Read John 3:22
22 Then Jesus and his disciples left Jerusalem and went into the Judean countryside. Jesus spent some time with them there, baptizing people.
*Was Jesus baptizing? John 4:2 (NIV) says “although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples.”
Read John 3:23-26
23 At this time John the Baptist was baptizing at Aenon, near Salim, because there was plenty of water there; and people kept coming to him for baptism. 24 (This was before John was thrown into prison.) 25 A debate broke out between John’s disciples and a certain Jew over ceremonial cleansing. 26 So John’s disciples came to him and said, “Rabbi, the man you met on the other side of the Jordan River, the one you identified as the Messiah, is also baptizing people. And everybody is going to him instead of coming to us.”
John was the first, but Jesus is now baptizing more people than John.
*Should John be angry that Jesus was becoming more famous?
*Why do you think John was still baptizing? He was not arrested yet
*Why did Jesus want his disciples to baptize?
*Did John’s disciples believe in Jesus? Do they sound jealous?
Read John 3:27-28
27 John replied, “No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven. 28 You yourselves know how plainly I told you, ‘I am not the Messiah. I am only here to prepare the way for him.’
*What was John sent to do? Prepare the say for Jesus, not to be the Messiah
*Should you do something in the name of God without Him sending you?
Read John 3:29-30
29 It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the best man is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success. 30 He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.
*Is this true in our lives, have we become less and Jesus become greater?
*Who is the bride? Church
*Who is the bridegroom? Jesus
*Who is the friend of the bridegroom? John
*Ever been to a wedding? Who is the wedding about the guests or the couple getting married?
*Are guests happy at a wedding or sad? Why happy?
*Why is the church like a bride? When we become saved Jesus comes into our heart. We become more like him. So it is like a marriage. Married people, in a marriage the way God designed it to be, the two become one. And we too as the church, become one with Jesus. His ways becomes our ways.
Read John 3:31
31 “He has come from above and is greater than anyone else. We are of the earth, and we speak of earthly things, but he has come from heaven and is greater than anyone else.
*This is similar to what Jesus said in 12&13 –
12 But 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? 13 No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But the Son of Man has come down from heaven.
*Who is greater than Jesus? In what ways make Jesus greater than anyone else?
*What are way being earthy limits our understanding on who Jesus is?
Read John 3:32
32 He testifies about what he has seen and heard, but how few believe what he tells them!
*What is Jesus testifying? Why don’t people believe?
*NIV says no one accepts him; is it possible to truly accept Jesus without the Holy Spirit?
*What is the truth? Can man handle the truth without the Holy Spirit? To accept the truth would be to admit we deserve death and that we need Jesus to save us; that we cannot save ourselves.
Read John 3:33-34
33 Anyone who accepts his testimony can affirm that God is true. 34 For he is sent by God. He speaks God’s words, for God gives him the Spirit without limit.
*If we accept Jesus what do we certify God as? Truthful – Jesus is truth
*And if we accept Jesus, what do we receive? The Holy Spirit – with no limits
Read John 3:35-36
35 The Father loves his Son and has put everything into his hands. 36 And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.”
*Does this sound a bit like John 3:16? It is the opposite way of saying it. God so loves Jesus, that everything is for Him.
This is John’s explanation of John 3:16. John was not there that night Jesus told Nicodemus this. How did he know this?
*Who revealed this to John? The Holy Spirit, He revealed this to John.
*How does God feel about those who do not believe? Angry
*What about for those who have never heard of Jesus? It says in NIV – those who rejected him or have not obeyed. You cannot reject or obey of you have not heard. This only applies to those who have heard and refused.
*In a world where it is all about us, how do you feel about letting Jesus control your life – becoming less while He becomes greater?
*Does that surprise you that only few will believe in Jesus? What is it about Jesus that people don’t want to believe?
*This world is always searching for the truth. Maybe religion is right, maybe we are all right. But if we are true followers how certain are we in what we believe?