This part of John is rather straight forward, but we will cover it anyway.
John 3:22: After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.
We will see in the next chapter that Jesus only baptized his disciples. This is important and we will cover why.
John 3:23: And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized.
The meaning of the word Aenon is springs and Salim, peace. This is neat to note that John is baptizing in the springs of peace.
It is also good to note that John was here because there was much water. Baptism is a symbol of us dying in the flesh. It is a total thing and the symbolism requires submersion. If you only needed to be sprinkled John would not need to go to where there is a lot of water.
John 3:24: For John was not yet cast into prison.
John 3:25: Then there arose a question between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying.
John 3:26: And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.
They are asking why Christ is taking over.
John 3:27: John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
And it is true all things come from God.
John 3:28: Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.
John never declared himself head honcho.
John 3:29: He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.
The friend of the bridegroom was the person that attended the groom, settled details between the bride and groom etc. It was a great honor. John, by paving the way, was getting the bride ready for Christ. He understood that this wasn’t about him or his ministry. He understood this was about God. John was given this great honor because God knew he would be able to perform this duty. He could trust John. He didn’t suddenly start a religious war or claim some hold over Christ just because he baptized him.
John 3:30: He must increase, but I must decrease.
John 3:31: He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.
Things of he flesh mean little to the heavenly. Bank loans, stubbed toes and broken coffee pots are not the topics of angels.
John 3:32: And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony.
Christ spoke of God and his kingdom and no man was able to understand it because we are flesh and understand the things of the flesh.
John 3:33: He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.
Does this say that while in the flesh we cannot accept his testimony? In part surely for Paul told us this.
1Co 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
1Co 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
1Co 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
While in the flesh we are always going to struggle to understand. Can a line understand a square? Can a square understand a cube? The ways of God are contrary to the ways of the flesh, but we have forgiveness and if we seek him we will receive his testimony even if we do not understand all of it.
John 3:30: Jesus must increase, but I must decrease.
John 3:31: Jesus that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: Jesus that cometh from heaven is above all.
John 3:32: And what Jesus hath seen and heard, that Jesus testifieth; and no man receiveth Jesus’ testimony.
Remember the purpose of the Gospel of John is to show Jesus as God.
John 3:33: He that hath received Jesus testimony hath set to Jesus seal that God is true.
John 3:34: For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.
We are to ask for our daily bread. Our daily portion of the mana from heaven. Christ is that bread and just as there was no end to the loaves and fishes there is no end to his bread.
John 3:35: The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.
John 3:36: He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.