30 He must increase, but I must decrease
In the New Testament John is spoken of very highly. In fact in Matthew 11:11 Jesus says that John is the greatest man to have ever lived. That would be a great compliment coming from anyone but just imagine the magnitude of a compliment like this coming from the Lord himself.
My sophomore year in high school I saw a newspaper article that had me ranked as the number three wrestler in my weight class in county. That is not a typo, COUNTY not COUNTRY. This was just for Broward County and I was so proud of it that my head swelled. I’m embarrassed to say, I became so cocky and arrogant that I would not have wanted to coach me back then. It was a very small accomplishment compared to the things God had in store for me in the very near future but I thought I was a super star and I acted like I was the stuff.
Contrast my cockiness with John’s response to people who thought very highly of him and you’ll see why Jesus was such a fan of John.
In the scripture below John’s disciples are confronting him and asking about Jesus. They want to know why people are starting to go to Jesus to be baptized rather than John.
They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.” To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less.” The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all.
John 3:26-31 NIV
Lord, thank you for all the gifts and abilities you have blessed me with. I also thank you for the limitations you have placed on those abilities. I will never be fast enough, strong enough, or smart enough to accomplish everything that you have planned for me. But I am thankful because it forces me to rely on you. In my weakness you show your strength. When I decrease you increase. Lord, please help me to always remember this truth.