He must become greater and greater,
and I must become less and less.
John 3:30 NLT
You have probably heard this verse referenced in sermons, prayers by pastors before sermons, and in other moments when we want God to be the focus.
Let’s look at chapter three in the book of John for context…
At this time John the Baptist was baptizing at Aenon, near Salim, because there was plenty of water there; and people kept coming to him for baptism. (This was before John was thrown into prison.) A debate broke out between John’s disciples and a certain Jew over ceremonial cleansing. So John’s disciples came 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.’ It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the bridegroom’s friend is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success. He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.
“He has come from above and is greater than anyone else. We are of the earth, and we speak of earthly things, but he has come from heaven and is greater than anyone else...” – John 3:23-31
People looked at John thinking HE was the Messiah. Yet his whole life’s purpose was to usher Jesus Christ into the worldview, into the start of His ministry years as the true Messiah.
John’s life was never Number 1. He was always the second.
He lived and breathed John 3:30, stepping aside so Christ could take the spotlight.
Do you live each day in recognition that Christ is greater than you… always above and always to be glorified?
This is not to put anyone down, this is placing you in your right position. In a posture of humility, right-living, and worship.
John lived his life always pointing others to Jesus and not to himself.
You are called to do the same.