He Must Increase
"He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease."
John the Baptist was the man! He was the herald prophesied by Isaiah — the voice of one crying in the wilderness. He was the great baptizer of the people, the one who drew crowds everywhere he went. Yet he knew a time would come when his “star status” would diminish.
Fast-forward to 2009. Tyler Hansbrough, the reigning NCAA Player of the Year, had to make a choice for the sake of his team. In order to help his team attain their goal of a national championship, he would need to take a "back seat" to Ty Lawson. His scoring average fell, and he graciously passed the mantle of leadership to Lawson. When asked about the shift in his role, Hansbrough repeatedly said, “I'll do whatever it takes to help this team get to the championship."
This is a young man who knew his role, and he accepted the change for the sake of the team. The result? Hansbrough, Lawson and the North Carolina Tar Heels were crowned the 2009 National Champions.
Rewind some 2,000-plus years. John the Baptist had proclaimed to be the herald of the messiah, yet many assumed that he himself was that man. However, he knew his role, and when Christ presented Himself for baptism, John graciously and humbly baptized Him and then proclaimed to his followers: "Behold, the Lamb of God!" Then, his disciples came to him saying, "John, that guy you baptized — the crowds are going to him!" John must have smiled knowingly, maybe put a hand on his disciples’ shoulders and gently said (in my interpretation), "I am not the man you seek. That man, Jesus, He is THE man. He is the Bridegroom, and I am His best man. And I am glad for Him. His time has come, and mine must fade."
Can you hear the confidence of a man who knows his purpose? How many of us struggle with envy and jealousy at others’ gifts, or when others are lauded and we are not? Perhaps it is the other player on your team who receives the praise, or that other coach who was named coach of the year? If you know your purpose and are fulfilling your role, how much easier it is to celebrate with them! If you know your purpose from God and your role in life, everything becomes a celebration of Him.
John knew this secret of life. Tyler Hansbrough understood this secret in the team setting. Maybe we can learn from them how we as well can be good teammates and celebrate what others are doing and what God is doing through them!
1. Have you ever envied the honor or praise that someone else received? Why?
2. Have you determined your role on your team? How does that help you be a better teammate?
3. Have you determined your purpose in life? God has a purpose for each of us, and life is so much more enjoyable when we follow His plan!
1 Corinthians 12:4-13