The text tells us that Christ must increase…no doubt about that. The everlasting became flesh and there will be an increase simply by his presence and power. He MUST increase for it cannot be restrained nor contained.
But also there is a responsibility that we have to enlarge His potential. John declared “I must decrease”. The word decrease is to lower in rank, to diminish. John realizes that for the gospel to have full course Christ must become larger than anything John was doing.
I see in the preceding verses four areas where John was willing to have Christ increase over himself
First, in the area of works. In verse 26 John is told that Jesus, or His disciples, are baptizing. This did not offend John, nor did it effect John as much as his own followers. Jesus must be allowed to increase His works in and around us. We are to be surrendered to His power and ability that is far more capable than our own.
Second, in the area of influence. In that same verse the disciples of John declare, “all men come to him.” To these loyalists of John this meant a diminished influence. Again, John met this news with humility for He MUST increase. Allow Christ to be most influential in your life, to increase above all others that clamor for attention.
Third, Christ must increase to us as a friend. In John’s response to the bothered brethren, he declares that he is the friend of the bridegroom. In this role he is the “set-up man” for the wedding. John is the friend that gets all things prepared, even the introduction to the potential bride. John has been working for the bridegroom as his friend for quite some time and is rejoicing that all plans are coming together. This is a deep truth but one to be grasped by anyone that loves a friend and desires to see that friend fulfilled. John greatly desires for Jesus, his friend, to increase! This is what john’s whole ministry is about….a bride for the bridegroom. Let Christ’s friendship with you increase.
Lastly, Christ’s voice must increase, get louder in our lives. Jesus will have to get bigger than all other voices if we are to surrender and please Him. John said the friend greatly rejoiceth because of the bridegroom’s voice. John received much joy because Jesus was getting closer and more relevant. John goes on to say this is a fulfilling joy, a satisfaction he longed to know. I believe that for God’s people to gain the satisfaction they seek in Christ His voice must increase to direct us, at times discipline us, and to help us discover His plan for our lives.
Allow Jesus to be bigger than anyone or anything, including self this year.