statement of truth. Jesus is above all else. We just deny it or forget it and call God into question.

 

So how?? Jesus must become greater to us. Greater in value and worth to us. We need to see Jesus as above all.

 

What really brings joy? What brought John complete full joy was not his successful ministry of followers…but Jesus, hearing the voice of Jesus. Our source of Joy.

 

Jesus - All things are in his hands. HUMILITY

Jesus is above all and all things are placed in his hands.

 

What is placed in my hands? Family, church responsibilities, gospel to the lost. I am far from accomplished at these.

 

What is placed in your hands, what has God given you?

 

John had placed in his hand the role of pointing out  Jesus- the Messiah - and doing it very well. Even though to some they looked like peers, they are worlds apart. Whether John’s disciples see it or not, Jesus is far above John Baptist

 

Jesus, has been given by God the Father, all things in his hands. All things, everything. John doesn’t expand on this, but the rest of the NT does.

 

Acts 17:31

God has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man [Jesus] whom he appointed.- All judgment of mankind- all mankind- all the billions of us- placed in Jesus’ hands.

 

Eph 1:20-21

God raised Jesus from the dead and seated him at his right hand (highest authority there is) in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named (Pilate, Caeser, Putin, Trump, Bill English)… and he put all things under his feet…”  Life / Death, Creation, Satan, demonic powers, world powers- Kim Il Jun, and his nuclear capability; – all under the authority of Jesus.

 

Jesus predominates. He is supreme. He is preeminent. All things, everything, is in his hands- Jesus is above all.

 

And John the Baptist knows that. The concern of his disciples about the future of his influence and ministry is no problem at all for John. No rivalry no contest between them. John knows Jesus is above all. Look at his reply to his concerned loyal followers.  John 3:28-29

 

“I told you already who this man is and who I am not- this should be no alarm to you at all.”

 

He is the Messiah; I’m the pointing to him, He is the bridegroom… I’m the best man.                         

It's a sad day when the best man takes the lime light- its not his day! He serves, he works, he gets flustered and panicky and do whatever to make the wedding day great for the bridegroom and his bride. John has his place, his God given role, but its not the throne.

 

John must fade out of the picture; leaving only Jesus the Christ at centre stage.

 

Are we wanting Jesus to be centre stage?

 

The HUMILITY of John is note-worthy. How tempting it is for us to get so far ahead of ourselves and become what we’re not supposed to be.

 

John knows he has received a certain role and does not go beyond that. Being loyal to his calling he wants everyone to go follow Jesus, he wants all his disciples to abandon him to follow Jesus with undivided loyalty. HUMILITY and there is joy… His joy is not in having a band of disciples, but that his disciples follow Jesus.

 

All things are given to Jesus! If we are in Him, what does that mean for us? Life can be rivalry, trying to get ahead, out doing the other- similar business, similar ministry role, or influence…or life can be resting in the one who is above all, resting in what we receive from him. If it is second place so be it. If it is not such a prominent ministry as others so be it. If I don’t make that sports team…so be it. If my business is not flourishing as the other…so be it.

 

Like John we are to show HUMILITY. A person can only receive what is given them from God.

 

We see the HUMILITY of John, accepting and being content with what role has been given him. Because it come from God and God always does what is best and right and good.

 

Responsibilities, gifts, role, ministry opportunities- only as God gives them. We use those to be Pointers to Jesus Christ- look at him, hear him, go to him!!

 

Jesus above all- greatness, supremacy, takes the wrath of God- shows how right and real the wrath of God is- He rescues us from it, by taking it on himself.

John 3:36

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life

Whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, wrath of God remains on them.

 

The Son sent to us- takes our place- he becomes the target of wrath for those who believe in him. If not the target remains on you.

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