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On The Book of John
The Gospel of John Chapter 3
Jesus interviews Nicodemus in Jerusalem
I will do the Gospel of John
Commentary similar to my other Commentaries . . . in that
I will bring the verse or verses in the KJV, followed by what
it is saying to me. What I write will be a personal comment,
it is NOT Scripture.
This is a place where I do not think a chapter break is correct; so I will put verses 2:24-25 and 3:1 together without the break.
John 2:24-25 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, 25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man. (KJV)
John 3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: (KJV)
Nicodemus is set apart from the mob. Our Lord didn't trust the mob because He knew their faith was not sincere. Nicodemus was different. Since Jesus knows ALL men, He knew Nicodemus!
There are three things said about Nicodemus here. #1. He was a man of the Pharisees. He belonged to an elite group in Israel. They believed in the inspiration of the Old Testament, they believed in the Coming of the Messiah, they believed in miracles, and they believed in the Resurrection. He was a man of the Pharisees, and his name was Nicodemus. #2. Nicodemus was his name. #3. He was a ruler of the Jews. This tells us of the three faces that this man put on. This is a picture of today's modern man if there ever was one. Nicodemus was a man of the Pharisees when he met with them. When he was in their midst, he was just one of them. He more or less let down his guard. Then, when he went out from the Pharisees and walked down the street, people would see him coming and would step off the sidewalk. He would be wearing his robe and his phylacteries and prayer shawl, and they would say, "That is Nicodemus. He's a ruler of the Jews." So he would put on a different face with them.
There are many men who live like this today. There's many a man who is a businessman and president of a corporation. He goes into the office in the morning and those in the office speak to him and they call him, "Mister," and they bow and kiss his boots. Even though they think they know him, they really do NOT! Then he leaves his office and sees several of his customers that morning and when they ask him about business, he says, "Oh, business is great." Then he goes to his club at noon for lunch. The minute he steps inside the club, he's a different man. He's not Mister So-and-So, the president of a corporation, but now he's just plain old Joe that they play golf with. They think they know him, and they call him by his first name. He acts completely different with them. Then in the evening, when the work is done, he goes home. He opens the door to his home, steps in and takes off his coat, and drops down into a chair. He's a totally different man. He's no longer the businessman, the head of a corporation, and he's no longer one of the fellows at the club. This is who he really is.
John 3:2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. (KJV)
Nicodemus comes to the Lord Jesus with a different face. He says, "we know." Who is we? The Pharisees. He comes as a man of the Pharisees. He is wearing that mask. He comes with a genuine compliment. He is not a hypocrite. He says that we Pharisees have agreed that You are a teacher come from God. It's possible that Nicodemus came to talk about the Kingdom of God. The Pharisees desperately wanted to establish the kingdom and throw off the yoke of Rome, but they did not know how to do it. Then, here comes this One who is so popular . . . the multitudes follow Him wherever He goes! The Pharisees knew that He has come from Galilee and they think He does not know how to deal with the politicians as they do, and they want to combine forces. Nicodemus comes, acknowledging that Jesus is a teacher come from God.
The proof that he points to is the miracles that Jesus has performed. He had to recognize the miracles. If you notice, NO one doubted the miracles of our Lord . . . neither the friends of Jesus or His enemies ever doubted His miracles.
Was Nicodemus afraid or ashamed to be seen with Christ, that he came at night? We are not told. When religion is out of fashion, there are many Nicodemites. But even though Nicodemus came by night, Jesus welcomed him, thus teaching us to encourage good beginnings, even though they are weak. And even though Nicodemus did come by night, afterward he stood up and owned Christ publicly (John 7:48-51; 19:39).
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (KJV)
This is why I think he came to talk about the kingdom of God. I can see no other reason why our Lord would interrupt him and say, "You can't even SEE the kingdom of God unless you have been born again." Here is a Pharisee, "religious" to his bones . . . BUT our Lord told him he could NOT even SEE the kingdom of God unless he is born again. If Nicodemus came to talk about the kingdom and its establishment, which seems possible, then Jesus' statement threw him way off track. So, Nicodemus drops the mask of the man of the Pharisees, but he is still a ruler of the Jews.
John 3:4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? (KJV)
Jesus had said that Nicodemus MUST be "born again." The Greek word for "again" means "from above." Nicodemus could not understand anything except a physical birth. He immediately dropped the arrogant and lofty mask of the Pharisee .He asks Jesus: "How can this be?" Our Lord Jesus was NOT speaking of a PHYSICAL birth . . . He was speaking of a SPIRITUAL birth into the family of God. Nicodemus just could NOT understand a "spiritual" birth. The reason was that he had no spiritual capacity to comprehend it.
John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (KJV)
WHAT does it mean to "be born of water and of the Spirit"? There are several ideas people come up with. One is that it refers to water baptism. I disagree. I think that Jesus was talking about how a man could be born "from above" or "born again" into the family of God. John 1:12-13 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (KJV) . . . There are times in the Bible, where the word "water" is symbolic of the Word of God. (Ps.119:9; John 15:3; 17:17; Eph.5:26; 1 Tim.4:5; James 1:21; 1 Peter 1:22-23).
John 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. (KJV)
John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (KJV) . . . Water washes us, cleanses us physically. The Holy Word of God washes us, cleanses us, purifies us spiritually!
Ephesians 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, (KJV)
1 Peter 1:22-23 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: 23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (KJV)
The Holy Word of God is likened unto water again and again. I believe that "born of water and of the Spirit" means that a person must be born again by the Holy Spirit using the Scripture. I do not think that anyone could be "born again" into God's family without the Word of God being applied by the Holy Spirit of God. We are born from above by the use of water, which is the Word of God, and the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, making it real to the heart.
There are three very outstanding conversions in the Book of Acts. I think they have been given to us, mainly as illustrations. There is the conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch, the conversion of Cornelius, and the conversion of Paul. These three men represent the three families of Noah: Shem, Ham Japheth. In each of these three cases, the Word of God was used by the Spirit of God for their conversions. God's method seems to be the Word of God, used by the Spirit of God, given through a man of God. I am sure that our Lord Jesus, saying that one must be born of water and of the Spirit, means the Spirit of God using the Word of God. Without this, Nicodemus could not enter into the kingdom of God.
John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (KJV)
God does not intend to change the "flesh," . . . the old nature which we have. The fact is that it cannot be changed. The Word of God has much to say about this. Our old nature is constantly at war with God. Romans 8:7-8 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. (KJV)
God will not retrieve, improve, develop or save our old nature. Our old nature will go to the grave with us. BUT, if the Lord comes before we go down to the grave, we shall be changed in "the twinkling of an eye" (1 Cor.15:52). We will then get rid of that old nature. Our old nature can NEVER be made to obey God. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh." Our old nature must be replaced by the new nature. When we are "born again" we receive that new nature. We are then a "new creature" (2 Cor.5:17; Gal.6:15). Being "born again" is the spiritual birth that is necessary so that you and I may be given that new nature.
John 3:7-8 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (KJV)
Jesus is simply saying: "You can't tell where the wind comes from and you can't tell where it is going." Air currents and winds are something that man does NOT control. The wind blows where it wills . . . where ever Almighty God wants it to go! We cannot detour it and we cannot change it. God is in control!
But, even though we cannot control the wind, we can tell when it's blowing. We know when the wind blows, for we can see the tree leaves swaying gently, or see obstacles flying through the air in a tornado. And we can feel it on our face, or feel the shock of being knocked down by its force.
HOW can I explain the spiritual birth? I cannot! It is a mystery of God! HOW can anyone explain a supernatural mystery? I understand that there are books out there, that claim to explain it. The difference between the authors and me . . . they do not seem to know that they do NOT know . . . but my friend, I humbly admit that I do NOT know. I have been studying the Bible for almost 40 years, and there are still SO many things that I do not know. But, even though we cannot explain it, we must believe it. Doubt is a very serious thing. It is sin. I cannot illustrate how a person is born of the Spirit. I cannot tell you exactly how the Spirit of God works, but I do know that He real and He is moving in the lives and hearts of His people.
BELIEF IS A MIRACLE
Belief can be a miracle, true,
A miracle, that can happen to you.
It can change your life spectacularly,
Belief gives you life, eternally!
Believing God can erase all sins,
A miracle; that with faith, begins!
We are justified, by Christ’s precious Blood,
‘Not Guilty’ in Heav’n, by this wondrous Flood!
Belief; a miracle, that sanctifies,
By trusting His Word, that never lies!
Set apart to serve our awesome Lord,
Spreading the Gospel, set forth in His Word!
Belief; a miracle, that gives a new heart,
A ‘new’ creature, with a brand new start.
Children of God, and with Christ joint heirs,
One day the bliss of Heav’n, with God we’ll share.
Believing is a miracle; true,
This miracle, can happen to you!
Receiving Jesus, makes you God’s child,
From Hell, you will always be exiled!
Salvation is a ‘Gift’ God gives to you,
A miracle; reserved for a ‘few’.
But most, by unbelief walk away,
From the greatest miracle, to come our way!
By: His servant, Connie Kramer July 7,1998 # 481
John 3:9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? (KJV)
Nicodemus asks: "How can this be?" He is no longer a Pharisee, no longer a ruler of the Jews, he is completely bewildered and totally humbled in the Presence of the Lord Jesus Christ! So many times you and I can put put on a different face before each other. When we are with certain people, we act one way, with someone else, we act completely different. Masks! Deception! We try to hide what we really are. BUT . . .when we come into the Presence of the Lord Jesus, those masks will NOT work. We cannot use them. You have to be the real "you" with Jesus! You have to come just as you are, the real you! NO hypocrisy! Our Lord is going to deal with Nicodemus, straight and to the point!
John 3:10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? (KJV)
Jesus is saying to Nicodemus: "You are a ruler in Israel, you know the Scriptures, but you are acting as if I were telling you something that could not be true. You are saying that IF it were true, you would have known about it." And then Jesus asks, "Don't you know these things, Nicodemus?"
John 3:11-13 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. 12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? 13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. (KJV)
"WE"?? We speak? Jesus here speaks in the plural, possibly including Himself with the apostles, in preaching the Gospel. In John 3:2, Nicodemus does the same: "We (plural) know that thou art a teacher come from God," meaning he and the Pharisees.
But, there is yet another way to look at this: "WE" . . . is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost.
Jesus says: "We are speaking Truth, and you do not believe us. IF you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ever gone to Heaven and returned, except the Son of man."
What Christ Jesus is saying is . . . that He is the only One who can speak about Heaven because He is the only One who has ascended up to Heaven.
Yes, it is true, that there are many who have gone to Heaven AFTER Christ, but in the Old Testament when a saint of God died, one of God's own, he went to a place that is called Paradise or Abraham's Bosom. Our Lord Jesus called it that (Luke 16:22). It was not until after Christ died and ascended to Heaven and led captivity captive (Eph.4:8-10) that He took those who were in Paradise into the Presence of God in Heaven. Since then, for the child of God, it has always been ". . . absent from the body . . . present with the Lord" (2 Cor. 5:8). Only Jesus came down from Heaven and then went back. So He is the ONLY One who can tell us about Heaven.
John 16:28 I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father. (KJV)
See our article on Abraham's Bosom: http://www.hisservants.org/hell_abraham%27s_bosom.htm
John 3:14-15 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. (KJV)
Numbers 21:8-9 And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. 9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived. (KJV) . . .
Moses was told by the LORD to make a brass snake and put it up on a pole. The people had bellyached against God and Moses again. This time the LORD sent a plague of poisonous snakes, which bit the people, causing many to die. Moses lifted up that brass snake on a pole because of God's judgment upon the sin of the people. All they had to do for healing, was to look up to it. IF they believed God, and had the faith to look up, believing they would be healed, they lived.
Just as Moses lifted up the serpent, so Christ was going to be lifted up . . . on the cross. That snake on the pole, represented the sin of the people. And too, when Christ was lifted up on that cross, He was made sin for us, because it was there that He bore our sin. 2 Cor.5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (KJV)
Jesus tells the reason why He descended from Heaven . . . that he might be lifted up (crucified) for the salvation of mankind . . . and to be, by the appointment of God, just as certain a remedy for sinful souls as the brazen serpent elevated on a pole was the remedy for the deadly snake bite.
It is the exact same principle today as it was in the Old Testament story. We must go to the foot of the cross (the pole) and look up to Jesus, and our faith will give us life . . . ETERNAL life! We must believe that Jesus took ALL our sins to that cross.
Then, our Lord Jesus said some timeless and very familiar words . . . the Gospel in a nutshell!
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (KJV)
There are two things that we need to remember here. #1. We must be born again. And #2. The Son of Man must be lifted up. They go together like a hand and a glove! It takes the death of Christ AND the resurrection of Christ . . . He must be lifted up. Since He has been lifted up . . . died for us on the cross, and since He bore the full penalty of our sins (John 19:30), the Holy Spirit can regenerate us into a new creature (2 Cor.5:17; Gal.6:15), able to come into the Presence of the Throne of Grace (Rom.5:1). We must be born again! That is the only way God will receive us. And the only way we can do this is to believe God (1 John 5:10-12), and look up to Jesus to save us (John 14:6; Acts 4:10-12).
The motivation behind all this is . . . "God so loved the world." God never saved anyone by love, which is the mistaken thinking of today. It does NOT say that God's love saved the world! God does not save by love, God saves by grace! Eph. 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. (KJV) . . .
We trust Him as the One who bore the penalty for our sins. This is a personal thing. We must each believe that Jesus died in our place on that cross. My friend, you must believe that He died for you!
John 3:17-18 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (KJV)
When Jesus came the first time to the Earth, He was NOT a judge. He made that very clear to the man who wanted Him to give a judgment between himself and his brother (Luke 12:14). He did NOT come to judge the first time, He did NOT condemn anyone! He came as the Saviour of all who would believe and accept Him. But, when Jesus comes the next time (Zec.14:4; Rev. 19:11-21), He SHALL come as the Judge. He shall condemn multitudes!
In this Passage, Jesus tells us that God did NOT send Him into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. Whosoever does not believe in Him is condemned ALREADY! Jesus does not condemn them, they condemn themselves! People simply do NOT believe God! In reality, they are calling God a "liar" (1 John 5:10-12). Friend, if you do NOT believe what God says about His Son, YOU ARE CONDEMNED ALREADY! Why? Because "he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." The wonderful Name is Jesus! His Name is Jesus, and He is the Saviour of the world. "Whosoever" . . . ANYONE who will believe in THAT Name is NO longer under condemnation but HAS everlasting life (John 5:24).
Hath everlasting life. WHAT are the conditions of eternal life? #1. Knowledge of what the the Son has done for you; #2. Believe that He did it for you; #3. Trusting Him to forgive you and save your soul for eternity. #4. FAITH that He can do it! These are necessary before any person can be accepted by God the Father.
Remember that Jesus is talking to Nicodemus, a Pharisee. The Pharisees believed that the Messiah, when He came, would be a judge. The Old Testament presented two aspects of the coming of the Messiah. One was His Coming as a Saviour, coming to die, coming to pay a penalty; the other was His Coming as the Judge. They reasoned that the Messiah would be a judge when He came because the Old Testament does present that aspect.
Psalm 2:9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel. (KJV) Daniel speaks of Him as a judge of the whole world. Daniel 7:13-14 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. (KJV)
Psalm 45 talks about His ruling the world in righteousness. Isaiah 11 and Isaiah 42 speak of His judgments in righteousness. The Lord Jesus is making it very clear to Nicodemus that God sent not His Son this time to judge the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. The "world" means ALL people! . . . God's gracious redemption embraces the entire world. Jesus did not come to condemn or to judge the world the first time, but to save the world.
In Christ there is NO condemnation . . . BUT . . . those who are NOT in Christ are condemned already. The majority of the world is lost. You and I live in a lost world. We do not have to wait until the Judgment Day to see the evil all around us, and know that we are lost and condemned without Jesus. We are already condemned because of our sin, our rebellion against Almighty God! It is like we are already in prison, waiting for execution. But the wonderful Gospel of Jesus Christ tells us that a pardon is offered to us. SO . . . what is the point? Simple! Will YOU accept the pardon? The Gospel of grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, saves those who are already lost.
John 3:19-21 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. (KJV)
WHAT is the condemnation? Very simple according to Almighty God. People refuse the LIGHT! An honest heart and a sincere desire for Truth are needed in order to love light! ALL evil doers hate the light, they love instead the darkness where their evil deeds cannot be seen. "He that doeth truth" . . . . Truth MUST be lived, not just sometime, but 24/7! When we live an honest life, really wanting light, we have nothing to hide. This is the judgment of the world.
That horrible day the world crucified Christ . . . on that day the world made a decision. ALL people shall be judged by God. The condemnation, or the judgment, is that LIGHT (Jesus) is come into the world, but because men's deeds were evil continually (Gen.6:5), they loved the darkness. Rats always make a mad dash for a dark corner when the light is turned on.
In this verse our Lord approaches many things from the negative point. "For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved." Today, we hear so much about the power of "positive thinking." Believe me, friend,when I say there is great power in negative thinking and negative speaking. Listen to other things Jesus said. ". . . I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" and ". . . the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many" (Mark 2:17; Mark 10:45). "God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world." And Jesus says that every one that doeth evil hateth the light. In other words, whoever continually practices what is wrong hates the light. "Light" and "truth" are used in the same way. "He that doeth truth cometh to the light." Wickedness and darkness are always opposite to Light and Truth. . . . . . We now leave Nicodemus.
Testimony Of John The Baptist (3:22-36)
John 3:22-24 After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized. 23 And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized. 24 For John was not yet cast into prison. After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized. (KJV)
Jesus left Jerusalem and went into the land of Judea. At this time, John the Baptist was still able to preach ". . . the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Mat. 3:2). It was after the Lord's temptation that John was cast into prison. The other Gospels tell us that. (Mat.14:3; Luke 3:20).
"Tarried . . . and baptized" . . . this is the first indication that Jesus administered the baptismal rite. He did not do it, He did it through His disciples. John 4:22 (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,) (KJV)
"And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim" . . . this place was near Salim, not far from the Jordan, northeast of Samaria. It is said there were abundant pools, well suited for baptizing there. "Because there was much water there" . . . explains, not why John preached at Aenon, but why he baptized there. “Much water” was essential to baptize by immersion in New Testament times.
Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying.
John 3:25-26 Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying. 26 And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him. (KJV)
This is very interesting. The disciples of John, were jealous. They are telling John that he should not mention the Name of Jesus. They imply that John should not have borne witness to Jesus to start with because all were going to Him. This reveals they really were afraid John was going to lose his followers. Now this Godly man makes a very clear statement. There is not a jealous bone in the body of John.
John 3:27-30 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. 28 Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. 29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease. (KJV)
We simply cannot escape the tremendous force of this! John the Baptist is the last of the Old Testament prophets. He actually is not in the church. He makes that clear here: "He that hath the bride . . . " WHO is the bride? The CHURCH. "He that hath the bride is the bridegroom." . . . OK! Then WHO is John? He is "the friend of the Bridegroom." He shall be present at the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev.19:9), but he is not a part of the church. He is the last of the Old Testament prophets who walks out of the Old Testament onto pages of the New Testament to announce the coming of the Messiah (Isaiah 40:3; Mal. 3:1; Mat.3:3; 11:10; 17:11; Mark 1:3; Luke 1:17; 1:76; 3:4; 7:27; John 1:8; 1:23; 1:31; 3:28; Acts 19:4).
"A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven." Again and again this Truth will come out. Jesus said, "No man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father" (John 6:65). How tremendous these statements are! John says that Christ must increase but that he must decrease. John the Baptist's ministry is now coming to an end.
John 3:31-36 He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all. 32 And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony. 33 He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. 34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. 35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. 36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. (KJV)
John makes it very clear that the Lord Jesus Christ is superior, and then he gives them this wonderful testimony concerning the Lord Jesus.
"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life." THERE IT IS! It does NOT get any more clear than that! John the Baptist preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ! He preached the TRUE Gospel message that ALL people are lost without Christ! BUT . . . they HAVE everlasting life through faith in Christ (John 5:24). What a tremendous testimony John the Baptist had. What a tremendous witness to the Lord Jesus Christ he was!
Jesus' Tremendous Testimony of John the Baptist!
Matthew 11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. (KJV)
Luke 7:28 For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he. (KJV)
"But he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he." The saying is paradoxical, it sounds like it is contradictory. IF John was not surpassed in greatness by ANY human being, HOW could anyone be greater than he? But, Jesus does not make mistakes. His words were certainly deliberate. "Notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." When the Lord Jesus came, He began calling out a group of people who are even greater than John the Baptist. HOW can they be greater? Because they are "in Christ" (Gal.3:28; Eph.1:10) and they are clothed with His righteousness (Isa.61:10; 1 Cor.1:30: 2 Cor.5:21).
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