It had been approximately 400 years since the last time God raised up a prophet in Israel and then suddenly John the Baptist was on the scene. He was baptizing people telling them to be ready for the coming of the kingdom of God. So it is understandable that his disciples, followers, would wonder why someone else was baptizing.
They came to John with a concern in John 3:26-
“Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”
They saw the numbers of people coming to John dwindling as people began to flock to Jesus. They did not understand it was God’s plan. John explained it to them.
“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.”
John let them in on what the deal was. John was sent to give testimony about Jesus that Jesus is the Messiah-promised one- from God.
Interesting analogy John used referring to himself as the friend of the bridegroom and those who come to Jesus as the bride. John shared the analogy to let his disciples know that John only had joy over Jesus ministering and baptizing. John was the friend of the bridegroom. He was happy to see his friend, Jesus, the bridegroom come on the scene. The being baptized did not belong to John the Baptist. They belonged to Jesus. John was only there to prepare people.
John acknowledged a truth that all who follow Jesus need to come to embrace- He must become greater and I must become less. To follow Jesus, we need to do so in humility before him. He is the Lord of Lords. He is our Savior and our creator. Out of joy for who Jesus is and what he has done for us, we realize he is greater and humble ourselves before him.
Thank you for reading. God Bless.