Summary: A sermon on humility and how to respond to people the way Jesus did.
By: Rev. Ken Sauer, Pastor, Grace United Methodist Church, Soddy Daisy, TN graceumcsd.org
In John 2:35-37 John the Baptist is with two of his disciples and when John sees Jesus passing by, he says, “Look, the Lamb of God!”
At this these two disciples of John left John in order to follow Jesus.
In John Chapter 3 some of John the Baptist’s disciples went running to him wringing their hands in worry.
Lots and lots of John’s disciples were jumping ship to follow Jesus instead of John.
John’s reply to this?
He talks about being overjoyed, and then adds, “He must become greater; I must become less.”
There is a true loveliness in the humility we see in John the Baptist, is there not?
It’s a loveliness that we don’t often see in our ego driven, power hungry world.
Sadly, it’s the kind of loveliness that outsiders sometimes do not see exemplified in and by our churches…
…it’s the kind of loveliness that newcomers miss when brothers and sisters in Christ quarrel and fight for position in church meetings…
…or when brothers and sisters raise angry voices at each other when it comes to discussing money or plans for the next evangelism event.
It’s the kind of loveliness that people miss in us when we gossip and talk badly about others behind their backs.
John Wesley wrote: “Those who love others are so far from making their faults or failings the subject of conversation that they never speak at all about an absent person, except to speak favorably.
A busy-body, slanderer, gossip, or evil-speaker is the same as a murderer.
One would just as well cut a neighbor’s throat as to destroy his or her reputation.”
We should be embarrassed ‘even at the thought’ of speaking badly of another person in their absence.
As Wesley so rightly proclaimed, the Love that comes from an intimate and growing relationship with God through Jesus Christ should humble our souls to the dust!
It should dissolve all self-adulation.
It should prompt us to rejoice in being the lowest of all, the servant of all.
In our Gospel Lesson for this morning Jesus declares, “I tell you the truth, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist.
Yet even the least person in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he is!”
God’s Kingdom and the kingdom of the world are absolute complete polar opposites are they not?
The last finish first in God’s Kingdom.
The one who serves rather than the one who is served is the greatest in God’s Kingdom!
How does that fly in our dog-eat-dog world?
So many of us are trapped in jobs where gossip is the native tongue, pushing others out of the way IS the ONLY WAY to get ahead.
What a miserable existence, indeed!
But in the Kingdom of God, that kind of stuff is the most foolish mess of all!
In school, kids put on a tough-guy or a tough-girl image in order to protect themselves and gain respect from what often appears as a pack of wolves.
People ignore the loner, are embarrassed to be “seen” with the “unpopular” kid who doesn’t fit in…
…but in the Kingdom of God…