“…John’s disciples came to him and said, ‘Rabbi, the man you met on the other side of the Jordan River, the one you identified as the Messiah, is also baptizing people. And everybody is going to him instead of coming to us.’
John replied, ‘No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven. You yourselves know how plainly I told you, “I am not the Messiah. I am only here to prepare the way for him.” It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the best man is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success. He must become greater and greater and I must become less and less.” “John 3:26-30
I haven’t had the honor of being someone’s best man. I have attended a few weddings and from what I remember from my observations the job of the best man is to share a mildly embarrassing (but not too embarrassing) story about the groom and be his all-around hype man. You are supposed to be the warm-up act and prepare the audience for his speech and for him. However, as the best man you know that you don’t want to play it up too much because you don’t want to outshine the groom since it’s his day and not yours. John the Baptist understood this very well and, as great as he was, he knew how much greater his cousin Jesus Christ was than he and readily acknowledged it.
As you probably have heard (unless your invitation got lost in the mail!) there is going to be a wedding and you are invited, in fact you are the bride! (Ephesians 5:25-27). As the Body of Christ we may be familiar with the notion of being Christ’s bride but we may be less familiar with the concept of being Christ’s best man, however, as Christians we are expected to be versatile and so are called to fulfill many roles for the Kingdom of Christ and play many parts at his wedding celebration (for example we are also called to be wedding guests, i.e. witnesses (see Matthew 22:1), but that’s not the focus of this post). So how do we go about being a proper best man in the mold of John the Baptist?
1. Prepare the Way of Christ
John was that voice crying out in the wilderness that was foretold by the prophet Isaiah. John himself declared “Clear the way for the Lord’s coming!” (John 1:23). We too must make the same declaration and when evangelizing emphasize the importance and necessity of repentance of one’s sins. However, for our words to be credible we must also make sure that we are in a state of repentance ourselves so that hypocrisy doesn’t cloud our witness. I sin every day but I do make efforts to repent and turn away from sin. I am aware though that to the extent I am telling others to repent when I am not in a state of repentance I am damaging by witness .
2. It’s Christ’s Day and Not Mine
As John said in the above-referenced Scripture we must grow less and less and Christ must grow more and more. To the extent that we treat Christ’s gifts to us as our own or glorify ourselves we wrong God and are stealing his glory. We must humble ourselves so that the groom can be properly exalted. He humbled himself to serve us and so we should at the very least return the favor by humbling ourselves when we serve him.
3. Rejoice in Christ’s Glory
John is genuinely happy that Christ is being glorified and he is just glad to be a part of it. When you see your friend get that promotion he’s been waiting for or find the wife he’s been long searching for aren’t you happy for him? Christ is our friend (our best friend) and he’s finally getting married and we know personally that he’s sacrificed a lot and waited very, very patiently for that day. Shouldn’t we be joyful at the thought of his coming glory and rejoice at every single person that RSPVs to his wedding feast? If we are proper friends then we should rejoice with him and we should do all we can to make sure no one’s invitation gets lost in the mail.
What do you think?
So what do you think about being Christ’s best man (or best lady)? Does that affect the way you’ve thought about your relationship with him? What else do you think might make someone a good best man or best lady? What about a bad one?
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.