“After six days Jesus took with Him Peter, James, and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There He was transfigured before them.” — Matthew 17:1-2
I wonder what the other nine disciples thought after Jesus chose Peter, James, and John? I can imagine someone wondered, “Why didn’t he pick me?” I know if I was in the circle and Jesus didn’t choose me, I would probably feel envious. Maybe I’d even question why He chose who He did, due to the various flaws that I could see in their lives.
We live in a selfie-centered culture that encourages us to be obsessed with ourselves. At times, social media seems to be just another vehicle to feed our narcissism. I love that the Bible isn’t silent when it comes to examples of narcissism, like when the sons of Zebedee ask Jesus if they could sit on the right and the left hand of Jesus (Mark 10:35-37). In Matthew 18 we see the disciples asked Jesus, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven?” It is so easy to get jealous of what God is doing in the life of someone else, particularly when we are experiencing a dry season in our own life.
John the Baptist gave us three points to ponder when our narcissism begins to take over and we start to think we are better than we really are. In John 3, the disciples of John come to him after watching Jesus baptize people and ask John why the people are coming to Jesus to be baptized instead of him. Wasn’t that his job? (v. 24-26)
In that moment, John had a choice: He could give in to his ego and allow jealousy and envy to rear their ugly heads, or he could respond with humility and reverence. Scripture shows that he chose the latter.
“To this John replied, ‘A person can receive only what is given them from Heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, “I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of Him.” The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less.’” — John 3:27-30
The disciples of John found themselves caught up in the comparison game, but John wanted no part of it. John understood that it was Jesus who would pay for his sins; he wasn’t Jesus and therefore needed to surrender his life to the only One who is worthy of all praise, honor and glory.
My prayer is that you and I would not conform to the selfish mentality of the world but instead, with humility and reverence, allow our lives to reflect the glory of God and passionately and purposefully follow Christ.
— Don Davis, Director of NFL Ministries for The Increase
The Increase, part of the Sports Spectrum Network, is a community of Christian pro athletes sharing their personal stories of the decrease of self and the increase of Christ (John 3:30). Visit TheIncrease.com for more stories and videos.