Although John was mightily used of God and became very popular with the multitudes, he knew that he was nothing in comparison to Jesus, and so he always exalted his Lord:
As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire (Matt. 3:11).
How John’s self-appraisal stands in contrast to the arrogance that is too often flaunted in our day by “ministers.” Their color ministry magazines contain photos of them on every page, while Jesus is scarcely mentioned. They parade like peacocks across church platforms, exalting themselves in the eyes of their followers. They are untouchable and unreachable, filled with their own self-importance. Some even command angels and God! Yet John considered himself unworthy to remove Jesus’ sandals, what would have been considered to be an act of a lowly slave. He objected when Jesus came to him to be baptized, and once he realized that Jesus was the Christ, he immediately pointed all to Him, declaring Him to be “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30) became John’s humble motto.
This was John’s sixth quality that helped make him Jesus’ favorite preacher: John humbled himself and exalted Jesus. He had no desire for self-exaltation.