|An eagle traversed the land hovering over hills and valleys and finally landed at a river bank with a sound of triumph that seemed to say, ‘I have found at last…’. Then a voice says, “It is all about you”. That was in an advert of a Nigerian mobile telephone company. The message: The Company values its customers to undertake all the pains to reach them.
There is a philosophy almost a religion that says life is all about man. Adherents believe all endeavours should have the pleasures of man as the ultimate goal. This belief system has its adverse moral and social consequences. People get into trouble because they want life to revolve around them for the pleasures they desire through possessions, positions, or powers they think they ought to have. Check it- All the hearts aches, the infighting in families and communities and even wars are forms of protests about real or perceived injustices, denials and deprivations of some rights and benefits. James says it all.
“What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Isn’t it the whole army of evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous for what others have, and you can’t possess it, so you fight and quarrel to take it away from them. And yet the reason you don’t have what you want is that you don’t ask God for it. And even when you do ask, you don’t get it because your whole motive is wrong — you want only what will give you pleasure”.
Man-centered doctrine unfortunately has come and become the irritation in the church of Christ today. Its teachings portray God existing for man’s pleasure instead of man existing for God’s pleasure. John the Baptist was a man who understood that it is rather man existing for the pleasure of the Divine. His disciples saw Jesus baptising. Apparently they were not comfortable about that development. They reported it to John the Baptist. There were two concerns in their report.
They implied therefore that:
John’s response was instructive as it was very humbling. He did not feel jittery if Jesus was taking over his ministry nor bothered if Jesus was becoming more popular than him. He told them, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said,’ I am not the Christ,’ but,’ I have been sent before Him.’ (John 3:27-28). He not only affirmed the ministry of Jesus, but reaffirmed the person of Jesus and made clear his own person and the role he came to play in the ministry of Jesus. “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven,” says,
John the Baptist was therefore saying both Jesus’ ministry and his were given by God. He did in essence remind them too that his own life and ministry were about Jesus succeeding in His ministry. He had testified and drawn attention to Jesus when He came on the scene.
-Namani J. Nharrel