John The Harbinger

Tuesday: First Week of Lent
John 3:22-36

If you were a character in a fairy-story, what character quality would you want to be known for?

In The Last Battle, the conclusion to his famous saga The Chronicles of Narnia, C. S. Lewis writes of one character who surprises the readers with her choice of self over the choice of the great Lion, Aslan. If you’re familiar with the story, you’ll recall that Queen Susan (or Susan Pevensie) and her younger sister Lucy witness Aslan’s death and resurrection and thereafter are crowned Queens of Narnia.

In the final battle of the final book, the children explain Susan’s absence: “She’s interested in nothing nowadays except nylons and lipstick and invitations” (C. S. Lewis, The Last Battle, 154). In another bit of writing, Lewis tells the readers that the character of Susan “is left alive in this world at the end, having by then turned into a rather silly, conceited young woman” (C. S. Lewis, Letters to Children, 67).

Distraction is a most sinister foe.

In John’s Gospel we’re told of a time when the disciples of John the Baptist get so distracted with practicality, pride, and rivalry that they too turn into a rather silly, conceited group, who are, in the moment, concerned with everything but Christ Himself.

In response, John answers with nothing but Christ Himself. You see, for John, it’s all about the Christ—it’s always been about the Christ. Faithful to his vocation as a herald of Another, John declares, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (3:30).

John speaks of subservience to the One who is above all. Christ alone is the cause for John’s response. “Jesus summons men to follow him not as a teacher or a pattern of the good life, but as the Christ, the Son of God” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship, 57-58).

It’s all about Christ—it always has been.

What is distracting you?

 

Erika M. McAuley is Project Editor at MB Seminary and is a part of Arnold Community Church in Abbotsford, BC.

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