John the Baptist Says it Plainly
31 He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony.
33 Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true. 34 For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure.
35 The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
John 3:31–36 ESV Read More
There aren’t a lot of places where we get the actual things that John the Baptist taught to his hearers. This one is really rich, though! He is talking mainly about the Son of God because some people asked him about Jesus gaining popularity. His answer, when taken in the full context, was a lot more than they bargained for.
Some of the Jews and John’s disciples were discussing Jesus baptizing more people than John. (Why did John even still have disciples?!) John’s answer was basically, “He is more important than me. Quit following me and go check out Jesus.” Not only is Jesus more important than John, John tells them plainly that Jesus is the Son of God. When Jesus says this about Himself, it’s idolatry and worth of execution. When John the Baptist says it, they take it into consideration!
He goes on to say that God gives the Spirit of God without measure. That is believable because the life John has lived and by what they see happening with Jesus. If they were teaching and working by the power of their earthly flesh, John wouldn’t be so quick to duck out of the public spotlight and pass the attention over to Jesus. There are, of course, many other things going on to prove that this is work of the Holy Spirit.
Finally, John appeals to the main thing that the Jewish people are wanting to do— obey God and prove that all He says is true. This is where a decision has to be made. John the Baptist, who they know was sent by God, is pointing to Jesus as equal to God. You have to either take John seriously and believe what he says about Jesus or discount them both together. The people that are coming out there to talk to John can’t intellectually discount him. It is obvious to them that he is from God.
Just like today, they are confronted with a choice to believe this stuff or not. They have John and Jesus as a live example living out this truth in front of them. Today, people have us. They are counting on us to explain the truth while living it out. Let’s do it, but at the same time continually decrease so that Jesus would increase and prove Himself to be the Son of God.
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