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.
Underline or highlight keywords or phrases in the Bible passage. Use a pen or highlighter to mark new discoveries from the text.
The transition from the era of anticipation to the age of fulfillment continued as John the Baptist helped his disciples shift their focus even more expressly onto Jesus. The apostle John cites John the Baptist’s testimony in terms that will become one of the apostle’s favorite metaphors for describing the rich relationship Jesus establishes with his people: as Messiah, Jesus is the perfect bridegroom who came from heaven to make a most unlikely, unworthy bride (the church) his wife. Jesus did this by taking upon himself the wrath we deserve in order to give us the favor we could never earn (Eph. 5:22–33).
It is important to note that those rescued from wrath are granted eternal life because they believe, while those who are condemned experience wrath because they disobey (John 3:36). The basis of God’s judgment is his just sentence for sin; the basis of our salvation is God’s grace toward those who put their faith in his Son’s provision for them. Disobedience alone results in wrath. Faith alone results in salvation. (1)
- What stood out?
- How are ways Christ can increase and you decrease?
- How has the Father given all the things into Christ’s hands?
30 He must increase, but I must decrease.”
End in Prayer