28 You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent ahead of Him.’ 29 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. So this joy of mine has been made full. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease.
John continues his discussion with his disciples, reminding them what he had foretold before Jesus arrived on the scene. He reminds us that he is the MC for Christ. He is the adjutant or announcer for Jesus. Jesus is often referred to as the groom throughout the scriptures. The church, believers in Him, are referred to as the bride. Here, John’s explanation of his place is somewhat of the “best man,” in that he announces the arrival of the groom and because the groom has arrived, the best man is happy. I see part of his happiness is not just that the groom has arrived, but that John’s purpose has been fulfilled. His purpose was to pave the way and announce the arrival of the groom. I mean, aren’t we all satisfied when we have accomplished our purpose?
I’d like to key in on verse 30 a bit. We know that this verse carries significant meaning. My initial imagery in my mind makes me think of an announcer for a play or other event. They come out and maybe they tell a joke or two and captivate the crowd. Their purpose is merely to get everyone’s attention, to focus the crowd toward the stage where the event will take place. But what happens once the act begins and the star shows up? Everyone forgets about the announcer! This is how it should be. This is how we should live our lives as well. We never see the announcer interrupt the show and start jumping around striving for attention, do we? No, the announcer fades into the background and lets the story play out. We must keep this in mind throughout our daily routines.
As believers in Christ, we are called to be a witness…not the main show. We are to focus the attention of whatever crowd we find ourselves in front of and guide their attention towards Christ. Then we let Him do the work. I’ve mentioned before that belief is not up to us. We are here to inform others (by words and example) of the awesomeness of God through our own lives. It is then that others will want to know more and turn their attention from us towards Him. It is at that very moment we must decrease so He can increase. Once they stop paying attention to us to turn to Him, we shouldn’t be so eager to snap their attention back to us because we have more to say or show. No, at that point, our job as the announcer or “best man (or woman)” is complete. In fact, we might learn something as well!
I think sometimes we get caught up in what we know (or think we know) and get all excited to give our rehearsed spiel about God that when we get cut short, we feel the need to continue what we have to say, even if it is irrelevant to the situation. We waste time and energy saying more and more and eventually the audience gets bored listening to the announcer and goes home early.
If we focus on being heard then we have lost sight of our purpose as believers and followers of Christ. It’s not about what we know (or don’t know), but rather pointing people in the right direction.
Are you happy with your purpose as an announcer or are you still trying to be the star of the show?