Friday, March 27, 2009

Friends of the Bridegroom

John 3:25 Now a discussion arose between some of John’s disciples and a Jew over purification. 26 And they came to John and said to him, "Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you bore witness—look, he is baptizing, and all are going to him." 27 John answered, "A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. 28 You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, 'I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.' 29 The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease."

In verse 27 John states God's providence in all our lives; "A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven". We need to meditate on that truth and really be thankful for all that God has given us, including the "bad" things. I put bad in quotes, because if God works everything for our good, then is there really anything that is bad? If you lose a child, a spouse, a job, or a business, is this really bad, or just another opportunity for God to show His amazing care in our lives? Not easy in the moment, but God knows and cares.

I like that John gives reference to being a friend of the bride groom. What a great title. We are part of the Bride, but we could also be a friend of the Bridegroom. The friends of the Bridegroom are just excited at His presence and to hear His voice. John's joy was now complete because Jesus, whom he had waited to see and heralded His coming, was now here and John was thrilled. Am I that excited that the Messiah has come? Am I excited just to hear the "voice", in His Word?

John was the greatest man born of a woman and yet he says of Jesus, "He must increase but I must decrease". John was able to see Christ for all that He truly is, which allowed him to see his utter lack and total dependence on Him. Faced with this fact there was only one thing for him to say. This is much like those in the OT who came into the presence of God; their only response was to fall flat on their faces and cry out for mercy.

Our total lack of everything must make us see that everything we have comes from God and we are totally dependent on Him for everything. This should make us fall to our faces in praise for all the He has given us and want to lift His name higher and have our name put back to the back of the shelf, because He gives us everything. How can we boast?

We are the honored guests at the wedding. We are friends of the Bridegroom, who has paid for the entire feast, calls us to be with Him and lavishes good gifts on us all. We should be excited about the One we are rejoicing with and want to tell others of His greatness.

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