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Read Introduction to John


30 He must increase, but I must decrease.


This verse summarizes John the Baptist’s view of Jesus. Here is an outstanding picture of how John the Baptist viewed his ministry compared to Christ. He delighted in the superiority of Jesus.

30 He must increase,

Jesus’ profile must increase because He was the Messiah. The word “must” speaks to the divine imperative of glorifying Christ as the Messiah. There is no other option here. The increase of Jesus is not something merely advisable; it is a “must.”

“Increase” means to grow in stature. Jesus’ stature should be elevated so that people understand who He truly is.

but I must decrease.

John the Baptist’s profile must decrease because he merely introduced the bridegroom to the world. His popularity must decrease in the light of the fact that Christ had already come in His great glory.


We need to understand our place in reference to Christ.


It is the measure of the man who can rejoice in another man’s ministry. The Baptizer delighted in the superiority of Christ. Jesus was everything to him. He humbled himself to the Father’s plan for Jesus. How do we view our ministry? Is it to make us look good or does it glorify our Lord? Exaltation of Jesus should be our central attitude about what we do.

Ray Stedman related the story of the German Kaiser who loved attention so much that he wanted to be the baby at every christening, the bridegroom at every wedding, and the corpse at every funeral!