When a miracle happens, that is, every time a baby is born, everyone in the family rejoices! Babies are absolutely incredible! All eyes are on the baby to make sure the baby is provided for and protected. Without outside help, a baby would not survive, let alone thrive.
As the baby matures, it learns life can be difficult, because while it seems as though the world revolves around the baby, it really does not. A baby that does not grow up becomes a difficult self-centered creature and expects the world to revolve around it. I wrote a first article on “Look at me” about the baby that grows to be a child and tries to draw attention to himself. In a second article, I showed that Jesus taught this subject to the disciples who desired attention for themselves. The real issue is does my life draw attention to Jesus?
That raises a great passage about how even Jesus did not draw attention to Himself. In the biblical account of the man who was born blind and healed by Jesus, Jesus could have sung His own praises, but He did not.
Jesus gave instructions to the man to wash himself and the news spread quickly. The religious leaders questioned him and the man merely pointed them in word to Jesus. The religious leaders rejected his answers and they threatened and cast the healed man out of their presence. The blind man knew more about the Messiah than the Pharisees it seemed. That caused a huge emotional blow up at the temple and they cast him out.
Jesus heard the Pharisees cast the man out of the temple and found him. John recorded the account,
35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” 36 He answered and said, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?” 37 And Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you.” (John 9:35-37 NKJ)
What a great opportunity for Jesus to explain to the man He was in fact the Prophet to come, the Messiah who would deliver Israel and the Son of God sent into the world! I love how Jesus draws the man to God, but doesn’t make an issue of Himself. Jesus asked the man, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” That faith, that belief, would have been sufficient for salvation (John 1:34,49; 3:18).
However, the man was not sure who the Son of God was, but he was ready! He was on alert; he just needed a little more information at that point. That would have been Jesus’ opportunity to say, “Ta da! I’m the man! Look at Me!” But Jesus did not do that foolishness. Instead, He simply said, “You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you.” It is true that the ancient writers often wrote in third person grammar instead of first person, “I.” God was speaking through the humanity of Jesus, instead of the humanity of Jesus Himself. It is like what Solomon wrote, “Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; A stranger, and not your own lips.” (Pro. 27:2 NKJ)
People easily and often put the attention on themselves. People try to top a joke with another funny joke or stretch a story to get more attention (jokes I can see would bond people together, but is stretching a story for more attention a good thing?). Others will boast about their accomplishments to get attention. Some will put people down or make “cute cuts” as a way to trying to lift themselves up while putting someone else down. Of course, people draw attention to themselves by spreading gossip or worse by being a source of knowledge to spread about others. Sometimes people put attention on themselves by boasting about their accomplishments or promotions or acquisitions.
We have nothing if it the Lord does not give it (Deut. 8:18). What are you doing to put attention on Jesus instead of yourself?