Rivals or Relations
Posted: Wednesday, May 4
Verse of the day:
Jesus knew the Pharisees had heard that he was baptizing and making more disciples than John (though Jesus himself didn’t baptize them—his disciples did). So he left Judea and returned to Galilee. (John 4:1-3)
When you drive down the street and see neighboring churches, do you see relations or rivals? So many time, as we try and reach our cities for Christ, we can fall into the trap of thinking that other churches are obstacles to our goals. Instead of seeing them as part of the family, we see them as rivals.
Jesus cousin was also in the ministry. Jesus cousin was a trendsetter. Jesus cousin was John the Baptist. John had a thriving ministry with many converts and many baptisms. Even Jesus went to his cousin to be baptized. However, as Jesus began to teach and grow in popularity, some people changed churches. Instead of going to hear John, they were now going to hear Jesus. It would have been easy for John and Jesus to see each other as rivals. It would have been easy for Jesus to grow proud and insist that John stop his ministry because Jesus had arrived.
Jesus understood that John was on the same team. They both wanted to see the people in Jerusalem repent. They both wanted to see people commit their lives through baptism. However, Jesus chose to relocate his ministry back to the lake shore of Galilee. There was plenty of water and plenty of people that needed to be converted in Jerusalem, but if it meant making is cousin his rival, Jesus was willing to move.