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Today’s Reading in on John 3:22-36, yesterday we saw God’s love shown.
22 After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he remained there with them and was baptizing. 23 John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because water was plentiful there, and people were coming and being baptized 24 (for John had not yet been put in prison).
25 Now a discussion arose between some of John’s disciples and a Jew over purification. 26 And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you bore witness—look, he is baptizing, and all are going to him.” 27 John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. 28 You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.’ 29 The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease.”
31 He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony. 33 Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true. 34 For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. 35 The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
After Jesus spent time counselling Nicodemus and telling us that faith in him releases us from condemnation, Jesus and his people went into the Judean country. When he was there he spend time with his disciples and baptized folks.
John (since he wasn’t in prison yet) was also baptizing people, he did so at Aenon near Salim. Why there? There was lots of water, people were coming. It worked.
I have to admit, I don’t quite understand if they were close to each other or not when doing the baptisms. All we are told is that both Jesus and John were baptizing and they must have been able to see each other.
We do know that a disagreement arose between John’s disciples and one of the Jews with them. They had a discussion over purification and somehow Jesus was brought into the picture with all the people he was baptizing. Don’t you just love John’s answer?
John told them that they have heard him say this before “I am not the Christ”. They’ve heard him say that he was sent before Christ. He is a friend of the bridegroom and happy for him. And then this line “he must increase, but I must decrease.” Isn’t that a great line? A line that shows John’s heart. And admittedly, a line that I would claim more often. I do want people to see Christ more and me less…but sometimes I get in the way a bit you know? But here I just see John backing off and basically saying “you go Jesus, You go”. Isn’t that just wonderful?
John continues on explaining better who Jesus is: Jesus comes from above and therefore is above everything. He’s not one who just belongs to the earth. Jesus comes from heaven. As such he is above all.
And and this… Do you see that his joy is complete at Jesus becoming more?
He talked about how Jesus talks about all that he has seen and heard, but that so many don’t receive what he says. Oh.. but those that do.. They are sealed to Christ. They see that God is true. They receive his Spirit without measure. For this truth is real… The Father (God) loves his Son. God has given EVERYTHING into the hands of his Son. So whoever believes in Jesus (the Son) will receive eternal life. Those who don’t, who just can’t see the truth of Christ, stay within God’s wrath… his condemnation.
Do you see how John is backing up the teaching the Jesus had just given?
About God’s immense love. His giving his Son. His Son being the one we need to have faith in to receive eternal life. Do you see it? I think it’s amazing. It’s not like Jesus and John secretly got together so that John could say this. John knew this truth and so boldly told it to people.
Again, I feel a check in my spirit. Do I boldly tell others what I know of Christ? How can I develop that boldness? How can I show people who Christ is?