Note: This series is written as a first-person narrative in order to present Jesus in the context he walked with the unknown disciple that narrates presenting my thoughts and sparking more thoughts with his questions. Enjoy.
We went back into the Judean countryside after going to Jerusalem and meeting Nicodemus. He spent time teaching us and others who came. We baptized all who were willing, and many were.
John the Baptist was nearby since there was a lot of water in the area. People were going to be baptized by him as well. One day we had a visitor come tell Jesus about what had recently happened.
John’s disciples and another were arguing over ceremonial washing. Frustrated, they went to John to tell him that Jesus was also baptizing and more people were going to him than John.
John answered, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less.
“The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. Whoever has accepted it has certified that God is truthful. For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit. The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.”
I thought to myself, ‘He must increase, I must decrease?’ My goals, all that I have, including my reputation, is not as important as the one I am following? Jesus of Nazareth?