December 30 I Sunday
“He must become greater; I must become less.”
One of the first places Jesus spent quality time with His disciples was on the banks of the Jordan River. For a while, He and John the Baptist shared this as a place to minister and baptize, Jesus on one side of the river and John on the other. During this time, an argument broke out among John’s disciples about ceremonial washing, which is baptism. For them, this was far from a trivial waste of time. They thought that defending their beliefs about this practice was an important part of being in line with the will of God, but they missed that God incarnate was right across the river.
Some of these debaters attempted to lure John into the dispute. They came after his ego, saying, “Rabbi, the man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the One you testified about—look, He is baptising, and everyone is going to Him” (John 3:26). They might as well have been saying, “John, your ministry is diminishing. People aren’t going to you to be baptized anymore. That guy you said was the Lamb of God is overtaking you. What are you going to do?”
John’s response is profound in its humility and simplicity, but also its complexity. He reminds his disciples that this was always the intent, saying, “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” (John 3:29). John the Baptist saw what was happening and knew it was time to fade into the background. His mission had been accomplished. He had been sent like the best man to prepare the bride to meet her husband, Christ the King, and now that the awaited bridegroom had arrived, John knew he must become less.
As we mature in Christ, our lives become less about us and more about Christ. We become less concerned with our lives and comfort and just want to celebrate the Lord Jesus and point others to Him. Our joy comes from hearing His voice and living a life that is about His greatness. In short, the Christian life is about Christ. He is from above and is above all. He is the One who speaks the very words of God, and God has placed all things in His hands. As we live our lives in submission to Christ and intimate relationship with Him, He becomes greater, we become less, and we discover that we would not have it any other way.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, forgive me for when I have tried to step into Your spotlight. May my life be characterized by You becoming greater and me becoming less. Thank You, God.