In our world today man is savagely vying for supremacy. From legal organizations fighting to have the base truths of the 10 commandments removed from public places, to modern sociology claiming some inherent humanity. The problem with all of man’s systems is that man is at the center. John the Baptist knew that and taught of the dangers inherent in it over 2000 years ago.
When He said, “I must decrease” (John 3:30) John the Baptist was making things very clear. It would not be him who led many to glory, but the Savior, the Christ. Jesus was the one who needed to increase. In John 3:31 we read:
“He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.”
John the Baptist knew his position, a servant. He knew that above all it was the Master, the Teacher, the Christ who having come from Heaven is the one that is “above all.” Many claim to serve Christ however, their true motivation and faith is for and in self.
Just as they do today, men in John’s day thought they had all the answers. They did not know if Greek philosophy had value, or was it simply obeying all the rules? Self-proclaimed intellectuals thought philosophy had the answers. Legalists thought the rules were important. All were wrong. A humble, simply clothed, plane spoken, wilderness dwelling man was more in touch with God than any one around him. This simple man who attracted thousands to repent and be baptized said, “I must decrease.”
Man must decrease, God must increase. The Son of God died for your sins, not some law. The Messiah gave himself willingly and vicariously on the cross, not a philosopher. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6).