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The Exaltation

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The Exaltation

John 3:22–36 ESV
After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he remained there with them and was baptizing. John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because water was plentiful there, and people were coming and being baptized (for John had not yet been put in prison). Now a discussion arose between some of John’s disciples and a Jew over purification. And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you bore witness—look, he is baptizing, and all are going to him.” John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.’ The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease.” 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. He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony. Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true. For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. 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 3:22-
This is God’s word lets pray.
“Learn from the Greatest to become the Least.”
Jesus called John the baptist the greatest man ever born.
yet John is concerned about making jesus not himself great.
I am so excited to preach a sermon on Humility, I feel so qualified.
The Apostle Paul
I am the least of the apostles.
I am the very least of all the saints.
I am the foremost of sinners.
King David
Chosen by God to replace the current King. Yet he would not make that step himself.
He had the opportunity to kill Saul but did not. 
1. at the cave of En-gedi  2. He would not touch God's annointed.  3. He had respect for God's authority. 
And David said to Saul, Who am I? and what is my life, or my father's family in Israel, that I should be son in law to the king? Nave's Topical Index
After whom is the king of Israel come out? after whom do you pursue? after a dead dog, after a flea.
John 3:22 ESV
After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he remained there with them and was baptizing.
Jesus leaves the urban to the rural.
We see this a lot, a mixture of the urban ministry and the rural ministry. God even does some of his greatest work in desserts and small towns.
You dont need big cities, or big numbers for great things to happen all you need is the presence of God.
John 3:23–24 ESV
John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because water was plentiful there, and people were coming and being baptized (for John had not yet been put in prison).
John 3:22
John 3:22 ESV
After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he remained there with them and was baptizing.
John 3
Water was plentiful. Practical. Some times God does call people to do things that are strange, or that don’t make sense. But there is other times where the people of God are to operate practically. Sometimes it is perfectly ok to make decisions simply because it was practical and makes sense.
John 3:23 ESV
John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because water was plentiful there, and people were coming and being baptized
Sometimes we over think and over spiritualize
John 3:23
John is not yet in prison. We know that Johns story like many prophets ends with his persecution and death.
He ends up jailed and ultimately beheaded because he stood for righteousness and was fearless even in the face of rulers and kings.
John chose to only answer to God and preached with all boldness.
John 3:25 ESV
Now a discussion arose between some of John’s disciples and a Jew over purification.
John 3:
Purification was something common and important to the religous Jews of the day.
They were all about cleansing yourself and being clean.
However Johns baptism was one of repentance and represented becoming new.
John was baptizing jews in away that was really only for Gentiles converting to the Jewish faith.
This was most likely the content of this debate.
As debates often do they seem to go down a tangent, this one to crowd size.
John 3:26 ESV
And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you bore witness—look, he is baptizing, and all are going to him.”
Even another guy is starting to do this kind of baptism.
Really, Oh wow yeah a lot of people are going to him.
All are going to him, is of course an exaggeration. John still had very large crowds.
They are concerned and even jealous or bitter.
John 3:27 ESV
John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven.
John says clearly to his disciples, God is in control.
Be content instead of jealous
Be thankful instead of bitter
John 3:28 ESV
You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.’
John 3:
John then elaborates, what did you expect?! I said I am not the Christ I am not the messiah.
In fact wasn't I pointing to him?
He then gives us an example in terms of a wedding
John 3:29 ESV
The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete.
John 3:
It is in fact weird to make it about yourself at someone else's wedding.
Know your place, know your role
Dont step on others toes.
Most of all don’t make church about yourself
Let all eyes be on Jesus, let Jesus be glorified and make room for people to meet him.
People are meeting Jesus, people are starting to follow Jesus, dont get in the way of that
Then Johns most profound statement
John 3:30 ESV
He must increase, but I must decrease.”
John 3:
John wants his role and his influence to decrease and Christ to decrease.
This isn't false humility, this isn't self loathing, this isn't John giving up, This is good leadership
John was pointing people to Jesus and as they grow in their relationship with Jesus the influence of the evangelist, or pastor is to decrease as their relationship with Jesus increases.
The role of any leader in the church is to get people less dependent on them and more dependent on Jesus.
Scared that people wont need them anymore, there is a temptation in humans to limit followers so that they need the leadership. You can only pray here, only we can read the bible, only we have the truth. You need us to talk to God, you need us confess etc… and strange enough people go for it.
But biblical leadership is to empower people and equip them first and foremost in their relationship to Jesus and from their in their own ministry and calling.
leaders help people realize what they have in Jesus
John 3:31 ESV
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.
Dont just listen to me, go to Jesus, He is the one from above, from heaven.
Why settle for just your earthly pastor, when you can have your heavenly father?
Dont just listen to sermons, and read christian books, that is not the end goal, those things are there to help you get closer to Jesus and God the father yourself.
We dont graduate from having leaders and influencers in our lives, we all need that. But the point of those relationships should not be for themselves but to point to Jesus.
John 3:32–33 ESV
He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony. Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true.
It is from Jesus that we have truth, the rejection of the person and work of Jesus Christ is the saddest thing in the world.
But whoever receives Jesus is sealed in Gods truth.
John 3:34–35 ESV
For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand.
John 3:33 ESV
Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true.
John 3:34-
Jesus had the Spirit without measure, for us the bible says it is measured and apportioned to us.
Jesus was perfect and had unlimited power while he was ministering on earth.
More than that all things are in Jesus hand.
All things
Need something? go to Jesus,
For the spiritual and the practical
All things come from heaven and Jesus has it all in his hand
and there is one thing he wants give us more than anything..
John 3:36 ESV
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:
Eternal life in heaven with him
Wow what a blessing
Let us never loose sight of that. Let is think of that often.
Today we learn from the greatest on how to become the least.
John knew to lower himself and to exalt Jesus.
Today we learn from the greatest on how to become the least.
Jesus taught this to his disciples as well
nothing new
common and natural for humanity
God is the Giver and the Taker.
It is all his
The message is to exalt the role is to exalt
Matthew 20:20–28 ESV
Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” He said to them, “You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Matthew
John 3:
We naturally seek out self promotion, we often want attention on ourselves, we want what is easiest for ourselves, what is most comfortable for self, what is most pleasurable for ourselves,
because we are selfish.
John gives us the example as in Jesus words the greatest man ever born, to be selfless and exalt Jesus.
I believe the most content, happy and fulfilled people are not those concerned with self but those who exalt Jesus and serve others,
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