John the Baptist: Apart from the gifts that come from heaven, no one can receive anything at all. I have said it many times, and you have heard me—I am not the Anointed One; I am the one who comes before Him. If you are confused, consider this: the groom is the one with the bride. The best man takes his place close by and listens for him. When he hears the voice of the groom, he is swept up in the joy of the moment. So hear me. My joy could not be more complete. He, the groom, must take center stage; and I, the best man, must step to His side. (John 3:27-30, The Voice)
I have officiated a lot of weddings over the past 30 or so years. I usually make a joke that the best man at each wedding is really the second-best man, because I am the BEST man. I even said that at my own wedding (my brother was my best man, so that reminder was particularly necessary). To be clear: I really am not that full of myself and I always make sure they understand I’m being silly and keeping the mood lighthearted (another necessity in dealing with brides and mothers).
In this passage from John Chapter 3, John the Baptizer (occupation, not denomination) was approached by some of his followers who were concerned that Jesus was gaining more of a following than John. He used the wedding metaphor to give them some perspective. A more familiar translation of verse 30 says, “He must increase and I must decrease.”
Nobody comes to a wedding to look at a groomsman (not even the groomsman’s mama). In fact, the attendants are not even necessary to have a wedding. The whole purpose of attendants, on either side, are to serve and help focus attention on the couple that are getting married.
Those of us who engage in public ministry must be sure that Jesus is always the main attraction and center of attention. Those who are not the “up front” people must be sure that our attention is focused on Jesus and not the attendants.
The Bride (the church; the people of God) only has one Groom (Jesus). Let us rejoice that we are always just attendants serving and supporting.
Question: How will you focus your attention on the Groom and his Bride today?
Leave a comment. I’d love to hear your perspective.