John the Baptist is one of the coolest characters in all the Bible to me. One of the reasons why is because when you read his story, he has such courage. Man oh man, he’s not afraid of anything. He says what he needs to say, sometimes in a VERY bold way, and he does what he needs to do.
He said what he said, wore what he wore, did what he did with great courage.
You ever wonder what his secret was?
What was it that he had that gave him such courage? Well, when we read his story, this is what we see. We see that he knew that he had one job in life, and that was to point to Jesus. Everything he did was for that purpose. He did in everywhere and in every way.
He pointed to Jesus. And was the source of his courage. He knew that if he did what he was supposed to do, that was his purpose. And all would flow from that. Listen to what happens today in John 3: 27-30:
27 John answered, “No one can receive anything except what has been given from heaven. 28 You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah, but I have been sent ahead of him.’ 29 He who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. For this reason my joy has been fulfilled. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease.”
Here’s John, who is a big deal, has people coming from everywhere to hear him preach. Folks are talking to him, saying are you the messiah? Are you the one that is to come?
And John says – no! I am not the one. I am a friend of the one. I point to the one. But I am not the one. And then he says that great statement in verse 30 – He must increase, but I am must decrease.
Wow. That’s a tough thing to say, isn’t it. Jesus must decrease. We’re good with that one. That one’s cool.
But I must decrease. I’m not so sure about that one. I’m not sure that I want to decrease. That’s tough.
But John knew that he had to. He knew his life was not his own, but it was Jesus’. And the only way that he would be able to find true life was to decrease. Because living for himself would never lead to life. Living for Jesus would lead to true life. Now, and for all eternity.
He had to decrease. Jesus had to increase. That’s the secret. That was where his courage, his purpose, his life came from. He knew that if increased and Jesus decreased, he’d never find life. But, if he did all that he could do to point to Jesus and point others to Jesus, he’d fine life. And that life leads to courage.
Today, how about us? We were made for that very purpose. To point others to Jesus.
Today, may we live out our purpose. And if we do that, we will find the courage that we desperately need. Today, may He increase and we decrease.
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