By Robert Guenther
We are continuing our review of the Gospel of John chapter three. We will consider verses 22 - 30. Our goal will be to bring out the purpose that John the Baptist had in baptizing saints who wanted to be identified with the Christ of God.
Verse 22 states: “After these things came Jesus and His disciples into the land of Judea; and there He tarried with them, and baptized.” We read in the next chapter 4:2 “(Though Jesus Himself baptized not, but His disciples)”. I have concluded that Jesus Himself was not doing the physical act of baptizing, however He was present when His disciples were performing this work and is credited for doing this work by His enemies.
Verse 23 reads; “And John also was baptizing in Enon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized.” Christ's enemies seemed to think that since John was baptizing in a different location than where the other disciples were, that there must have been a difference in their actions.
Verse 24: “For John was not yet cast into prison.”As long as John the Baptist was not restrained he continued to baptize those who wanted to be identified with the Christ of God and His kingdom purpose.
Verse 25: “Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and Jews about purifying.” Questions about how, where and who needs to be baptized and who is qualified to baptize are still being debated by some religious denominations that believe that this ritual should still be performed on “Believers” yet today.
Verse 26: “And they came unto John and said unto him 'Rabbi, He that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness,behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to Him.” It seems that these men thought that this question would provoke John to jealousy, but instead John responds by explaining that he is not the messiah and that the work he was performing was to lift up and to get others to follow after the Christ.
Verse 27: “John answered and said, 'A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.' John is explaining that those that came to him for the purpose of being identified with the Christ were doing so under the Spirit's guidance.
Verse 28-30: “Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before Him. He that hath the bride is the bridegroom:but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease. “
John has the right attitude towards God. Do you?