He must increase, but I must decrease.

John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.’ The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease.”

He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all. He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony. Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true. For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.



This passage is a fitting follow-up to the conversation that Jesus had with the Pharisee. In these verses John the Baptist affirms the things that Jesus told Nicodemus. Consider these points that John makes as he shares with his disciples and others:
  • Spiritual wisdom is a gift from heaven. A person who understands this is able to receive it because they have placed themselves in a place of humility.
  • We are not God or the Messiah. It is lesson in humility for many with over-inflated pride but a needed one. Humility is a necessity, not an option, for a follower of Christ.
  • We are humble fore-runners. Like John it is our job to proclaim the good news about Jesus telling all that the Bridegroom will soon return for His bride.
  • We are friends of God who rejoice greatly at his voice. When we read the scriptures we rejoice over his words. Our relationship with God is a joy filled one.
  • His influence must increase in our lives. When we are born again we begin as spiritual infants and grow into mature children of God as we walk humbly before Him.
I love it how John ends this passage saying the same thing that Jesus told Nicodemus about eternal life. When I think of John I think of someone who had such a clear and humble understanding of his role in life and such an amazing insight into God.

Like John, I pray Lord that your influence would grow stronger in my life.

2 comments:

  1. Meaningful meditation, Bob...Thank you!

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  2. I think we need many more people today like John. Lord, please make me one of them.

    ReplyDelete

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