He, Christ, Must Increase
John the Baptist was happy that the attention & ministry focus was increasingly shifting to Jesus.
The decrease John talks about is in the context of passing the kingdom ministry baton to Jesus.
John clearly knew & understood His part & position in the kingdom.
He was delighted that Jesus was taking His rightful place – the central & most prominent place in the Kingdom of God.
John answered and said, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven.
You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent before Him.’
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.
He must increase, but I must decrease.
He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all.
And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony.
He who has received His testimony has certified that God is true. John 3:27-33
John recognised, & rejoiced in, the superiority & prominence of Christ & His ministry.
He understood that there is no room for competition, comparison or cloning in the Kingdom of God (John 21:20-23).
It is so important that we be ourselves in whatever ministry or kingdom assignment that God gives us.
Giving our all for God’s glory & to lift Jesus high & make Him known. Playing our unique part with humility & grace.
John was happy that Christ ‘s ministry was attracting more followers & interest than his own.
That meant his own would decrease, diminish & subsequently disappear.
That is the less & decrease John is highlighting.
The decrease is not in John personally but in the impact of his ‘forerunner’ ministry (Matthew 3:1-2) which had fulfilled it’s purpose.
Personality, popularity, ego & ambition were not to get in the way of what God had asked John to do.
As the friend of the Bridegroom John was willing & ready to make way for the Bridegroom (Jesus).
John played his part & passed on the baton in the right way at the right time.
He willingly allowed Christ to take the central, prominent & key position.
He ensured that Jesus took centre stage & encouraged his own followers to do the same.
The decrease is only in John’s ministry influence & impact – not in his person.
For Christ to increase the Kingdom on the earth John’s preparatory ministry had to end.
John humbly accepted this & gladly made way for Christ to take up & keep the prominent role & position.
He laid aside all ego & ambition to pass the baton onto Christ & to lift Jesus high.
John knew that it was ALL ABOUT JESUS ALWAYS & did all he could to make it so.
May we do the same.
- Am I content with the part & position that God has assigned to me?
- In what ways am I casting the attention onto Jesus right now?
- Meditate on Jesus in His rightful place – full & centre stage.
A song related to this theme:
Thank you for Christ the Bridegroom,
And thank you for the humble example of John the baptist .
Holy Spirit help us like him to lift Jesus high,
To always make Christ prominent in our lives & ministries.
May we always acknowledge that it is all about Jesus & not about ourselves.
This we ask in the mighty Name of Jesus.
Written by Gareth Jones