He must become greater. I must become less.
These words are words from John the Baptist himself. A man who had a thriving ministry paving the way for the Messiah.
He had his own disciples that followed him, learning from him. Hanging on is every word.
He was known. He was somebody. He was something else.
Then Jesus arrived. The Messiah. And he began baptizing.
John’s disciples went to him and said “Rabbi, the man you met on the other side of the Jordan River, the one you identified as the Messiah, is also baptizing people. And everybody is going to him instead of coming to us.” John replied, “No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven. You yourselves know how plainly I told you, ‘I am not the Messiah. I am only here to prepare the way for him.’
(John 3: 26 – 28 NLT)
This man did not seek his own fame, but sought to make known the name of Jesus. Sought to make much of Jesus. Sought, in doing so, to make himself and his own fame fall to the wayside.
I love this passage and train of thought, because it reminds me that nothing is about me, it all comes down to him. He’s the one I follow. He’s the one who gives meaning to my days and teaches me the best way to live. He’s the one who chased after me when I was far away from him. He’s the one who gave me the choice to turn from my wicked, sinful desires and to seek after something better (him). He’s the one that forgives my wretched sin and makes me right with God. It’s all him.
Here in the United States, it’s very easy to make it all about me. Too easy. Sickeningly easy. But to make much of Jesus? That’s hard. It goes against my nature. Because I love to be seen, praised, honored, glorified. But that’s an empty, hollow path. No good comes from the elevation of myself. Only good comes from the elevation of Jesus Christ.
May I be like John. May we be like John. Faithfully serving our God and paving the way for his name to be known, while we humbly, happily, fall to the wayside.