He must increase, but I must decrease. —John 3:30
In this world no human wants to be number two. Everyone wants to be number one, the best, the foremost, and the biggest. Starting from school, college and work, we are competing to be number one. Likewise in sports, business, politics, even in the church, people are racing to be in the forefront.
How can it be accepted, we who work hard but there are also those who benefit without working! We sow with tears while others reap. How can we who try so desperately, but others become big while we become small. As humans, we reject that!
But there is one incident in the Bible that may be strange for us and impossible for people today in the midst of competing to be first. This event is in John 3:22-30. John the Baptist was aware of his position before God. He realized that he was only a tool to prepare the way of Jesus and to lead people to come to Jesus.
What did John the Baptist sacrifice to raise Jesus? The answer is that he sacrificed everything. John the Baptist's ministry was a complete self-giving to God. Serving God is not a side job or part time for John the Baptist. Nor is it for leisure time. However, his entire career is in his ministry. He had given up and devoted his whole life to serving. Nowadays, the preachers often preach more about ourselves than about the Lord Jesus.
Dear brothers and sisters, isn't it right that one day God's name will become more famous and our names will be forgotten more and more by those we preach about the gospel?
Being smaller and smaller in order to make others bigger is a very big sacrifice. Shouldn't we everyday find ourselves thinking more about God than about ourselves. He must become greater and we must become smaller. He must increase and we must decrease!
Reflection on John 3:22-30 by Sandre Loreng, SVD
(Listen to the Podcast here)