“He must increase, but I must decrease.” -John 3:30 (ESV)
John’s disciples heard that Jesus was attracting crowds and baptizing the people who came to Him. Distressed over the matter, they went directly to John and told him what they saw. John’s answer to their concerns however, was one of humility and grace. While his disciples were more worried about losing numbers and therefore prominence to Jesus, John had it in perspective. He recognized that though Jesus was his cousin, He was first and foremost his Lord and Savior. John was not called to redeem the world; it was Christ. Rather, John’s role was to call the people to repentance and prepare the way for Jesus’ coming; and he fulfilled this role well. Now that Christ had come, all John had to do was sit back and watch; humbling himself and not allowing pride to get the better of him so that Christ may carry out His redemptive work in the world.
We do not want the spotlight taken from us. In our human pride we want to be the centre of attention; loved, revered, and adored by all who come into contact with us. But these things are temporary and when we are faced with the possibility of losing such a position, we will do anything to maintain it; even resorting to methods which are deceitful and corrupt. Consequently, our pride leads us to do things that will shatter our relationships with others, and lasting peace and joy will elude us. What is more is that pride, if we allow it to take root in our hearts, will tarnish our witness for Christ and prevent the work which He is doing in our lives. If we truly wish to be redeemed from our sin and bring glory to God, we must first acknowledge that it is not about us. We can do nothing on our own because it is God who gives us breath and the ability to do what we boast about. When we allow Christ to enter into our hearts and purge us of our pride, we will know our place before Him and He will arrange our priorities according to His perfect will; not ours. By humbling ourselves so that Christ may work in us, we will be able to see the wonder and blessings of living in obedience to Him as He unfolds His plan before our eyes.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved