29 He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled.
In this verse John the Baptist introduced an illustration to show his disciples that the focus must shift from himself to the Messiah.
29 He who has the bride is the bridegroom [Christ];
John the Baptist gave an analogy from the function of ancient marriage.
but the friend [best man] of the bridegroom,
The “friend of the bridegroom” here is John the Baptist. The Baptizer compares himself to the friend of the bridegroom, or what we call today the best man.
who stands and hears him,
It was the role of the friend of the bridegroom to stand before the groom and listen to him. The focus of the wedding should be on the groom, not the best man.
rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice.
The friend of the bridegroom found joy when he saw the wedding party bringing the bride to the bridegroom. In ancient culture the bride came to the groom, not the groom for the bride.
The idea of “therefore” is this: “Since these things are so, I have joy in my soul.” When John saw crowds leaving him and going to Jesus, he drew joy from the conclusion that the will of God was in the process of being fulfilled.
this joy of mine is fulfilled.
The prophet John took great joy in his disciples moving over to follow Jesus. John was a man who could rejoice in what God was doing with someone else. Although his crowds were diminishing, he rejoiced that Christ’s were increasing.
There should be no deviation from Christ centeredness in our ministry.
As the focus should be on the bridegroom rather than the friend of the bridegroom, so our emphasis should be on Christ rather than our own ministries.
God appoints people and ministries to represent Christ on earth. We are like friends to the bridegroom. We submit ourselves to Him and His celebration.