John the Baptist Exalts Christ 22 After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he remained there with them and x 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 y John had not yet been put in prison). 25 Now a discussion arose between some of John’s disciples and a Jew over z purification. 26 And they came to John and said to him, a “Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan, b to whom you bore witness—look, he is baptizing, and c all are going to him.” 27 John answered, d “A person cannot receive even one thing e unless it is given him f from heaven. 28 You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, g ‘I am not the Christ, but h I have been sent before him.’ 29 i The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. j The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, k rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. 30 l He must increase, but I must decrease.” 1 31 m He who comes from above n is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and o speaks in an earthly way. p He who comes from heaven n is above all. 32 q He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, r yet no one receives his testimony. 33 Whoever receives his testimony s sets his seal to this, t that God is true. 34 For he whom u God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit v without measure. 35 w The Father loves the Son and x has given all things into his hand. 36 y Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; z whoever does not obey the Son shall not a see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
22 Μετὰ ταῦτα ἦλθεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς καὶ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ εἰς τὴν Ἰουδαίαν γῆν καὶ ἐκεῖ διέτριβεν μετʼ αὐτῶν καὶ ἐβάπτιζεν. 23 ῏Ην δὲ καὶ ὁ Ἰωάννης βαπτίζων ἐν Αἰνὼν ἐγγὺς τοῦ Σαλείμ, ὅτι ὕδατα πολλὰ ἦν ἐκεῖ, καὶ παρεγίνοντο καὶ ἐβαπτίζοντο• 24 οὔπω γὰρ ἦν βεβλημένος εἰς τὴν φυλακὴν ὁ Ἰωάννης. 25 Ἐγένετο οὖν ζήτησις ἐκ τῶν μαθητῶν Ἰωάννου μετὰ Ἰουδαίου περὶ καθαρισμοῦ. 26 καὶ ἦλθον πρὸς τὸν Ἰωάννην καὶ εἶπαν αὐτῷ• ῥαββί, ὃς ἦν μετὰ σοῦ πέραν τοῦ Ἰορδάνου, ᾧ σὺ μεμαρτύρηκας, ἴδε οὗτος βαπτίζει καὶ πάντες ἔρχονται πρὸς αὐτόν. 27 ἀπεκρίθη Ἰωάννης καὶ εἶπεν• οὐ δύναται ἄνθρωπος λαμβάνειν οὐδὲ ἓν ἐὰν μὴ ᾖ δεδομένον αὐτῷ ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ. 28 αὐτοὶ ὑμεῖς μοι μαρτυρεῖτε ὅτι εἶπον [ὅτι] οὐκ εἰμὶ ἐγὼ ὁ χριστός, ἀλλʼ ὅτι ἀπεσταλμένος εἰμὶ ἔμπροσθεν ἐκείνου. 29 ὁ ἔχων τὴν νύμφην νυμφίος ἐστίν• ὁ δὲ φίλος τοῦ νυμφίου ὁ ἑστηκὼς καὶ ἀκούων αὐτοῦ χαρᾷ χαίρει διὰ τὴν φωνὴν τοῦ νυμφίου. αὕτη οὖν ἡ χαρὰ ἡ ἐμὴ πεπλήρωται. 30 ἐκεῖνον δεῖ αὐξάνειν, ἐμὲ δὲ ἐλαττοῦσθαι. 31 Ὁ ἄνωθεν ἐρχόμενος ἐπάνω πάντων ἐστίν• ὁ ὢν ἐκ τῆς γῆς ἐκ τῆς γῆς ἐστιν καὶ ἐκ τῆς γῆς λαλεῖ. ὁ ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ἐρχόμενος [ἐπάνω πάντων ἐστίν]• 32 ὃ ἑώρακεν καὶ ἤκουσεν τοῦτο μαρτυρεῖ, καὶ τὴν μαρτυρίαν αὐτοῦ οὐδεὶς λαμβάνει. 33 ὁ λαβὼν αὐτοῦ τὴν μαρτυρίαν ἐσφράγισεν ὅτι ὁ θεὸς ἀληθής ἐστιν. 34 ὃν γὰρ ἀπέστειλεν ὁ θεὸς τὰ ῥήματα τοῦ θεοῦ λαλεῖ, οὐ γὰρ ἐκ μέτρου δίδωσιν τὸ πνεῦμα. 35 ὁ πατὴρ ἀγαπᾷ τὸν υἱὸν καὶ πάντα δέδωκεν ἐν τῇ χειρὶ αὐτοῦ. 36 ὁ πιστεύων εἰς τὸν υἱὸν ἔχει ζωὴν αἰώνιον• ὁ δὲ ἀπειθῶν τῷ υἱῷ οὐκ ὄψεται ζωήν, ἀλλʼ ἡ ὀργὴ τοῦ θεοῦ μένει ἐπʼ αὐτόν.
He must increase, but I must decrease Intro : Continuing theme of Jesus is the 'greater than'; water of purification at the wedding; he is the true temple; he himself gives the new birth, the greater bronze serpent lifted up. Now, he is far greater than John, and John delights in this. 1. John's joy was complete since Jesus was now here (v22-30) v22 Jesus' disciples were baptising, and lots of people were coming and being baptised. cf John 4.2 it was Jesus' disciples who did the baptising. v23 water plentiful - i.e., lots of springs of waters. v24 this is to relate us to the synoptic gospels, which pick up the narrative once John is in prison. John is here clarifying that there was a public ministry of Jesus which began before John the baptist was imprisoned and executed. v25 discussion about purification (same word as in John 2 with the water jars). It leads to the question of v26. We can't be sure, but probably the debate centred around how John and Jesus' ministries related to the Jewish purification rites (John 2.6). Were John's disciples concerned at learning about Jesus' huge ministry? Were they competitive? Possibly, from John's response. v27 If there is a creator-governor God, then this is obviously true, and true through and despite our free choices. John's humility. v28-29 John the preparer for the Christ, like friend of bridegroom. His joy tied up in seeing the Christ and having served him. v30 the paradigm of the Christian life. Is my joy wrapped up in making much of Jesus, and less and less of myself? FCF. We want to increase! We use even Christian ministry as a way to 'increase'. H1. Obviously selfish ways of getting glory. H2. Covert ways of getting self-glory. 2. The Father loves the Son and has given him everything (v31-36) v31 speaking of Jesus, the one 'from above' and above all. v32 cf 1.10-12. Jesus' testimony ignored unless the Spirit gives new life to hear and believe. v33 to believe the claims of Jesus is to certify that God is true. v34 speaking of Jesus, the very Word of God who speaks the words of God. God the Father has given Jesus the Son the Spirit without measure (cf earlier the Spirit 'remained' on Jesus). v35 all things into Jesus' hand. Our salvation is grounded in the Father's love for the Son. v36 cf last week's passage. Eternal life in the Son; so to be united with the Son by faith is to share in this life before the Father. It is not that disbelieving Jesus moves you from neutral to condemned, but that disbelieving Jesus hardens and confirms you in the wrath which already is upon you (cf Romans 1-2). Glory of God . The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. Person of Jesus . He speaks the words of God. He has the Spirit of God without measure. In Him is life. He is from 'above', speaking truth. Work of Jesus . He makes himself nothing, he decreases to death, so that we might live. Union with Jesus . I share in his eternal life through faith. I am apprenticed to a cross-shaped, John the baptist-looking life of death to self that Jesus might be more famous and loved. Wrap up : Is my joy wrapped up in making much of Jesus, and less and less of myself? "He must increase, and I must decrease."