John the Baptist lived on earth at the time of Jesus. He was ministering, but there came a time that he would step down and proclaim the ministry of Jesus to be more superior then his own. Indeed, the timing of this event is really a transition time between the Old Covenant and New Covenant. We can learn a great deal about Christ through some verses in John 3, some very familiar to us, some perhaps not so familiar.
Let’s examine three key statements at the end of John 3 that help us see some significant things at that time and their implications for us as teachers, parents and students today at Evangelical Christian Academy.
To grasp the context, take a little time to find and read John 3:16-36
Receive the Gift from Heaven (John 3:16 and John 3:27)
John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”
John 3:27b- “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven.”
Thoughts to contemplate:
* God is the author of everything we receive.
* Christ is a gift to us from God for our salvation.
* When we (students, teachers, and parents) truly realize the good news of what God has done for us in Christ, to purchase our salvation and draw us to Him, that ought change the way in which we live! In gratitude to God, we can pursue His purposes and we can rely upon His strength to accomplish great things for Him. Let’s remember that we don’t work for this, He has given it to us. I pray each ECA student ultimately understands this perspective and is grateful for the gift!
Christ is Greater than Us (John 3:30)
John 3:30 – “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
* When John heard that Jesus was baptizing, he declared, “I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before.” John wanted the people to know that Jesus Christ was the promised Messiah and had ushered in the New Covenant. It was time for people to recognize Jesus as the Christ in order to worship and glorify Him.
* There is a popular bumper sticker on cars these days, “HE>i”. In essence, we can interpret the sticker to mean, “Christ is greater than me”. This is excellent for us to comprehend. John got it! For us, we should consider the vast strength of Christ, close at hand for believers! A few ways in which He is greater include His: wisdom, virtue, patience, knowledge, logic, love, and forgiveness. These are just a mere few! There is one more viewpoint for us to consider here. The idea that “He must increase and I must decrease” suggests that something in Christ is growing and something in us is diminishing. Since Christ is perfect, let’s view this as if our perspective on Christ’s grandeur is never big enough to encompass His true eminence. Therefore, we should humble ourselves and exalt Him! Let’s encourage one another to keep Christ greater than us – in our lives and the lives of our students!
Focus on Heaven rather than on Earth (John 3:31b-33)
John 3:31b – “He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above is above all. He bears witness to what He has seen and heard, yet no one receives His testimony. Whoever receives His testimony sets His seal to this, that God is true.”
* Receiving Christ changes one’s perspective from a focus upon ‘the here and now’ to a focus upon heavenly ways – the ways of Christ!
Consider this center-cropped image from the Fresco by Rafael created in the 1500s, entitled “School of Athens.” Many interpret the painting to show a divergence of the two philosophical schools of thought. Plato (left) argues a sense of heavenly timelessness while Aristotle looks into earthly life in the present realm.
“School of Athens” by Rafael
In the Gospel of John, we see that nations and the world in general had not accepted Christ as God’s Messiah. The challenge from John the Baptist is for the people to “receive His testimony – that God is true!”
We live in a challenging, and often frustrating, era in which the testimony of Christ is being attacked and diminished in this present world. My hope and prayer is that you are keenly looking out for these divergent perspectives! As believers in Christ, we are to realize that the blessings from the one true God, in Christ, are as real and vital today as they ever have been. Receiving God’s gift of Christ will never fail us or our children! Hold fast to Him!
February 2018 Eagle’s View
This monthly newsletter is issued as an important source of vital information, forms, and updates on school activities and events.