Summary: All about preparing for heaven.
There are so many details with weddings. When my daughter Jennifer got married, we thought we had it all in control. On the way to the ceremony, 12 miles from the house, Jenn let out a scream -- Dad...we forgot the Unity Candle! We almost had an accident on the bridge.
One couple opted for a garden ceremony. They wanted the Unity Candle, but the forecast was for wind. We came up with the idea of two wine glasses, which they would pour into a third, symbolizing the pouring of their lives together. Nobody thought to tell the groom to use water. He used real wine...sweet wine. It was a hot August day. When we came to the pouring point, the bride, groom and I looked down at three glasses covered with 9,000 drunk flies.
John the Baptist was the best man -- the friend of the bridegroom, Jesus. His part of the details was making sure the invitations got out on time. Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand...was his invitation message.
This passage is about more than who baptized whom. It tells us what the bridegroom (Jesus) expects the bride (all believers, the church), to bring to the wedding. If you are part of the bride of Christ, please notice those things you need to prepare...
After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized. And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized. For John was not yet cast into prison. Then there arose a question between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying. And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him. John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. John 3:22-27
The disciples of John were quite possessive of the following they had built up. They seemed to be worried that Jesus was developing a bigger mailing list. Later, after the resurrection, we find some of the Baptist’s followers still promoting his teaching. This was proof that while they didn’t accept Jesus, they never heard John either.
John understood that he, and his message, were not the priority. The action at a wedding isn’t the invitation -- it’s at the altar! John understood the priority of having people turn to Jesus.
A young woman college student wrote about priorities, Shortly after I went away to college at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, my mother replaced her old car with a new one. Home one weekend, I borrowed her car for an evening out with friends. Returning late, I was surprised to find my mother still up. Mom, I chided, I’m in college now! You don’t have to wait up for me! Her Mom answered, I wasn’t waiting up for you, I was waiting for my car. It’s never been out past midnight before.
It is a good thing for us to keep in mind that whatever we do in our homes, occupations, community and church, Jesus is the focus. He is the priority. There’s no room for jealousy or possessiveness in the Kingdom. Besides priority there is..