Sunday, May 15, 2016
“He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30 KJV).
Beloved, may today’s Scripture be the cry of each and every Christian!
We begin reading in context in verse 22: “ After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.  And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized.  For John was not yet cast into prison.”
Some weeks into Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry, He and His disciples went to the land of Judaea and there they baptized believers. John the Baptist is baptizing believers as well, in Aenon near Salim (exact location unknown, but presumably near the Jordan River Valley). During this time, “ Then there arose a question between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying.  And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.”
To Satan’s utmost delight, some of these Jewish religionists are beginning to harass John the Baptist. In effect, they are saying in verse 26, “John, that ‘Jesus’ you preached about and praised earlier, He and His disciples are now baptizing more people than you! Your ministry is losing popularity and followers!”
Beloved, as you can see most clearly, Satan is a very shrewd creature. Having sharp powers of judgment, he knows that he must “divide and conquer” if he is to prevent Jesus’ earthly ministry from gaining momentum. If he can get John the Baptist to grow so upset (envious) that he begins to recant his message that Jesus is Christ, John’s ministry is discredited… and so is Jesus Christ’s! Do you see how the whole purpose and plan of God for Israel hangs in the balance here? It is ever so critical that John the Baptist respond most wisely to these troublemakers.
Thankfully, John the Baptist is “filled with the Holy Ghost” (Luke 1:15). He will answer most appropriately!
Our latest Bible Q&A: “What made the crucified thief repent?”