Day 8 - Thursday, March 5 Becoming Less Than DAILY READING - Jn 3:22-36 Jesus and John the Baptizer were baptizing in the same area. Disciples of John the Baptist seem to be concerned that more people are being baptized by Jesus. Loyal to John, they seem to be jealous that Jesus is getting “more”. What is John’s response (found in verse 27) to their concerns? “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven” (3:27, NIV). What do you think John is saying? What implications does this have for feelings of jealousy? Read Matthew 6:25-34. How does this relate to John 3:27? Read Matthew 20:1-16. How does this relate to John 3:27? In Matthew 11:7-11, Jesus addresses the disciples of John the Baptizer. Who is John the Baptizer according to Jesus? John the Baptizer, understood his role and his purpose to be that of a herald, a messenger preparing the way for Jesus. He was likely overjoyed that his purpose was being fulfilled as the ministry of Jesus overshadowed his own. The very purpose of John the Baptizer was to be overshadowed by Christ. John admits, “He must be greater; I must become less.” What does this mean for us as disciples of Christ? I think for most of us in the American culture, being overshadowed is not a comfortable thought. Making someone else “greater” so that we become “less” is completely counter culture. It takes some reflection and practice to identify arenas in our life where we can make this a reality. I remember a time in the corporate world when I was working on a team. Our compensation was completely tied to the performance of one another. When I was hired to work with a particular San Antonio team, they were ranked dead last in the region. I put together a plan that was similar to one I used to succeed in another territory and we quickly rose to number one in the region. It took all of us implementing the plan. All of us worked to achieve the new status. My boss began asking me what I was doing to achieve these numbers. I told him the team was working hard to achieve the sales. He asked more and more leading questions that were aimed at trying to get me to admit that it was my plan that shot the team to the top. I refused to take credit by myself. He finally said, “Jamie, I need you to take credit for this. I want to give you a promotion. But, you have to say the performance was your doing alone.” The very idea was repulsive to me. Beyond bad leadership, it wasn’t the truth. I couldn’t do it. I didn’t get the promotion. My teammate did. He was willing to step up and say he was solely responsible for the increase. I was honestly happy for him. He was a hard worker. He deserved kudos and the promotion. He continued to rise in the ranks and make more money. I think our scenario is not uncommon. Can you think of your own personal scenario where you became less so someone else could become greater?