The Best Man… such an important role, a place of honor.
I’ve had the honor to fulfill that role three times now—and I am grateful for each. But it’s not the easiest role in a wedding. It comes with the responsibility to assist and prepare and often go before the groom to let everyone know he is coming.
Yesterday, I spoke of John the Baptist and his role as the herald for the promised Messiah. This unique man had the task to come and make the announcement that the people should have been ready to hear, “Here He is!”
As Jesus’ ministry began to pick up momentum and as people were coming to hear His message and believing in Him, they were being baptized in testimony—just like those coming to John the Baptist. As often is the case, there were religious leaders growing concerned about what they were seeing from this Jesus.
(I encourage you to take a moment and read John 3.22-36.)
One of the Jewish leaders asked John what he thought about the growing number of people following Jesus instead of following him.
John’s response earns him the title, at least in my book, of the Best Best Man.
John reminds them:
“You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.’ The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete.” (John 3.28-29)
John makes clear that he is just the “friend of the bridegroom,” or what we know as the Best Man. He points out how much joy he takes in the promise being fulfilled as the Groom comes to take his bride. Jesus, the Son of the Father, is the one who came to collect His bride. There is much discussion to be had over the richness of that picture, but we’ll save it for another day.
John, as the best Best Man, points to the groom with a joyful heart as his role is fulfilled.
But then he makes the statement that seals the case for his best Best Man honors:
“He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3.30)
He goes on in the next few verses to flesh that out by reminding them the One who came from the Father, the One who came from heaven, the One who has seen the Father, the One who “gives the Spirit without measure,” has come and is surely greater than any Best Man.
He even speaks the core truth of the gospel message: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life.” (John 3.36a)
As a most faithful Best Man, John toasts to the Groom and His bride. As a reliable Best Man, he points all of the honor toward the Bridegroom and recognizes His greatness.
So, if John was indeed the best Best Man, then his testimony is entirely aimed at helping us see the Groom for who He is. He is the Son of God who has come to court and woo His bride.
And who is that? I believe that is a picture of all people who come to “believe in the Son,” who will one day be assembled together and celebrate the wedding feast with our Groom and the Faithful and all-sustaining Father.
Do you see Him, the Groom in the mess to court His bride and cleanse and prepare her for Himself?
Do you believe Him—that He really came to woo us, to draw you and me to Himself?
Do you know Him, the Bridegroom who will sweep us away to His kingdom’s great glory someday?