“He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30 KJV)
William Magee of Dublin spoke of three kinds of preacher; the one to whom you cannot listen, the one to whom you can listen – and the one to whom you MUST listen!
John the Baptist was definitely in the last category. He never travelled or performed any great miracle - yet his preaching moved all Israel; it got him into trouble with the authorities and it finally cost him his head. His was the greatest task of a long convoy of prophets; not simply to prophesy the Messiah’s coming but to announce that He had COME - and that therefore his own ministry could now ‘decrease.’ John was like the star heralding the dawn – now eclipsed by the Sun’s arrival.
1. He was consistent to the end. John never deviated from his calling. “He must increase, but I must decrease.” That should be the motto of every believer – for Christ to stay supreme in our loyalties always.
2. He was humble to the end. Nobody was bolder than John - speaking of Christ coming with a threshing fork in his hand… with an axe… with fire! But he himself was no more than ‘a voice, calling out in the wilderness.’ Ironically it has always been the people of humility who permanently bless and change the world.
3. He was enduring to the end. “I must decrease.” This did not mean that John could now ‘retire,’ put on his slippers and watch TV. His testimony continued in prison under Herod – to the very last.
Be inspired yourself today – by this man of blood and fire.