John the Baptist calls himself a friend of the bridegroom. The friend stands by with him and rejoices because he hears the bridegroom.
This is a Bible Study. Have your own Bible handy to look up the references mentioned.
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22. Into the land of Judaea [KJV; NKJV] “The phrase here means that Jesus went out into the rural areas.
Baptized. Jesus did not personally baptize, but His disciples carried on this work (cf. 4:2).” (MacArthur, John, The MacArthur Bible Commentary. [Nashville, Thomas Nelson Inc., 2005], 1360)
23. Aenon near Salim [NKJV] “Both are in the region of Samaria. Aenon is a transliterated Hebrew word meaning ‘springs,’ and both of these possible sites have plenty of water (‘much water there’).” (MacArthur, 1360)
24. “It was after the Lord’s temptation that John was cast into prison. The other Gospels tell us that.” (McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume IV: [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983], 387)
25. “The matter of purifying was important to the Jews (Mark 7:1-23). Under the Old Testament law, it was necessary for them to keep themselves ceremonially clean if they were to serve God and please Him.” (Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary New Testament Volume 1 Matthew-Galatians. [Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2004], 297)
26. “John’s followers were especially disturbed by the fact that so many people were flocking to Jesus, whereas formerly they had come to John.” (MacArthur, 1360)
27. “John did not want anyone to follow him; his ministry was to point to the Lamb of God and urge people to trust Him.” (Wiersbe, 297)
“How did John the Baptist handle this controversy? To begin with, he stated a conviction: all ministry and blessing come from God, so there can be no competition.” (Wiersbe, 297)
28. “Having a true understanding of who one is became for the evangelist [John the Baptist] a critical issue. As an authentic witness, the Baptizer modeled such a perspective by repackaging here his earlier assertion (1:28), namely, ‘I am not the Christ’) in a slightly different Greek word order (3:28).” (Borchert, Gerald L., The New American Commentary Volume 25A, John 1-11. [Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2002], 191)
Who is the bride? Those who have accepted and trust in Jesus. Do you want to know how.
29. John “compared Jesus to the bridegroom and himself only to the best man. Once the bridegroom and bride had been brought together, the work of the best man was completed” (Wiersbe, 297)
“John’s joy was to hear the voice of the Bridegroom and know that He had claimed His bride.” (Wiersbe, 297)
“The image of the Bridegroom would have been significant to the Jewish people, for Jehovah had a ‘marriage covenant’ with the nation (Isaiah 54:5; 62:4ff; Jeremiah 2:2; 3:20; Ezekiel 16:8; Hosea 2:19ff).” (Wiersbe, 298)
“One day the Bridegroom will come to claim His bride and take her to her home in heaven (Revelation 19:6-9; 21:9ff).” (Wiersbe, 298)
30. “John says that Christ must increase but that John must decrease. His ministry is now coming to an end.” (McGee, 387)
Cometh from heaven
31. “He was not simply called from heaven, or empowered by heaven; He came from heaven…No earthly messenger of God came ‘from above.’ Only Jesus Christ can make that claim and prove it to be true.” (Wiersbe, 298)
32. John “was fully aware that the presence of the divine messenger on earth did not guarantee acceptance of the divine message by earth-oriented people. Indeed, receptivity of the heavenly messenger and his message was extremely limited.” (Borchert, 193)
33. “Those who receive His witness and act on it know by personal experience that His witness is true (John 7:17)…It is when we obey His Word and put it into practice that we see its truth and experience its power.” (Wiersbe, 298)
34. “God sent Him (another key theme in John’s gospel); God gave Him the Word; God gave Him the Spirit; and God gave Him all things (John 13:3).” (Wiersbe,298)
35. “Because the Father loves the Son, He has given Him all things, and He shows Him all things (John 5:20). It is a love that can hold nothing back.” (Wiersbe,298)
36. “This is the only place in any of John’s epistles or his gospel that he uses the word wrath. (He uses it six times in the book of Revelation.) This verse parallels John 3:18 and makes it clear that there can be no neutrality when it comes to the witness of Jesus Christ: we either trust Him or we reject Him.” (Wiersbe,298)
A Personal Relationship with Jesus Christ
“As you review John 3, you can see that the apostle John is emphasizing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Wiersbe adds the following about a personal relation with Jesus Christ:
• It is a living relationship that begins with the new birth, the birth from above.
• It is also a loving relationship, for He is the Bridegroom and we are a part of the bride.
• It is a learning relationship, for He is the faithful Witness who shares God’s truth with us.” (299)
Amplified Bible (AMP)
Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville Tennessee. All rights reserved.
New King James Version (NKJV)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
In this article Scripture quotations taken from KJV.
Borchert, Gerald L., The New American Commentary Volume 25A, John 1-11. Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2002
McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume IV: Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983
MacArthur, John, The MacArthur Bible Commentary. Nashville, Thomas Nelson Inc., 2005
Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary New Testament Volume 1 Matthew-Galatians. Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2004