John 3:26-30: “And they came to John and said to him, ‘Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified; behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him!’ 27 John answered and said, ‘A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven... 30 He must increase, but I must decrease.’”
John the Baptist was doing what God had called him to do, and that mission was to be the forerunner to the Christ and to call people to repentance. For John the Baptist, he was not intimidated by the success of Jesus’ popularity. In fact John encouraged people to follow Jesus. John knew who He was and that God had exalted Jesus over him. John knew what his mission was and knew who was supposed to be the Messiah. Nothing was going to prevent John from completing his mission. There were some people who found out that Jesus was baptizing, and those people went to John and tried to stir up some trouble between John and Jesus by telling him that this man that he was with the other day was drawing more of a crowd than John.
John was secure in his calling and knew that Jesus was the messiah. This increase in Jesus’ popularity was supposed to happen. Jesus was (and is) the “Lamb that will wash away the sins of the world,” so of course His popularity would grow. John was not jealous that Jesus was drawing a crowd, for how else were they going to hear the gospel? John would not use this scene as an opportunity to stand between Jesus and His ministry, and would not submit to a chance to have resentment develop. Rather, he used this time to teach those around him real submission to God’s authority and ultimately to Jesus’ authority.
"He must increase, but I must decrease” is the teaching for all mankind. He, Jesus, must increase in our lives, and our selfishness and flesh must decrease. It is extremely easy to satisfy the passions and wants of the flesh, but in order for to grow as a Christ follower He must increase. The more I make Jesus a real part of my life the less I become important. I start realizing that this life is not about me, and I will never reach my potential until I take me out of the center of my life. Jesus modeled this when He put the needs of you and me, before Himself, and died on a cross. John understood the concept of making Jesus a priority in his life. He concluded that “his” mission was not as important as Jesus’ was. John models the maturity that is needed in today’s Christ follower; we need to put Jesus on the throne of our hearts and remove ourselves. He is the King of Kings, and there is no room for you on the throne.
Old Testament: 11 Kings 4-5 New Testament John 4:1-30