Scripture for Today: John 3:30 “He must become greater, I must become less.”
Had this man been a religious official in ancient Rome, anyone watching him would assume he was interpreting natural signs or augurs. Divine approval or disapproval was often determined by watching the behavior of birds! Augurs were meant to predict an outcome. “Inaugurato” was a ceremony using the augurs to seek the sanction of the gods for something decreed by man. The Latin origin of inaugurate was “inaugurare” meaning to “increase.”
John the Baptist in today’s verse is reassuring his disciples. They were concerned that Jesus was stealing John’s thunder. John told them that Jesus must increase or become greater while he himself must fulfill his role to prepare the way for Him. John understood that he would decrease, or become less, even though he was in the unique position of being the last prophet of the Old Testament. Rather than holding on to his influence and power, John gives way to the Lord. In a sense, John the Baptist was to “inaugurate” Jesus, pointing people to Him. His ministry was not about himself but about Jesus.
There may be no formal ceremony involved, but I am to do all I can to decrease myself and increase my Lord! My life is not about me primarily but about Him. Paul expressed this thought when he said, “For me to live is Christ…” (Phil. 1:21) I want Him to be seen and recognized in me but it is a daily challenge! However, I find that when His character is evident in me through His Spirit, I am my best self! It seems counter-intuitive but fulfilling my role to point others to Him makes my own little life so much more significant!
Lord, may You increase in me and in my life!