Today’s Gospel: John 3, 31-36 – St. Jean Baptist de la Salle
In two different gospels, Jesus himself proclaims that John the Baptist is the greatest man ever born of woman. If that is true, you wouldn’t know it from today’s reading. John speaks instead of a lowly messenger, proclaiming only the greatness of the Lord who is to come. It is pure humility from one who apparently has the most to brag about.
Perhaps this humility is precisely why John the Baptist was so great in Jesus’ eyes. John’s example shows that humility is not belittling yourself or hiding your accomplishments or even skirting the spotlight. John stood out in the crowd. He preached loudly and drew others to himself. He claimed to know the truth and to provide baptism to sinners. But before Jesus, he bowed his head. He laid down his ministry. He sent his own disciples away from him to follow the Lord.
John’s humility was his obedience to the will of the one he knew was greater. He knew who God was and what God was about and he allowed himself to decrease so that Christ could increase. This is why the passage also implies that believing in Jesus is not countered by disbelieving in Jesus, as though the opposite of belief is disbelief. Rather, it says that believing in Jesus is countered by disobeying, that the opposite of belief is disobedience.
If we, like John, really believe in Jesus, if we really know who he is and what he is about, then we would follow his every word and command without a second thought. We too would bow our heads and submit to his will. We too would be like John, a humble messenger, and lay down our crowns at Christ’s feet and let him be Lord, not just of our lives but of the whole world.
Do I allow Jesus to be lord of every part of my life? Are there crowns I am not willing to lay down before him? Are there areas of my life where I am not willing to listen to him and be obedient, even knowing that he is God?
Awesome Lord, we ask for John’s humility today, that in believing that you are the Lord of all, we may be obedient servants of your will and seek to glorify you about all else, even our very selves. May our example, like that of John the Baptist, prepare a way for others to encounter Jesus today. Amen.
Copyright 2016 Brittany Storgaard
I was born and raised in beautiful Colorado. I studied Biblical Theology at the Augustine Institute in Denver, teach high school theology and Spanish, coach girls tennis, and have a beautiful baby girl with my husband of two years!