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John’s gospel post 26: Bigger

September 30, 2013

John 3:22 – 36

So that’s the end of Nicodemus (at least for now?).

We now  have another little twist – as Jesus and his disciples head into the Judean countryside and start baptising people. Cousin John is also baptising. He chooses his place for baptism apparently because there is a lot of water – shrewd move that! (I’m sure Jesus thought of that as well!) In another slightly odd aside John writes that this was before John the Baptist was in prison (presumably not so much water in jail anyway!)

We’re not told how John felt about Jesus baptising. Did it feel a bit like having a Tesco open up next door to your corner shop?!

But the row that ensued was not between the followers of Jesus and John, but between John’s disciples and a certain Jew, on the subject of ceremonial washing. Much of what took place in the Jewish faith was ceremonial. But strangely again we are given no detail on the row.

By the time John’s disciples speak to John, the row is forgotten. There is another concern for them, what DOES John think about the other baptisms going on?

John answers by reminding them that the role he has is God-given but he recaps his earlier words. “I always told you I was not the Messiah. I was just the warm up act. I told you the headline act was coming. I’m just like the friend of the bridegroom on his big day. Now I get smaller – I step back. He becomes bigger – he takes centre stage. Jesus is now in the spotlight” Time to exit stage left?

John goes on to stress that he is from earth. He is a man’s man. But Jesus is from heaven – he is the God man!

But even John comments how Jesus – the one with THE Knowledge is NOT accepted. But again those who do accept recognise God’s truth.

Jesus speaks God’s words and is full of God’s Spirit. There it is – this idea of one God – and yet 3 personalities active and interactive. And it’s a loving relationship to. The loving Father has put everything in Jesus’ hands.

John echoes Jesus talk to Nicodemus. To believe in the Son is to HAVE eternal life. But to reject is to miss out on life – and to experience God’s anger.

Whether through Jesus’ words, John the Baptist’s or his own, John the biographer continues to paint a picture of Jesus as a man who divided people. In the dark or the light. Alive or lifeless. Accepted or condemned.

Still dividing opinion. Where do you see yourself?




From → Christianity

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