Thanks to John’s gospel account, we have been able to see the Son of God in both words and action. He has quietly called his first disciples, and then confirmed their belief in him at a wedding celebration. He has shown his authority and his opposition to the religious elite as he throws out the corruption at Passover. We are even able to witness his counsel to one of the elite rulers.
But now comes the first competition between ministries. Jesus has left Jerusalem and his followers have only increased. John the Baptist, the great teacher who initiated Jesus’ ministry with his baptism, can only watch on the sidelines as Jesus’ ministry threatens to eclipse his own.
But John was not idle. As Jesus was teaching and baptizing, John was sending people to him. John’s message about the Messiah was now that he was here. Yet you still see the disappointment in John’s followers. Their leader was now losing followers to this new teacher. When they confront John with this news, John does one of the greatest things in his career.
This is the last recorded words of the greatest prophet who has ever lived, as he surrenders to Jesus’ growing influence. John has no personal hold on his ministry. Instead, he admits that it was only given him from God.
We would do well to put ourselves into John’s words here: “He must increase, but I must decrease”.
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