After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He remained with them and baptized. Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there. And they came and were baptized. For John had not yet been thrown into prison.
Then there arose a dispute between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purification. And they came to John and said to him, "Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified--behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him!"
John answered and said, "A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, 'I am not the Christ,' but 'I have been sent before Him.' 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. He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony. He who has received His testimony has certified that God is true. For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure. The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."
Quite the discourse from John the Baptist to the Jews. I'm almost surprised he wasn't arrested then and there but more talk like this is what cost him his life. He explains again that he is not the Christ, that only one who comes from heaven can receive such honor. But he is filled with joy that he has received such a One and has allowed Him to increase while he decreased.
John believed what he heard from Jesus. He believed it unto death. He would not compromise his testimony. And we should not either. Jesus is our testimony. Paul even said, And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. (I Corinthians 2:1-2)
Oh people, there are so many references that state that we are fools without Christ. That His words are foolishness to those who do not receive Him, that without Him and them we lack understanding, that He is a stumbling block. Only through the power of God will we understand and we cannot have that power without Jesus. It breaks my heart.
We are all earthly beings. We must all allow Jesus to increase as we decrease. We are to testify only of Jesus. We are to testify of heavenly things. Jesus alone is worthy of all things. He makes Himself known to us that might receive Him and then testify of what HE has done, not what we have done. Jesus increases because only He can speak the true words from God. We decrease because, as believers, we can only speak of what He has said. His words alone are true. We are only the messengers of the Word of God. It's all about Him...because He is worthy to receive all glory and power and praise (Revelation 4:11).
John also point blankly tells them that none, or very few, will receive Jesus and His testimony. The same goes for today. But for those who take Jesus and His heavenly words to heart know in those very hearts He is who He says He is. And isn't it sad that many do not want to know? Sad because of what they will lose, as John goes on to explain...He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.
Take Jesus at His word. Know Him, receive Him, receive the power of God, His Holy Spirit, that His true words might be understood. Don't let Him become your stumbling block.
John 3:11-12 - Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?