John 3:28

28 You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, 1'I am not the Christ, but 2I have been sent before him.'

John 3:28 Meaning and Commentary

John 3:28

Ye yourselves bear me witness
In what they now said, and referred to, in describing Christ, as he to whom John bore witness; and he appeals to them for what he said in their presence, and before all the people in that testimony: that I said I am not the Christ;
see ( John 1:19 John 1:20 ) ; wherefore, if he, who is the Christ, is now come, and teaches, and baptizes, and has the greatest number of followers, it is not to be wondered at; and much less to be envied; but rather to be rejoiced at. For John, by repeating what he had before said, that he was not the Christ, suggests, that Jesus was; and therefore was superior to him in office, honour, and usefulness, who was only his harbinger and forerunner, as follows: but I am sent before him;
to prepare his way, to make straight his paths, to proclaim his coming, and kingdom, being at hand; and that the expectations of men may be raised, and they may be ready to receive him when come: and hereby the end of John's office, and ministry, had its accomplishment. The Ethiopic version adds, "to preach him".

John 3:28 In-Context

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."

Cross References 2

  • 1. See John 1:20
  • 2. Malachi 3:1; Mark 1:2; Luke 1:17; Acts 19:4
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.