John the Baptist preached powerful, compelling messages and was quite famous among his peers.
Lives were being shaken up by his words. He was also gathering loyal followers; at least that was the case until Jesus came along. Once Jesus started preaching, people left John’s gatherings and joined the crowds listening to Him. Under the circumstances, there was a lot John could have been bitter about (and many would have sympathized with him). However, John’s distinguishing trait wasn’t his ability to call-out the Jewish leadership, it was his tenacious hold on the mission. He rejected the divisive talk about the ones following Jesus, embraced his situation, and pointed to Christ by saying this:
“He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. He must increase and I must decrease.” – John 3:29-30 NKJV
John blazed onto the scene like a comet, and his accomplishments were great; but his goal wasn’t to soar ever-higher. He humbly embraced what was laid before him and trusted God with the details. There may be moments today where the increase/decrease question hangs in the balance for you. What will your response be? “He must increase and I must decrease.”