Afterward Jesus and his disciples left Jerusalem, but they stayed in Judea for a while and baptized there.
At this time John the Baptist was baptizing at Aenon, near Salim, because there was plenty of water there and people kept coming to him for baptism.
This was before John was put into prison.
At that time a certain Jew began an argument with John's disciples over ceremonial cleansing.
John's disciples came to him and said, "Teacher, the man you met on the other side of the Jordan River, the one you said was the Messiah, is also baptizing people. And everybody is going over there instead of coming here to us."
John replied, "God in heaven appoints each person's work.
You yourselves know how plainly I told you that I am not the Messiah. I am here to prepare the way for him -- that is all.
The bride will go where the bridegroom is. A bridegroom's friend rejoices with him. I am the bridegroom's friend, and I am filled with joy at his success.
He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less."
"He has come from above and is greater than anyone else. I am of the earth, and my understanding is limited to the things of earth, but he has come from heaven. a32
He tells what he has seen and heard, but how few believe what he tells them!
Those who believe him discover that God is true.
For he is sent by God. He speaks God's words, for God's Spirit is upon him without measure or limit.
The Father loves his Son, and he has given him authority over everything.
And all who believe in God's Son have eternal life. Those who don't obey the Son will never experience eternal life, but the wrath of God remains upon them."
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)