John the Baptist is standing in the Jordan River inviting the crowds to repent and be baptized. His baptizing is a new thing and people–lots of people–have come from Jerusalem and the countryside to see and hear what’s going on. Earlier in the week he baptized Jesus and a few of his disciples defected. One of John’s disciples, Zach, is on the bank of the river trying to get his attention.
Zach (waving): John…John. John!
John (standing with a repentant linen salesman): What?! I’m busy here!
Zach (excited): This is important. Come over here a second please. You’ll want to hear this.
John (exasperate; to the linen salesman): Brother, I baptize you because you’ve repented of…
John: Zach, Shut. up.
Zach: Rabbi, it’s Jesus!
John (showing interest, the linen salesman kisses his hand and walks up the bank): What? Jesus send for me?
Zach (motioning him over; whispering): He’s baptizing.
Zach: Jesus. He’s baptizing!
Zach: Yeah, just at the north end of the crowd.
John: Hmmm. That’s amazing!
Zach: He’s stealing your thing! YOU are the Baptize Czar.
John: Nonsense. I’m just preparing the way for him.
The part of the crowd near them draw closer.
John (shouting, pointing up-river): Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of Man, is baptizing over there!
Pharisee on the bank: I thought you were the baptizer. You mean anyone can baptize?
John: Well, yeah. I’m just saying repent and be baptized to symbolize you’re clean.
Banker on the bank: Who is Jesus? Why is he baptizing?
John: He’s the Lamb of God who came to take away all our sins. I’m just dipping symbolically, but he can really forgive sins.
Pharisee: You’re crazy. Only God can forgive sin.
John: You’ll see. He’s amazing. I should know, he’s my cousin. I’ve seen him turn water into wine!
Banker: Yeah, heretic! Get some rocks!
Crowd backs up. John splashes water at the pharisee and banker.
John: Zach. Let’s go see Jesus.
They walk north.
Zach: We need to ask Jesus to stop, or go someplace else.
John: Nope. He must increase and I must decrease. I’m here to point to him. If he’s baptizing, I’m out of business.
Zach: You got here first. That’s not fair.
John: You need to go follow Jesus for a while.
John: Go, follow Jesus.
Zach: You don’t want me to follow you anymore?
John: No, go follow him. He’s the Messiah.
Zach: The Messiah?
John: Yes. If you love me, follow him.
Zach: Is that where Andrew and John went?
John: Yep. I finished. Every bit of fame I have, is pointed at him.
Zach: Still doesn’t seem fair.
John: Life’s not fair. I must decrease; he must increase.
Zach: Are you sure? I can stick around. If he’s the Messiah, he probably has disciples come out his ears.
John: Thanks, but no, go follow him.
Zach (backing up the bank): Okay…guess I’ll go north with you, but I’m not promising to follow him.
John: Let’s go see him. Maybe he’ll let us both join up.
Zach: That’d be great! You could be the Messiah’s baptizer general.
Another disciple runs up to the two men.
Ben: John! Some of Herod’s soldiers are looking for you! They’re coming down the mountain from Jericho.
John: Maybe Herod’s going to repent about his brother, Phillip’s wife.
Ben: I don’t think that’s it.
John: You guys go meet Jesus or baptize some of these people. I’ll go see what Herod wants.
Zach: Okay, I’ll baptize a while then head north to find Jesus.
John: I’m sure I’ll catch up with y’all later. Hmmm. My head feels kinda funny…
Tr8: The best you can do is decrease such that Jesus increases to those around you.