Focal passage: John 1: 26-34; 3:26-30
I worked at a church in Mobile, Ala., my senior year of college. The pastor there had been in ministry for over 50 years. During this time, he baptized something like 10,000 people. I even heard one guy say he was the Billy Graham of pastors.
People came from all over to hear him preach.
By all accounts, we would say “Wow!” this man was a success and had a lot to be proud about. Yet, whenever people would try to praise him, he would always say, “It’s not about me. We come to praise God.”
I was taken aback. This man, who had such a huge following, did not care about the limelight. He simply wanted to make Christ known. He exemplified that Christ-centered living chooses to exalt Christ, not self.
When we come to this study in John, it is a familiar storyline.
John the Baptist is baptizing, and along the way, here comes Jesus. John says, “I baptize you with water but among you is one who takes away the sin of the world.”
He even goes so far as to say he is unworthy to untie Jesus’ sandals. Here we see John pointing to the greatness and salvation of Jesus.
John goes on to talk about the One who sent him to baptize with water – the One on whom you see the Spirit descend like a dove is the One who baptizes in the Spirit.
He describes his experience of understanding who Jesus is.
We should do the same thing when talking to others, emphasize the One who called and saved us.
In the last part of this study, we read about Jesus baptizing and gaining a following. John’s disciples asked about this.
John answers, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
This is what we all must do as followers of Christ. It is not about us, it’s about making Christ known.
We must not try and build a name for ourselves.
We are called to build Christ’s Kingdom, to make His name known.