11 January 2010

Jesus Came From Heaven


After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he spent some time there with them and baptized. John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim because water was abundant there; and people kept coming and were being baptized —John, of course, had not yet been thrown into prison. Now a discussion about purification arose between John’s disciples and a Jew. They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, the one who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you testified, here he is baptizing, and all are going to him.” John answered, “No one can receive anything except what has been given from heaven. You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah, but I have been sent ahead of him.’ He who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. For this reason my joy has been fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.”  The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks about earthly things. The one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, yet no one accepts his testimony. Whoever has accepted his testimony has certified this, that God is true. He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has placed all things in his hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but must endure God’s wrath.  John 3:22-36

Once again, we see the model for ministry in John the Baptist.  It appears that someone outside of the John the Baptist camp had a conversation with those in the John the Baptist camp that went something like, "Isn't John bothered by the fact that more and more attention is being paid to Jesus instead of him?"  John explains to his loyal disciples that there is no John the Baptist camp.  In fact he chastises them because he has told him this the whole time.

Then he explains the difference between a prophet like himself and Jesus:  Jesus comes from heaven.  John the Baptist is not confused that Jesus is more than a man.  He is more than just a good teacher.  He has witnessed it all and knows firsthand that "God is true".  Why should we waste our time following "good" men who only have our perspective when there is someone who has a heavenly perspective who provides the way to eternal life ("that they would know you, the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent")?

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