He must become greater; I must become less. –John 3:30
If you did a character study on John the Baptist it might look something like this:
His conception was a miracle. (Luke 1: 5-25)
He experienced a prenatal recognition of Christ. (Luke 1:39-45)
He was named by God. (Luke 1: 13, 57-66)
He was raised in the desert. (Luke 1:80)
He preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. (Luke 3:3)
People flocked to him. (Mark 1:5)
His life was marked by humility. (Mark 1:6)
His life and ministry fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah. (Isaiah 40:3-5)
He wasn’t afraid to speak the truth. (Luke 3:7-14, 18-19)
He knew his purpose. (Mark 1:7-8, Luke 3:16)
He baptized Jesus. (Matthew 3:13-17)
He questioned his life and ministry. (Matthew 11: 3)
He was beheaded by Herod. (Matthew 14:1-12)
He was loved by Jesus. (Matthew 14: 13)
Of John the Baptist, Jesus said this, “I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist.”
If anyone had credentials, it was John the Baptist. His life was, by outward appearance, extremely successful. People flocked to him. His followers modeled their lives after him. Jesus Himself praised John. Yet, John understood that his life’s purpose was to point others to Jesus. When John’s disciples began leaving him to follow Jesus, he did not fuss, whine, complain or argue. John did not view Jesus as a threat, nor did he ever attempt to compete with Him. Rather, he pointed the way to Jesus.
Isn’t that what our lives should also be about? Too often, we get caught up in competition with other Christians, other churches or other ministries and we forget that our primary purpose is not to seek attention for ourselves, but it is to point others to Jesus. Yes, God uses people, churches and ministries to reach the world, but He uses them to reach the world for Christ, not in order to inflate our egos, our church attendance or the offering. John the Baptist said it best when he said, “He must become greater; I must become less.” The same is true for us today.
1. Take this opportunity to honestly examine your life. What areas of your life point to yourself rather than to Jesus?
2. What steps can you take to move the focus from yourself to pointing others to Christ?