Understanding what it means to decrease

He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30 NASB

I would like to take a few minutes to discuss this passage.

What does it mean to decrease? I think this is important because many people misunderstand what it means to decrease.

In the context, it meant John the Baptist was no longer the rock star of the nation. The spotlight moved to Jesus. Jesus was now center stage. And John was okay with that. In fact, John was delighted with that.

We are tempted to prop up our own sense of self worth by all kinds of foolish and false means—money, power, and, in this case, popularity. But John didn’t need any of that. He didn’t need the crowd’s approval to feel okay about himself.

John was a man sent by God (John 1:6). Like you and me, he was created, redeemed and commissioned by God. He had a role to play in God’s great plan. He played it, stepped offstage, and was okay.

Do not imagine that John’s worth—or our worth—in some way decreases. In fact, a few months later Jesus was heard saying this: “Among those born of women, there is none greater than John the Baptist.” (Luke 7:28) Our worth comes from the price Jesus paid to buy us back. And that will never decrease.


Bible trivia:
Answer from last time: Barnabas and the apostle Paul parted company when they couldn’t resolve their disagreement.
New question: What were Barnabas and Paul in disagreement about?

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