“He Must Become Greater"
by Jared Altic
Who was the greatest man who has ever lived (excluding Jesus)? According to Jesus, it was John the Baptist. Jesus said, “among those born of women, no one is greater than John," (Luke 7:28).
That’s an amazing endorsement. And John pretty much deserved it. He was a prophet and preacher like Elijah in a time when no one had seen a prophet from God in four hundred years. John the Baptist was a gifted speaker and interesting personality that attracted and mesmerized Jews and Romans, traditionalists and liberals, soldiers and civilians. Everyone went to hear him preach; he was kind of amazing.
But while John was doing his ministry out in the countryside, Jesus began his preaching also. The crowds began to leave John and go over to Jesus. Even some of John’s personal students left him to become disciples of Jesus. Imagine a student today transferring to a rival school, mid-semester. What would people think?!
But when asked about this, John answered, “The One who comes from Heaven is above all,” speaking of Jesus as greater than himself. Then he said it directly, "He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30).
Why would a great person step down from center stage? We live in a world that says you simply must attract attention. Be the fastest, the smartest, the most beautiful, the funniest. Win, win, win. Don’t be average because you’ll be forgotten. You have to stand out and distinguish yourself; if you don’t promote you, no one else will.
But John understood what we seldom do. Our value doesn’t come from being in first place. Success doesn’t mean having the most money or the most trophies. The real winners are the ones who trust in Jesus Christ. John the Baptist said, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them,” (John 3:36).
If I’m going to have real success or achieve anything meaningful, it begins with allowing myself to take a backseat to the One who truly deserves praise and honor. Compared to him, I’m nothing. Without him, I’m nothing.
Read: John 3:22-36; 1Thessalonians 4:11; Romans 12:3
Pray: Ask God to show you what it means to be humble in today’s world. Thank him for the work of Jesus Christ which saves us.