Today's Devotional
& Prayer

Morning Prayer 12/3/21Jim Huber
John's JoyNarrated by Jim Huber

John's Joy    

After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He remained with them and baptized.  Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there. And they came and were baptized.  For John had not yet been thrown into prison.


Then there arose a dispute between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purification.  And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified—behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him!”


John answered and said, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven.  You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent before Him.’  He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore, this joy of mine is fulfilled.  He must increase, but I must decrease.   He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all.  And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony.  He who has received His testimony has certified that God is true.  For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure.  The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand.  He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”  -  John 3:22–36                           


What is your idea of John the Baptist? Do you see a fun-loving, entertaining speaker? Or does he seem more like a fierce, gloomy prophet?


We might expect John to be gloomy because his career was going down the river. His cousin Jesus was taking over. Jesus had begun teaching and baptizing, and his disciples reported in alarm, “Everyone is going to him.”


But John was “full of joy.” Why? Because he knew his place in God’s coming salvation. He saw himself as a “best man” at a wedding. His job was to focus on the “bridegroom,” not on himself. The “friend who attends the bridegroom” was delighted if things went well and the bridal couple were enjoying their special day.


John, who jumped for joy in his mother’s womb when Elizabeth met Mary, pregnant with Jesus (Luke 1:44), sensed joy again as Jesus’ ministry began to grow. It was never about John, but about the one who came after him. So John said, with amazing humility, “He must become greater; I must become less.”


John wanted the ministry of Jesus to advance. That was his purpose and his complete joy.


Can you and I find such joy if we remember who and what is central?





The devotional message, “John's Joy”, was written by Pastor Morris Greidanus, and appeared in “Today”,, December 16, 2012.  Used here with permission from the website.