Making Jesus Known

You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Christ but am sent ahead of him.’ The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less.
(John 3:28-29)

John was the forerunner of Christ and he was assured of his calling, hence he found his joy fulfilled in Jesus’ growing influence.

Now this was John’s testimony when the Jews of Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Christ.” -John 1:19-20
He had great satisfaction in the advancement of Christ. Faithful modern day disciples of Jesus should have that same satisfaction in Jesus’ growing influence as well being assured of our calling to make Jesus known.

No one is more exhausted than one who is constantly striving to appear great in the eyes of men. As believers, our work is to reveal Jesus to those around us. Just as Jesus came to make the Father known, accomplishing the work He was sent by God to do, so too, we are on a divine mission.

We bring glory to God through our obedience to His call and our lives are most satisfied when God is most glorified.

The shrinking of self so that the Spirit may shine through is not a concept we readily hear from our pulpits today, yet Jesus thought it important enough to address it in all four gospels! In Matthew, Jesus said:

“The kingdom of Christ is, and will be, a growing kingdom, like the light of the morning, like the grain of mustard seed. John was not at all displeased that the effect of this was the diminishing of his own interest: ‘I must become less.’ The shining forth of the glory of Christ eclipses the luster of all other glory. As the light of the morning increases, that of the morning star decreases. We must cheerfully be content to be anything, to be nothing, so that Christ may be all.” -Matthew Henry

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:24-26)

Take It to Heart

For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. (2 Corinthians 4:5-12)