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(John 3:22-26)

“After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He remained with them and baptized. Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there. And they came and where baptized. For John had not yet been thrown into prison. Then there arouse a dispute between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purification. And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified—Behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him.” ~ (John 3:22-26)

So now we continue with the Gospel According to John in Chapter 3. Jesus had finished His great dialogue with the Pharisee Nicodemus in which He imparted His Gospel, then departed Jerusalem and came into the land of Judea. We find Jesus and His disciples out in the land of Judea baptizing and teaching many, with many people coming to Him. It is estimated that this may have been a period of six months in which Jesus and His disciples were in the land of Judea teaching and baptizing. We know that Jesus himself did not do the baptizing, but his disciples did because it says so in John 4:2, (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples). The passage further tells us in verse 23 & 24 of Chapter 3 that John was also baptizing and makes a point of telling us that John had not yet been thrown into prison. In all three of the other Gospel accounts we have Jesus being baptized by John, departing for a 40 day fast out in the wilderness, then He is in Galilee and we find John the Baptist in prison. So the Apostle John is letting us know that this period of the ministry of Jesus and John the Baptist over lapped in the land of Judea where both were baptizing. John being the Harold for Christ, would have been pointing people to Jesus, being as he had already validated Him as the worthy Lamb of God, the only begotten Son of God. John is the son of a Levite Priest giving him the birth right of a priest, and it was the job of a priest to give approval of a sin sacrifice, and John did that with Jesus.

Then out in the land of Judea a dispute breaks out between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purification. Isn’t that the same old story? You have different groups, with differing ideas of what makes someone righteous, and they get into an argument about it. It is the same today, you have Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhist, Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, and many others of the world’s religions; claiming righteousness through a system of works and Christians saying no you’ve got it all wrong, a man cannot be made right through his own works, because the works of a man are evil, you have to be made righteous by the Righteousness of Jesus. That your sins were applied to Him on the cross and His righteousness was imputed to you through faith in Him. This argument will go on until Christ returns, because the argument is the way of a man vs. the Way of God. Jesus said: “I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, No one comes to the Father except through Me.” ~ (John 14:6) I can understand the perspective on this from the view of a man. A man is taught from his youth that you most go out and earn something, especially something of value. But a man cannot earn righteousness, because his ways are evil. Asking a man not to sin is like asking a dog not to eat his own vomit, it is the nature of a dog to eat his own vomit, and it is the nature of a man to sin. They only way a man can stop sinning is if God intervenes, that he is born again. Born with a new heart with new desires that the old man has died and the new man lives by the Spirit of God. Men have already broken the laws of God, you can’t go back and undo what you have already done, and there is a penalty for breaking those laws that must be paid in full. Jesus paid that price with His life’s blood on the cross and through faith in Jesus Christ on the cross, your debt is paid in full; His righteousness is imputed to you. That means that God now looks at you as being as righteous as Jesus Christ, the One who never sinned.

So these men come to John telling him that everybody is going out to Jesus. Well as we will talk about next week, John basically says good, that’s what I have been telling them all to do, so what are you still doing here? So we have people going out in mass to Jesus, and this will happen for a time. People coming to Christ in mass, but not all were saved, as we will see in Chapter 6 where they depart from Him in mass, but His true disciples remained.

God Bless you all,
Mike Peek

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