John continues his testimony about Jesus

John Testifies Again About Jesus: John 3:22-36

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One Reply to “John continues his testimony about Jesus”

  1. The first thing I noticed this morning was the simple add-on phrase “and baptized” in John 3:22. This quickly caught my eye and reminded me of the importance of knowing scripture well enough to look further, to read the notes by scholars and others who have devoted much more time and effort to studying scripture than I have. “And baptized” is clarified in just a few verses where John explains: “Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John — although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples” (John 4:1).

    Side note: I can’t even imagine what it would be like for Jesus to actually baptize someone…the thought is overwhelming! I’m glad John provided clarification!!

    The humility of John the Baptist is so amazing, I love this section of scripture:

    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. He must become great; I must become less. John 3:29-30

    John continues to provide clarification and points to Jesus, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them” (3:36). The NIV Study Bible notes point out that this verse is included as the ending for  the quotation above in other translations. Whether is was John the Apostle or John the Baptist, the truth remains clearly evident, belief in Jesus is the dividing line and there is no straddling the line.

    The humanness revealed in John 3:25-26 is quite encouraging, not because John’s disciples were arguing, but because the human weakness of John’s disciples was not edited from scripture, we get to see behind the curtain. A friend of mine posted this from a website he found:  youtube video. It’s worth a few minutes to watch the creative arts of a young minister, the kinds of videos I like to create and be a part of creating.

    It’s provocative to consider a church where we’re not afraid to show our brokenness. I applaud senior pastor Brian Miller for encouraging the congregation to be willing to look beyond the masks and be vulnerable to each other. This is a tough thing to consider and often times leads to a downward spiral for those who have needs way beyond a casual conversation and for which we, generally speaking, are not willing to commit the time. That’s our current culture and our own social misguidance. John’s not afraid to expose the weakness of disciples here and Jesus is not afraid to point to his disciples’ inadequacies, yet somehow we have learned the art of covering up our flaws. Where did we learn that? It’s no wonder the outside world calls us fakes, hypocrites, holier-than-thou, etc., and mocks our weekly gatherings.  Sorry for the rabbit-trail, but I’m continuously amazed at how the Bible intentionally portrays human weakness while we seem to want to hide our mistakes to the point of denial.

    One of the key points in this morning’s scripture is this:

    For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit John 3:34

    Think about that for a moment, “without limit.” We have physical limits to be sure, we can only run so fast, jump so high or stay awake for so long, but God is not inhibited by such limitations. The Spirit is not bound by limitations. God gives the Spirit freely, but I think he gives it carefully as well. If we are willing, I believe we can continue to grow and learn every day and God will continue to increase the Spirit in our lives to advance the kingdom here on earth. That is the Godly man I hope to be, one who is working out every day with the Word of God, listening for his prompting and seeing people the way he sees them, seeking to lead others to Christ.

    This post has rambled a bit this morning, my mind is going in many directions at once. Lord help me to hear your voice above all the chatter, to follow your lead beyond those who would misdirect me.

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