Tuesday, May 17, 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!
Recall John 3:22,23: “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.”
Israel’s religious leaders were trying to make John the Baptist envious of Jesus and His disciples: “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” (John 3:26). When John could have defended himself and said just how worthy he was of attention, he refused. He transferred praise to Jesus Christ (today’s Scripture).
Now, skip over to the opening verses of chapter 4: “ When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,  (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,)  He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee.” When Jesus learned that the Pharisees were starting to praise Him for attracting more followers than John, Jesus left Judaea (southern Israel) and went far away north (Galilee). He knew that He had come to glorify His Heavenly Father rather than Himself!
Friends, as you can see, both Jesus and John the Baptist were filled with, or controlled by, the Holy Ghost. They were not seeking their own praise and worship. John wanted Jesus to be glorified while Jesus wanted His Heavenly Father to be glorified. Satan is always looking to disrupt God’s work, even in the slightest way possible. In fact, what seemed to be minor in this scenario was actually a threat to Jesus’ earthly ministry before it had really begun. John, led by the Holy Spirit, and Jesus, led by the Holy Spirit, both saw how Satan was operating and they reacted wisely to prevent his will from being accomplished.
Let us conclude this devotionals arc by seeing how we can use today’s Scripture in our Christian lives.