He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.
John 3:30, NLT
Before our Lord appeared, John the Baptist had incredible popularity. Thousands and thousands came to him as he preached in the wilderness of Judea. However when Jesus initiated His own ministry, people left in droves to follow Him. Imagine having a wildly successful thing going, and the next day having it fizzle.
I have discovered that it is one thing to be the center of attention, and quite another to be a minor player. John was the MVP, but overnight he was sent to the farm team (baseball metaphor). Men and women reach for center stage, to be in the limelight. But very few can move in the other direction gracefully.
A conductor was asked what the hardest instrument to play. The interviewer expected that it would be a saxophone or trombone or some other. The conductor just smiled, and said, “The hardest is the second violin”.
“How great victory was that which Jonathan must have gained over himself, when he rejoiced to see David raised above him! He discerned the mind of God in David, and had so learned to delight in God, that he did not see in David one who was to outshine him, but another faithful man raised up for God and Israel.” –Robert C. Chapman