John and Jesus

John 3:30 - "He must increase, but I must decrease."

After baptizing Jesus in the Jordan River, John told his followers that he had to decrease and Jesus had to increase. John had come into the world preaching repentance. His work was to "prepare the way of the LORD". Jesus came preaching "the kingdom of heaven is at hand" and said "be ye perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.".
John was saying, not only must I as a man decrease, but the message I came to preach must also decrease because a greater man and a greater message has arrived. John was a great man, but Jesus was the greater. Repentance is good, but perfection is better. According to Jesus, "Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist.". Jesus, on the other hand, was the son of God; the new Adam; the savior of the world. It is good to repent of our sins and be forgiven, but it is better to be perfect (mature) and not sin in the first place. Prevention is better than cure.
Thank God we can count on His grace, mercy and forgiveness. But we must not allow ourselves to think it's alright to sin because we can "make it right later". First of all, we are not guaranteed a "later"; secondly, it is not a sign of maturity for a Christian to think like that. As we let Jesus' message of perfection increase in our lives, we will be able to let John's message of repentance decrease because mature Christians will not give in so readily to the temptation to sin.

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