John 3:22-30

Jesus and John the Baptist

22 After this, Jesus and His disciples went to the Judean countryside, where He spent time with them and baptized.
23 John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water there. People were coming and being baptized,
24 since John had not yet been thrown into prison.
25 Then a dispute arose between John's disciples and a Jew[a] about purification.
26 So they came to John and told him, "Rabbi, the One you testified about, and who was with you across the Jordan, is baptizing-and everyone is flocking to Him."
27 John responded, "No one can receive a single thing unless it's given to him from heaven.
28 You yourselves can testify that I said, 'I am not the Messiah, but I've been sent ahead of Him.'
29 He who has the bride is the groom. But the groom's friend, who stands by and listens for him, rejoices greatly[b] at the groom's voice. So this joy of mine is complete.
30 He must increase, but I must decrease."

John 3:22-30 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO 1 JOHN 3

In this chapter the apostle exhorts to a holy life and conversation in general, and to the exercise of brotherly love in particular. The former of these is urged from the consideration of the great blessing of adoption, which springs from the free love and favour of God, is unknown to the men of the world, and indeed, in the present state of things, does not appear to the saints themselves in all its fulness and advantages, as it will do in the future state, when the children of God will be like to Christ, and see him as he is; the hope of which should engage them to purity of life and conversation, 1Jo 3:1-3, and this is further enforced from the nature of sin, which is a transgression of the law, 1Jo 3:4, from the end of Christ's manifestation in the flesh, which was to take away sin, and who was without it, 1Jo 3:5, from communion with Christ, expressed by abiding in him, seeing and knowing him, which such must be strangers to that live a sinful course of life, 1Jo 3:6, from this, that only such that do righteousness are righteous persons, and these are righteous as Christ is, 1Jo 3:7, and from a man's being of the devil, that is, of a vicious conversation, who was a sinner from the beginning, and whose works Christ was manifested in the flesh to destroy, 1Jo 3:8, and from the nature of the new man, or that which is born of God, which is not to sin, nor can it, 1Jo 3:9, and from the distinction there is between the children of God and the children of the devil, those not being of God who do not righteousness, nor love their brethren, 1Jo 3:10, from hence the apostle passes to brotherly love, and excites and engages to that, from its being a message which had been heard from the beginning, 1Jo 3:11, which is illustrated by its contrary in the instance of Cain, who by the instigation of Satan slew his brother, because his works were righteous, and his own were evil, 1Jo 3:12, wherefore, it is no wonder that good men should be hated by the world, who, as Cain, are of the same wicked one, 1Jo 3:13, brotherly love is further urged unto, from its being an evidence of passing from death to life, or of regeneration; whereas he that hates his brother openly continues in a state of death, is a murderer, and so has not eternal life abiding in him, 1Jo 3:14,15, and from the great instance of Christ's love, in laying down his life for his people, the saints are incited to lay down their lives for one another; to such a pitch does the apostle carry brotherly love, 1Jo 3:16, wherefore, he that is rich, and is uncompassionate to his brother in distress, cannot be thought to have the love of God dwelling in him, 1Jo 3:17, hence he presses the exhortation to brotherly love, that it be not in profession only, but true, real, and cordial, 1Jo 3:18, and that by observing the advantages of it, as that hereby men know they are of the truth, and can assure their hearts before God; and which is illustrated by the contrary, the condemnation of the heart, 1Jo 3:19,20, the advantages of non-condemnation of the heart are confidence before God, and receiving whatsoever we ask of him; the reason of which is, because his commandments are kept, and things done which are pleasing to him, 1Jo 3:21,22, the commandments are explained of faith in Christ, and love to one another, 1Jo 3:23, and the happiness of them that do them is, that Christ dwells in them, and they in him, the evidence of which is, the Spirit that is given unto them, 1Jo 3:24.

John 3:22-30 In-Context

20 For everyone who practices wicked things hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed.
21 But anyone who lives by the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be shown to be accomplished by God."
22 After this, Jesus and His disciples went to the Judean countryside, where He spent time with them and baptized.
23 John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water there. People were coming and being baptized,
24 since John had not yet been thrown into prison.
25 Then a dispute arose between John's disciples and a Jew about purification.
26 So they came to John and told him, "Rabbi, the One you testified about, and who was with you across the Jordan, is baptizing-and everyone is flocking to Him."
27 John responded, "No one can receive a single thing unless it's given to him from heaven.
28 You yourselves can testify that I said, 'I am not the Messiah, but I've been sent ahead of Him.'
29 He who has the bride is the groom. But the groom's friend, who stands by and listens for him, rejoices greatly at the groom's voice. So this joy of mine is complete.
30 He must increase, but I must decrease."
31 The One who comes from above is above all. The one who is from the earth is earthly and speaks in earthly terms. The One who comes from heaven is above all.
32 He testifies to what He has seen and heard, yet no one accepts His testimony.

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Other mss read and the Jews
  • [b]. Lit with joy rejoices
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