“He must increase.
But I must decrease.”
ἐκεῖνον δεῖ αὐξάνειν, ἐμὲ δὲ ἐλαττοῦσθαι.
John uniquely presented John the Baptist uttering the famous words that Jesus must increase (ἐκεῖνον δεῖ αὐξάνειν) but he had to decrease (ἐμὲ δὲ ἐλαττοῦσθαι). This was a clear message to the disciples of John the Baptist. His job was done. He would decrease as Jesus increased. This was also a historical reality, as the followers of John the Baptist diminished, the followers of Jesus increased. Perhaps there was some bitterness between the two groups, since some of the former disciples of John had already joined Jesus, as in chapter 1:35-42. Do you think that some religious leaders are bitter towards each other?