Back in chapter one John the Baptist bore witness that Jesus

is the Christ.  In our text today we have a further testimony

from him that Jesus is, indeed, the Christ.


I.  A quick review


    The prophets of old had prophesied that God would send the

Christ to the world and that He would come through the nation

Israel and a be a descendant of King David.  For hundreds of

years the people of Israel had anxiously looked for His coming.

    When John the Baptist came on the scene announcing that the

Christ was about to come and that God had sent him to prepare the

way for the Christ, the people of Israel became very excited.

Then one day as John was baptizing, Jesus came to him to be

baptized.  When John baptized Jesus, the Holy Spirit came down in

the form of a dove and lit upon Him.  God had earlier told John

that when he would see the Holy Spirit coming down on one whom he

would baptize, he would know that this is the Christ.  John said

that he saw and he bare record that Jesus is the Son of God.  The

next day, John saw Jesus again and said, "Behold the Lamb of God

that taketh away the sin of the world."

    In Chapter two Jesus went into the temple at Jerusalem and

cleansed the temple.  He drove out the money changers, the

sacrificial animals and those who sold them.  In doing so he made

the members of the Sanhedrin Council very very angry.  However,

one of the Sanhedrin members by the name ofNicodemus came to

Jesus by night and Jesus told him that he must be born again.

Jesus explained that as Moses lifted up the serpent of brass in

the wilderness and put it on a pole, even so he must be lifted

up.  He said that whoever would look to Him in faith would be

saved.  He would be born again.  Jesus said that whoever would

believe in Him would not perish but have everlasting life.  He

would be saved.  On the other hand He said that if one would not

believe in Him, that person is condemned already.  Jesus further

explained to Nicodemus that the reason men refuse to believe in

Him is because they love darkness rather than light.


II. Some disciples of John the Baptist jealous of Jesus


    In our text today the conversation between Jesus and

Nicodemus has ended.  John, the writer of the book, takes up what

appears at first to be an entirely unrelated event.  He tells

about Jesus going into Judea and he tells about a conversation

between John the Baptist and his disciples.

    V. 22, "After these things came Jesus and his disciples into

the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and

baptized."  After the cleansing of the temple and the encounter

between Nicodemus and Jesus, Jesus did not return directly to

Galilee.  Instead He went into Judea and stayed there for a

prolonged period of time preaching and ministering to the people.

John says simply, "...and baptized."

    In chapter four, John goes into a little greater detail.  He

said that Jesus did not personally do the baptizing, but that He

had His disciples to do the baptizing for Him.  They baptized

under His direction and supervision.  Also in Chapter four John

said that Jesus was baptizing more people than John the Baptist.

This is brought out later here in chapter three.

    V.  23, "And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim,

because there was much water there: and they came, and were

baptized." In our present day we do not know the exact location

of Aeon where John was baptizing.  Neither do we know where Salim

was located.  Several different places have been identified, but

nobody knows for sure which, if any, is correct.  It is not

necessary for us to know the exact location.  If it had been

necessary, God would have given us that information.  It is

enough for us to know that both Jesus and John the Baptist were

not a great distance apart preaching to the people and that both

were baptizing those who professed to repent of sins and believe

in Jesus Christ.

    V. 24, "For John was not yet cast into prison."  This whole

event took place in the early part of the ministry of Jesus.  It

took place shortly after the first cleansing of the Temple by

Jesus.  John the Baptist had not yet been imprisoned.  John still

had a very active ministry.

    V. 25, "Then there arose a question between some of John's

disciples and the Jews about purifying."  The word, question, as

used in this verse means "a difference of opinion, a

controversy."  There arose a controversy or difference of opinion

between some of John's disciples and what our text calls, "the

Jews" (plural).  Some of the old manuscripts read "a Jew"

(singular).  Be that as it may, whether plural or singular, the

controversy had to do with ceremonial purifying or cleansing a

sinner of his sin.  From this statement we might at first jump to

the conclusion that it had to do with regulations set up by the

Mosaic law pertaining to some kind of ceremonial washing.

    However, in view of the verses which follow, we are led to

believe that it had something to do with baptism.  The

controversy between the disciples of John and the Jew or Jews had

to do with the baptism which Jesus was doing and the baptism that

John the Baptist was doing.  Baptism, among other things, is

symbolilc of one being washed or purified from his sins.

    Listen to the disciples of John the Baptist.  V.  26, "And

they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with

thee beyond Jordan, to whomthou barest witness, behold, the same

baptizeth, and all men come to him." Whatever the details of the

controversy might be, it really centered around jealousy on their

part toward Jesus.  They were jealous because Jesus was baptizing

more people thanJohn the Baptist.  Even here in this verse they

say, "...and all men come to him." In John chapter four it is

said plainly that Jesus was baptizing more disciples then John

the Baptist was.  They were jealous.  They were resentful that

Jesus was baptizing more than John.


III.  No jealousy on the part of John the Baptist


    John, on the other hand, was not the least bit jealous of

Jesus.  V.  27, "John answered and said, A man can receive

nothing, except it be given him from heaven."  John's answer, in

rddrnvr,  was:  "This is the way God wants it.  Jesus would not

be baptizing more than I if it were not the will of God."

    V. 28, "Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not

the Christ, but that I am sent before him."  "Jesus is the

Christ.  I am not the Christ.  He is.  He is supposed to baptize

more people than I am.  Why are you fellows getting upset just

because Jesus is baptizing more people than I am?"

    V. 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."

    Now let me say right here that what Jesus is doing is to use

an illustration showing that he has no reason whatsoever to be

jealous of Jesus for baptizing more people than he was baptizing.

In speaking of the bride and bridegroom Jesus was not talking

about the Glory Bride.  The Glory Bride has to do with a wedding

that will take place in the hereafter.  It will take place after

Jesus returns to this world.  A lot of people try to make this

passage of Scripture talk about the Glory Bride and when they do,

it leads to all sort of confusion and false conclusions.  This

has nothing to do with the Glory Bride.  It is merely an

explanation of why John the Baptist could rejoice at the

increasing ministry of Jesus.

    John the Baptist is saying, "If I were attending a wedding

I would not be jealous of the bridegroomfor getting the bride.

As a friend of the bridegroom, I would rejoice for the bridegroom

that he is getting the bride."  John says, "This is the way it is

in this case.  I am overjoyed that Jesus is reaching a lot of

people and that a lotof people are being saved under his

ministry.  I am glad that He is baptizing more people than I am.

He is the Christ and that is the way it is supposed to be."

    V. 30, "He must increase, but I must decrease."  John is

saying, "All I was sent to do was to prepare the way for the

ministry of Jesus.  When Jesus first started His ministry, I was

well known and He was not well known.  But now that He is well

known, it is intended that my ministry should decrease and His

should increase."


V.  Jesus worthy of the pre-eminent position


    V. 31, "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."  John the Baptist is saying

that Jesus is from heaven and rightly speaks for heaven.  Men

like himself, who are from the earth may speak for heaven, but

they must be in subjection to Jesus, who is from heaven.  Jesus

is above all and rightly deserves the preiminence.

    V. 32, "An what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth;

and no man receiveth his testimony."  The things that Jesus tells

you on earth, He first heard it from God the Heavenly Father.  He

is just telling you what God the Father has told Him to say.

    The Sanhedrin and the majority in Israel would not receive

the words of Jesus.  The majority of the people of Israel would

not receive the words of Jesus.  They received Jesus as a great

miracle worker, but they did not receive Him as the Christ, the

Son of God.  The majority did not receive Him as Savior.  At the

trial of Jesus they joined with the Jewish leaders saying,

"Crucify Him; crucify Him!"  Even some of the disciples of John

the Baptist had difficulty believing that Jesus is the very Son

of God.  If they had believed, they would not have been jealous

of Him.  Why is it that men have trouble believing the words of

the very Son of God?

    V. 33, "He that hath received his testimony hath set to his

seal that God is true."  One would often take wax and melt it and

put it on a parchment writing.  Then he would take a metal seal,

something like the seal of notary public an place his stamp in

the wax.  By this action the paper was officially identified as

his writing.  Likewise, when a man believes the testimony of

Jesus Christ and places his faith in Jesus as his Savior, that

officially places his stamp of approval on the truthfulness of

God who sent Jesus into the world.

    Any man who denies that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the

living God is, in effect, is calling God a liar.  At the baptism

of Jesus, God spoke from heaven and said, "This is my beloved

Son."  It is God who has promised that those who trust in Jesus

will be saved.  One cannot deny the truthfulness of Jesus being

the Savior without denying the very word of God.

    V. 34, "For whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for

God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him."  God the Father

gave the very fullness of the Holy Spirit to the man Jesus

Christ.  Therefore, whatever Jesus says, He does so under the

direction of the Holy Spirit of God.  One cannot deny the

teachings of Jesus Christ without calling God a liar.

    V. 35, "The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things

into his hand."  When Jesus walked here on the earth, he did not

wear a crown upon His head.  When He sat down, He did not sit

upon a throne.  But when Jesus returns to this world, He will

wear a crown and He will sit on a throne.  He will sit upon the

throne of David in Jerusalem and He will rule the world during

the millennium.  Then after the millennium is over and there is a

new heaven and new earth, Jesus will sit upon the throne of God

in the Holy City, New Jerusalem and He will rule all the

universe.  He will occupy this throne forever and ever.


VI.  The need for every man to believe in Jesus


    V. 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."  This is the main point of this

whole text.  The whole text was written to bare record that Jesus

Christ is the Son of God, the Savior of men.  John the Baptist

said what he did to give testimony to the fact that Jesus Christ

is the Son of God, the Savior of men.  The Apostle John, who

wrote this book, wrote the words of this text in order to give

testimony that Jesus Christ is the Savior of men.  The Holy

Spirit of God, who inspired the words of Jesus during His

personal ministry and who inspired the writing of this book,

gives His own witness that Jesus Christ is the Savior of men.

Every man, woman, boy or girl who has ever trusted in Jesus as

Savior, has set his seal in testimony that Jesus is the Christ,

the Savior of men.




    I am going to call upon you who are lost in sin to turn to

Jesus and call upon Him and ask Him to save your soul.  Go ahead.

Ask Him to save you.  Trust Him to save you.  Depend on Him to

save you and keep you out of hell.  Come this very day and get

your eternal destiny settled with God.  He who will come today

and trust in Jesus for salvation, will never go into the fires of

hell.  But if you never trust in Jesus Christ for salvation,

there is nothing in this world that can keep you out of hell.