John 3:22-36

John Testifies Again About Jesus

22 After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized.
23 Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were coming and being baptized.
24 (This was before John was put in prison.)
25 An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing.
26 They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”
27 To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven.
28 You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’
29 The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete.
30 He must become greater; I must become less.”[a]
31 The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all.
32 He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony.
33 Whoever has accepted it has certified that God is truthful.
34 For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God[b] gives the Spirit without limit.
35 The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands.
36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.

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John 3:22-36 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 3:22-36 In-Context

20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.
21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
22 After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized.
23 Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were coming and being baptized.
24 (This was before John was put in prison.)
25 An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing.
26 They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”
27 To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven.
28 You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’
29 The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete.
30 He must become greater; I must become less.”
31 The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all.
32 He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony.
33 Whoever has accepted it has certified that God is truthful.
34 For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit.
35 The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands.
36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.

Cross References 17

  • 1. John 4:2
  • 2. S Matthew 3:1
  • 3. Matthew 4:12; Matthew 14:3
  • 4. John 2:6
  • 5. S Matthew 23:7
  • 6. John 1:7
  • 7. John 1:20,23
  • 8. Matthew 9:15
  • 9. John 16:24; John 17:13; Philippians 2:2; 1 John 1:4; 2 John 12
  • 10. ver 13
  • 11. John 8:23; 1 John 4:5
  • 12. John 8:26; John 15:15
  • 13. ver 11
  • 14. S ver 17
  • 15. Isaiah 42:1; Matthew 12:18; Luke 4:18; Acts 10:38
  • 16. S Matthew 28:18; John 5:20,22; John 17:2
  • 17. S ver 15; John 5:24; John 6:47

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Some interpreters end the quotation with verse 36.
  • [b]. Greek "he"
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