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The Testimony of The Eternal Son

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Introduction

Throughout the preceeding chapters of John's Gospel, we see various incidents in which the new order Jesus was inaugurating was set in contrast with the old things. To give some examples....
The wine Jesus made at Cana compared with the waters of purification.
Jesus promising that when he was lifted up on the cross he would provide a better cure than did the bronze serpent Moses made in the wilderness.
* Jesus promising that when he was lifted up on the cross he would provide a better cure than did the bronze serpent Moses made in the wilderness.
Now in this passage we see a contrast between the ministries of John the Baptist and of Jesus.
* Now in this passage we see a contrast between the ministries of John the Baptist and of Jesus.
Jesus had just had the interaction with Nicodemus where he explains the required to be born again.
Jesus just had the interaction with Nicodemus, where he explains the requirement to be born again.
Where are we in the narrative?
Jesus had just had the interaction with Nicodemus where he explains the required to be born again.
Jesus just had the interaction with Nicodemus, where he explains the requirement to be born again.
Theme that John is driving at, , . Who is this Jesus?
Everything John records is geared towards leading people to recognize truly who Jesus is, to understand why he came, and to believe on him ()
There are three sections:
In vv. 22–24. the scene is set as Jesus and His disciples travel into Judea, where John is ministering, and both groups baptize those who are repenting.
In vv. 25–30, the Baptist silences the competitive attitude of his own disciples by affirming once more that his entire role is to prepare for Christ.
Verses 31–36 appear to be a continuation of the Baptist’s words, or possibly a comment by the gospel writer.
I will emphasize two points:
1. John the Baptist rightly understood his role as the one sent to prepare the way for the exaltation of Christ.
2. The Father's love for the Son is the foundation of His love for us, and of his work of electing a people to himself.

The passage opens with Jesus going into the land of Judea with His disciples. He was previously in Jerusalem, which is also in Judea, but we learn through other translations that Jesus went into the Judean countryside. He moved outside the city to more rural areas, expanding his Judean ministry.
Jesus and his disciples are baptizing, but we know from that Jesus was not baptizing and that only his disciples were doing so.
Baptism is an ordinance of God, administered by human hands. Baptized in the name of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit.
At the same time, John was also baptizing at Aenon near Salim.
At the same time, John was also baptizing at Aenon near Salim.
For when the Evangelist says that Christ baptized, I refer this to the commencement of his ministry; namely, that he then began to exercise publicly the office which was appointed to him by the Father. And though Christ did this by his disciples, yet he is here named as the Author of the baptism, without mentioning his ministers, who did nothing but in his name and by his command. Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentary on the Gospel according to John (Vol. 1, pp. 130–131). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software
* For when the Evangelist says that Christ baptized, I refer this to the commencement of his ministry; namely, that he then began to exercise publicly the office which was appointed to him by the Father. And though Christ did this by his disciples, yet he is here named as the Author of the baptism, without mentioning his ministers, who did nothing but in his name and by his command. Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentary on the Gospel according to John (Vol. 1, pp. 130–131). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software
We know from chapter 1:35-41 that at least one of John's disciples had previously transferred his loyalty to Jesus, Andrew, Peter's brother.
John pointed to Jesus as "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" and Andrew naturally shifts allegiances to follow Jesus.
Our passage shows that John still had disciples who had not transferred their allegiance to Jesus. They are loyal to John, and we see the depth of their loyalty through the reaction to Jesus’ ministry.
This chapter clearly shows that John still had disciples who had not transferred their allegiance to Jesus. We see the depth of their loyalty when they are envious as they saw their ministry losing popularity to another ministry.

1. John the Baptist rightly understood his role as the one sent to prepare the way for the exaltation of Christ.

John's disciples begin to have a discussion with a Jew over purification.
The Jews had various forms of purifying and washings in the Law. They carefully observed these laws and may have found it absurd when a new method of purifying was introduced by Christ and by John.
Recall Jesus turning water into wine in the jars used for purification.
* * Recall Jesus turning water into wine in the jugs used for purification.
This is a secondary issue that John's disciples get wrapped up in while the Messiah is right in front of them. They should have been more concerned with following Jesus than they were with discussing purification.
* This is a secondary issue that John's disciples get wrapped up in while their Messiah across the Jordan baptizing. They should have been more concerned with following Jesus that they were with discussing purification.
This example brings personal application by showing us the errors that are possible when men are more concerned with pleasing man than God.
* This example brings personal application by showing us the errors that are possible when men are more concerned with pleasing man than God. We are reminded that the only object we should have in view and promote with all our efforts is, that Christ alone should get the glory.
The Jews had various forms of purifying and washings in the Law that had been passed down by their ancestors. They carefully observed these laws and found it absurd when a new method of purifying was introduced by Christ and by John.
We are reminded that the only object we should have in view and promote with all our efforts is, that Christ alone should get the glory.
* The Jews had various forms of purifying and washings in the Law that had been passed down by their ancestors. They carefully observed these laws and found it absurd when a new method of purifying was introduced by Christ and by John.
V. 26 John's disciples then approach him with a concern that Jesus is baptizing across the Jordan and everyone is going to him.
They did not rightly understanding John the Baptist's earlier witness to Christ (READ, )
The disciples refer to Jesus in the third person, possibly considering him to be a rival of John the Baptist.
* The disciples refer to Jesus in the third person, possibly considering him to be a rival of John the Baptist.
Pay close attention to John's response... unlike his disciples, John portrays no distress or envy.
* Pay close attention to John's response... unlike his disciples, John portrays no distress or envy. Even more shocking is that John is pleased by the increase attention of Jesus' ministry.
Even more shocking is that John is pleased by the increased attention of Jesus' ministry.
They clearly miss the point of who Jesus is and why John was sent, though he had been clearly testifying up to this point.
* They clearly miss the point of who Jesus is and why John was sent, though he had been clearly testifying up to this point.
John turns their attention back to Christ and reminds them of his role, that he is not the Christ and that he was sent before him.
* * John turns their attention back to Christ and reminds them of his role, they he is not the Christ and that he was sent before him.
V. 27 John responds to their envy and distress by stating, "A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven." A common them seen throughout the Gospel (cf. 3:3; 8:23; 19:11)
V. 27 John responds to their envy and distress by stating, "A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven." A common them seen throughout the Gospel (cf. 3:3; 8:23; 19:11)
John is in one sense referring to the principle of vocation, which means "to call". Emphasizing that every talent and ability we have has been given to us from God. ().
* John is in one sense referring to the principle of vocation, which means "to call". Emphasizing that every talent and ability we have has been given to us from God for a specific purpose.
We naturally, out of our sinfulness, exalt ourselves without depending on what the Lord has called us to. We often resort to jealousy and envy to advance our position at the expense of others.
* We naturally exalt ourselves without depending on what the Lord has called us to. We often resort to jealousy and envy to advance our position at the expense of others.
By doing this, we despise the gifts that God has distributed in His wisdom.
* *By doing this, we despise the gifts that God has distributed in His wisdom.
John often warns his disciples that he is not the Christ, and that he was a servant who was subject to the Son of God.
John often warns his disciples that he is not the Christ, and that he was a servant who was subject to the Son of God. By affirming that the is not the Christ, he reserves nothing for himself but to be subject to the head and to serve in the Church as one of the rest. He does not seek to be highly exalted but would rather see Christ glorified.
By affirming that he is not the Christ, he reserves nothing for himself but to be subject to the head and to serve in the Church as one of the rest. He does not seek to be highly exalted but would rather see Christ glorified.
V. 29 John uses the example of the friend of the bridegroom who rejoices greatly at the wedding.
V. 29 John uses the example of the friend of the bridegroom who rejoices greatly at the wedding.
John is using language from the Old Testament where Israel was referred to as the bride of God (, , , ) which anticipated the New Testament references to the church as Christ's bride (cf. ; ; ; , ; ; ).
* John is using language from the Old Testament where Israel was referred to as the bride of God (, , , ) which anticipated the New Testament references to the church as Christ's bride (cf. ; ; ; , ; ; ).
John is put in a role between Jesus and the people, pointing them to the Christ.
* The best man's role was to act as a mediator between the family of the bride and the family of the groom. John puts himself in this role between Jesus and the people, pointing them to the Christ.
John constantly reminds his listener that he is not the bridegroom, and the bride is not his. He is the best man who stands right next to the bridegroom at the wedding feast as he enters into the joy of the wedding.
* John constantly reminds his listener that he is not the bridegroom, and the bride is not his. But that he is the best man who stands right next to the bridegroom at the wedding feast as he enters into the joy of the wedding.
John did not covet the bride, rather he delighted to stand with the bridegroom at the wedding.
* * John did not covet the bride, rather he delighted to stand with the bridegroom at the wedding.
We must be subject to Christ alone, he must be our only Head. We must not turn aside from the simple doctrine of the Gospel, he alone must have the highest glory, that he may retain the right and authority of being a bridegroom to us. - Calvin
We must, therefore, be subject to Christ alone, he must be our only Head, we must not turn aside from the simple doctrine of the Gospel, he alone must have the highest glory, that he may retain the right and authority of being a bridegroom to us. Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentary on the Gospel according to John (Vol. 1, p. 135). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
READ V. 30 John rightly recognizes his position in light of the Christ. He states that his joy is now complete, that Jesus must increase and he must decrease.
READ V. 30 John rightly recognizes his position in light of the Christ. He states that his joy is now complete, that Jesus must increase and he must decrease.
Note the language, John is saying that Jesus must increase. This was not an option, but was necessary. John was called to go before Christ, and after his announcement, he was to go into the background that Christ might come forth in the fullness of His position as the appointed Messiah.
John exemplifies a posture of humility before God, recognizing the bigger purpose that was at work in Christ. He rightly understands that he must become lesser and Christ must increase.
* He exemplifies a posture of humility before God, recognizing the bigger purpose that is at work and that Jesus is the Christ. He rightly understands that he must become lesser and Christ must increase.
John has obtained the fulfillment of all his desires when he sees Christ reigning and men listening to him.
* John has obtained the fulfillment of all his desires when he sees Christ reigning and men listening to him.
Do our desires look like this? Do we long to see Christ reigning, and for people to listen to him.
* * Do our desires look like this? Do we long to see Christ reigning and for people to listen to him.

2. The Father's love for the Son is the foundation of His love for us, and of his work of electing a people to himself.

2. The Father's love for the Son is the foundation of His love for us, and of his work of electing a people to himself.

V. 31 John clearly explains why it was necessary for Christ to increase when stating, "He who comes from above is above all".
John then contrasts his position as one who is earthly (v. 31b).
* John then contrasts his position as one who is earthly (v. 31b).
One who is of the earth cannot have preeminence over One who has come from heaven (v. 31c).

The Testimony of Jesus

Jesus testifies to what He has seen and heard. He came from heaven with words from God and declares the very words of God himself. (, )
John goes through a series of statements about the reaction to Jesus' testimony.
John goes through a series of statements about the reaction to Jesus' testimony.
First, John the Baptist states that no one received Jesus' testimony, which refers back to John's prologue to his Gospel (, ).
* First, John the Baptist states that no one received Jesus' testimony, which refers back to John's prologue to his Gospel (, ).
"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it... He came to His own, and his own did not receive Him".
* * "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it... He came to His own, and his own did not receive Him".
John the Baptist then refers to those whom did receive the testimony of Jesus, which also points back to John the apostle's prologue ().
* John the Baptist then refers to those whom did receive the testimony of Jesus, which also points back to John the apostle's prologue ().
"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God".
* * "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God".
There was widespread opposition to Jesus, but amongst the opposition there were those whose eyes and ears God opened to see and hear the truth of Jesus' testimony.
* * There was widespread opposition to Jesus, but amongst the opposition there were those whose eyes and ears God opened to see and hear the truth of Jesus' testimony.
verse 33 encourages the godly to embrace boldly the doctrine of the Gospel, since they have God as the Author of their faith, who alone abundantly supplies to us the place of all the rest.
33. But he who receiveth his testimony. Here he exhorts and encourages the godly to embrace boldly the doctrine of the Gospel, as if he had said that there was no reason why they should be ashamed or uneasy on account of their small number, since they have God as the Author of their faith, who alone abundantly supplies to us the place of all the rest. Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentary on the Gospel according to John (Vol. 1, pp. 137–138). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
V. 34 God sends the Son and does not give the Spirit by measure. The Holy Spirit was not given to the Son partially, but the Father poured out the Spirit on the Son in immeasurable dimensions.
Christ differs from us in the fact that the Father has poured out upon him an unlimited abundance of his Spirit. We all then draw out of his fullness.
* Christ differs from us in the fact that the Father has poured out upon him an unlimited abundance of his Spirit. We all then draw out of his fullness. John the Baptist goes on to declare the excellence of Christ, that being appointed by the Father to be the administrator, he distributes to every one as he chooses, and as he finds to be necessary ().
John the Baptist goes on to declare the excellence of Christ, that being appointed by the Father to be the administrator, he distributes to every one as he chooses, and as he finds to be necessary ().
God enriches his people in a variety of ways, but Christ has all things in his hand.
* God enriches his people in a variety of ways, but Christ has all things in his hand.
John concludes with a series of joyous affirmations.
John concludes with a series of joyous affirmations.
“The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (vv. 35–36).
We see a contrast, life in Christ, and eternal death to all who do not believe in Christ. He magnifies the kindness of God by warning that there is not other way of escaping death, unless Christ delivers us.
* * We then see a contrast, he holds out life in Christ, and then speaks to the eternal death that all who do not believe in Christ will face. He magnifies the kindness of God by warning that there is not other way of escaping death, unless Christ delivers us. We are all accursed in Adam, there is no holiness in man unless it has been given to them by Christ.
We are all accursed in Adam, there is no holiness in man unless it has been given to them by Christ.
Jesus is life, he is the giver of life. To see life also meaning enjoying life. No hope remains for us, unless we are delivered by Christ. The wrath of God remains on unbelievers, look to Christ and be saved.
* * Jesus is life, he is the giver of life. To see life also meaning enjoying life. No hope remains for us, unless we are delivered by Christ. The wrath of God remains on unbelievers, look to Christ and be saved.

Conclusion

1. John the Baptist rightly understood his role as the one sent to prepare the way for the exaltation of Christ.

2. The love that the Father has for us, his church, is grounded in the eternal love He has for the Son.

Our adoption as sons, and our election, must be understood to be in the Son.
* Our adoption as sons, and out election, but be understood to be in the Son.
It is because of the Father's love for the Son that we can stand forgiven before the throne of God, delivered from wrath unto everlasting life.
* It is because of the Father's love for the Son that we can stand forgive before the throne of God, delivered from wrath unto everlasting life.
In this immediate context, it is the Father's love for the Son that we are invited to the marriage feast as the bride.
* In this immediate context, it is the Father's love for the Son that we are invited to the marriage feast as the bride.
Christ has set His love upon us and betrothed us to Himself, and he will return to receive us to Himself. In that we will rejoice with Him in the final increase of His exaltation.
* * Christ has set His love upon us and betrothed us to Himself, and he will return to receive us to Himself. In that we will rejoice with Him in the final increase of His exaltation.
The Father's love for the Son motivated him to give the Son a kingdom of people. Before the foundation of the world, God established the covenant of redemption in which he covenanted with the Son to give him a people. God embraces his church in the Son, and then communicates all his benefits to us by his hand.
The Father's love for the Son motivated him to give the Son a kingdom of people. Before the foundation of the world, God established the covenant of redemption in which he coveted with the Son to give him a people. God embraces his church in the Son, and then communicate all his benefits to us by his hand.
We cling to Christ in faith, who brings along with him both righteousness and life. Life is found in Christ alone, and we become partakers of it by no other means than by the grace of our Triune LORD.
Christ has set His love upon us and betrothed us to Himself, and he will return to receive us to Himself. In that we will rejoice with Him in the final increase of His exaltation.
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