Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Always Number Two

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




John the Baptist is an interesting study.  I have wondered if I would have been happy to have had his calling on my life.  How would I have liked to be the one to point out the sin of the nation of Israel?  How would I have liked to be the one who was going to announce the coming of the Messiah, but who was always going to be number two in terms of importance?  How would I have liked doing my best to prepare the nation for their coming King only to fail?   How would I have liked my own faithfulness to be rewarded with a jail cell and ultimately a beheading because I called the wrong person a sinner?  This was the portion of John the Baptist.


John’s Prophetic Privileges

John was named by the angel Gabriel before he was born.  He was six months older than the Lord Jesus.  We find that he was to be the voice of one crying in the wilderness which tends to make me believe that his words were wasted on people that were not listening for the most part (Mark1:1-3).  According to the Lord, he fulfilled the prophecy that Elijah must come to prepare the people for the Lord’s coming (Matthew 17:10-13).  This shows me that there is figurative language that must be considered in a literal reading of the Bible, and it also shows me that there may be more than one fulfillment of many prophecies.  John had the privilege of baptizing the Lord and seeing the Holy Spirit anoint Him for His earthly ministry.


Filled with the Spirit

In Luke 1:15 we read, “For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.”  Some have told me that they do not need to be born again because they were saved like John the Baptist who they think was saved by his first birth based on this passage.  We must interpret the Bible in its context, and the Bible says that once Adam sinned, death passed on ALL men because All have sinned (Romans 5:12).  The Bible is clear that unless we are born again we will never enter the Kingdom of God (John 3:3).  So I believe John the Baptist had to come to grips with his own sin and trust in Christ just like everyone of us.  So what does this passage mean?


God puts each one of us on this earth for a purpose.  John’s purpose was to be a Nazarite (See Numbers 6:1-21).  He was to be set apart from his mother’s womb for a special purpose of God.  This has to do with service and not with salvation.  In Judges 13:5, Samson was also a Nazarite from His mother’s womb.  He was not a very faithful Nazarite and may not have come to faith in Jehovah until he lost his eyes playing with sin.  In John the Baptist’s case his life was controlled by the Holy Spirit so that he could fulfill his prophetic ministry.


His Doubts

So, can one who was called of God, named by God, controlled by God and used by God have doubts about His ministry?  In Matthew 11:3 John the Baptist is in prison and he sends his disciples to find out if he really had announced the right King. “Art thou He that should come or do we look for another?”  I suspect that he wondered why he was being left in prison since the Lord was related to him and since he had been faithful to the Lord. Perhaps he had forgotten that he had said that the Lord must increase while he must decrease.  Nevertheless he had honest doubts.  And the way the Lord reassured him was to show him the things that the Lord was doing.  The King James Version says that He showed John “again.”  This is one of the reasons why I believe that Christians need to hear the sweet strains of the “how to be saved” Gospel over and over after they are saved.  The Gospel that saved us is the Gospel that keeps us and it is the Gospel that restores us when our hearts grow cold.


Faithful to the End

John the Baptist was faithful to the end.  His end was to lose his head because he was faithful and because of a wicked queen at a drunken birthday party.  I am glad that I am not called to be a prominent prophet, but I am just called to be faithful in my little corner of the world.  I am glad that I likely will never have to lose my head over my faithfulness to the Lord even though I may have to lose friends.   And should I have doubts, I just need to go back to Scripture to be reminded “again” of the things that the Lord has promised and done. 


Bruce Collins


Meditation for the week of August 24, 2014

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>