I’m sure we have all felt that sense of accomplishment that comes after a job well done. John the Baptist fully understood this sense of contentment and joy. While some of his followers were troubled, accusing Jesus of drawing people away from John and his ministry of repentance, John himself was happy. He saw the shift in events as a sign that God’s plan was moving forward. John had done all he could to prepare the people for the coming of the Messiah, and now it was time for him to step back and let God unfold the rest of his plan. The time had come for Jesus to increase, and for John to decrease.
In the gospel today we witness how John was already “decreasing.” He was already letting go of the control of his message and handing it over to Jesus. Instead of trying to preserve his reputation and to keep his followers, he was happy to send them to Jesus. John knew that God was in control of events, not himself, and it gave him great joy to know that he was in sync with the plans God had set out for him.
John’s example can give us a powerful lesson for our own spiritual growth. Our Lord wants us to have more of him and less of ourselves. He wants his plans and agendas to take over from our own thoughts and ideas. Now it’s not that our ideas are automatically bad or inferior; rather his plans and thoughts are so much better. And so let us take as our example and our model John the Baptist who was happy to let go of the things he had achieved so that God’s glory could be further revealed.