John 3:30 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 3:30, NIV: "He must become greater; I must become less.'"

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

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

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

John 3:30, NLT: "He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less."

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

What does John 3:30 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

John the Baptist came to prepare people for the One who is coming—Jesus (John 1:23; John 3:28). Over time, as Jesus becomes known, more people follow Him than the Baptist. This is not a problem, at all. There's nothing wrong with the Baptist's message, or his ministry. The reason he preached was to encourage others to follow the Messiah. So, when this actually starts to happen, he's happy. In verse 29, he makes an analogy to the best man at a wedding. The best man feels joy when the groom gets attention, and a bride.

John the Baptist also knows that people cannot follow him, and follow Jesus. If his message is working, people should be moving on from his ministry, and becoming disciples of Jesus. This is the same situation Christian leaders find themselves in. The goal of teaching and preaching is to lead people to follow Jesus. At some point, those people should grow and mature. The point of ministry is not to make the minister look good, but to help others in their walk with God.