He must increase, but I must decrease.
— John 3:30
Jesus said about John the Baptist that he was the greatest among men. What was so great about him? He had understood who Christ Jesus was. He is the one who proclaimed, “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). He also said, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life” (John 3:36).
But it was neither his eloquence nor his theological understanding which impressed Christ. It was his humility—his humble acceptance of his own role. John the Baptist knew that Jesus was God’s Messiah, and that he himself was only the forerunner, the messenger, crying out: “Prepare the way of the Lord.”
When Christ came, John’s ministry was essentially over. And John the Baptist could say these famous words: “He must increase, but I must decrease.”