Bowie Apostolic Church
Days 11 - 12: The Groom and the Fan
by From the Pastor's Desk on April 28th, 2013

Day 11: The Parable of the Bridegroom and His Friends

John 3:29 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. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease.” 

If you’re married and are anything like me, you feel that your wedding day was not just chosen by you and your spouse, but it was ordained by God. He picked that individual out for you. Therefore, your wedding day symbolizes a monumental occasion that changed the course of your life.

The time that God chose to reveal all His glory through Jesus Christ is another such appointed time that God had chosen. However, this appointed time is not just significant to a couple, but it is significant to the generations of an entire world. John the Baptist is a forerunner to Jesus Christ, calling the nation to repentance. Though there were critics, his message was well received by many. John the Baptist was a BIG DEAL. However, he knew that he was not THE DEAL. It was not about John, it was about God. It was about Jesus.

His statement about the point in time that he had reached in his ministry styles it as the great anticipation of a wedding day. However, John is just a friend of the groom. He is not the groom. It is not his bride. It is not his day. It is not about him. To be clear, in the midst of a great ministry John the Baptist decides to go with the will of God and take a back seat. Despite the fact that he could gather large crowds to come hear him preach, he had the restraint and submission to put his ministry on hiatus. John’s ministry was so pervasive because of his many disciples, that decades after Jesus had ascended into heaven there were still disciples of John who had not heard about the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 19:1-6).

Can we have the restraint in our walk with God to say his words: “He must increase, but I must decrease.”? Can we honestly say that it is not about us and the success that we may have in life and ministry, but it is about Jesus? Calvary is the place where we come to lay all things at Jesus’ feet. It appears that John the Baptist found that place before Calvary ever happened. Praise God.

Day 12: The Winnowing Fork

Matthew 3:12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” 

Psalm 1:4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. 

Whether ancient or modern, a society that uses grain as a staple is all too familiar with the work and time it takes to harvest a crop with such small and unnoticeable fruit. They are so small in fact that it can take ours to have enough to make a day’s worth of meal. It takes patience.

The threshing floor is the place where it all happens. This is a unique case in reaping where the fruit of the harvest is beaten. Wheat kernels are naturally encased in an inedible coating known as chaff. Like most encasings, it is hard and has to be broken. This is where the beating comes into play. The wheat kernels are beaten sufficiently so that the chaff cracks and comes loose. At the end of this step, however, the chaff and the wheat are laying on the threshing floor together. This is not the desired effect in the end.

What takes place next is known as winnowing. The winnowing fork is a three pronged wooden “fork” (also called a fan in the KJV) that is used to scoop up the wheat and the chaff together. It is then thrown into the air and the wind separates the wheat from the chaff. This shows that the chaff is undesirable and there is an unstoppable force that rids the winnower of the undesirable.

In this parable Jesus is the winnower. He alone is judge. He alone is Lord of the harvest. He had come to establish His kingdom, but there were people that would oppose His ministry. It was the religious establishment. These people were the undesirables, the chaff. Were they able to be saved? Absolutely. But their desire was to control the Kingdom of God. No one will do that except God. Therefore, there would be an uncontrollable force that will clearly separate the wheat from the chaff.

The imagery of the wind invokes images of the Day of Pentecost. This is when the Holy Spirit came into an upper room and separated the ones who received Jesus Christ and the undesirables that wanted their religion. The Holy Spirit is the distinction.

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