HOST: Michael Whitworth
After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he remained there with them and was baptizing. John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because water was plentiful there, and people were coming and being baptized (for John had not yet been put in prison). Now a discussion arose between some of John’s disciples and a Jew over purification. And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you bore witness—look, he is baptizing, and all are going to him.” John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.’ 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. He must increase, but I must decrease.” He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven 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. For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
“He must increase, but I must decrease.” What a powerful statement. John had certainly gained a great deal of notoriety and a large following during his preaching in the wilderness. No doubt, some of his followers, motivated by their respect for and loyalty to John, felt threatened by Jesus’ presence. But John understood that it wasn’t about him. It was about Jesus. John had fulfilled his role in preparing the way for Jesus, and it was now time for him to humbly and submissively give way to the Master. There is a great lesson there for us. So often, we know Jesus and want to have a relationship with Him, but don’t want to get out of the way so that He can have control. We are happy to share our lives with Him, but we are not willing to give Him our lives. We would do well to learn from John and follow his example in saying, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
Why is it important that we give our lives to Christ?
Don’t forget to pray and have a great day!