One of the things that Jesus promised would happen through Him was release for the captives. Most of us though, have never really thought of ourselves as being captive to anything.
Well, how about you? How much does the idea of being released from captivity resonate with you? If you’d asked me that question before Jesus came knocking on the door, I’d have said not at all. Ask me that same question today and the answer is one hundred percent!
Because the biggest thing that I was captive to was my ego, my sense of self-importance, my desire to be thought well of and admired. And that overriding desire to be a crowd-pleaser, to wow people with my brilliance, was an ugly thing that ended up ruining my life.
Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist … man, that guy could pull in the crowds. He was something of a desert-dwelling, camelhair wearing, locust and honey-eating weirdo. But the hand of God was on him to prepare the hearts of people to receive Jesus – to prepare, quite literally, the way of the Lord.
But when Jesus came on the scene, the crowds started leaving John and flocking to Jesus, which upset John’s disciples no end. They went to him and complained – Hey, this Jesus guy is stealing your crowds. What are we going to do? This is how John replied:
John 3:29,30 For this reason my joy has been fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease. (NRSV)And that … that’s what the life of a Christ-follower should look like. No matter what corner of the vineyard the Lord has us working in, it’s not about us. It’s about Him. And when all the glory goes to Jesus, then finally we’re released from captivity.
He must increase, but we must decrease.
That’s God’s Word. Fresh … for you … today.