"He must increase, but I must decrease."
It is a familiar phrase, one spoken by the forerunner of the Son of God who was sent to prepare the way for His coming. John knew that he wasn't the main attraction. He knew that his time in ministry was not to be spent in gathering followers for himself. He was fully aware that the spotlight would be off of him and onto Another soon. He bowed out in so graceful a manner that it blows my mind - he stepped off the stage and continued doing what he was doing away from the spotlight!
John 3 records that he was still baptizing at the same point in time that Jesus and His disciples were baptizing. He hadn't stopped just because Jesus had arrived. Some even told him that Jesus was baptizing, too, and that people were going to Him. John made it clear that he was merely the friend of the Bridegroom, and that the bride didn't belong to him. That Jesus' ministry must increase, while his would decrease. He kept preaching until he was thrown into prison and later beheaded.
I want you to think for a moment concerning his time in prison: at one instance he sent some of his followers to check and make sure that Jesus was the One, and upon his death his followers came and buried his body. He still had followers even after Christ had arrived. He had been pointing in the direction of a certain Man for some time, yet even upon His arrival people continued following John. No wonder he made it clear that he must decrease. Their eyes needed to be taken off of man and re-focused.
This "more than a prophet" guy had been filled with the Holy Spirit since the womb and had lived in the desert his entire life until the Word came to him. His life was not about him, and he knew it. Jesus bragged on him, and people followed him until he died. He knew how to do what he was sent to do without allowing pride into the picture. He knew how to decrease.
We are to prepare the way for the Lord's coming as John did. May we catch on to his method of consistently pointing to the One on His way. It is not about us.
Lord, I pray that we decrease, and that You increase in the view of the world. Help us to get out of the way, continuing to do what You have called us to do...but not for the spotlight. In Jesus' Name. Amen.