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Lesson # John 3:22-24
Study Material - John 3:22-24
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
22 After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He was spending time with them and baptizing. 23 And John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there; and they were coming and were being baptized. 24 For John had not yet been thrown into prison.
After these things, refers to the time spent in Jerusalem and the conversation with Nicodemus. There Jesus ran into negative volition. Though Jesus taught in the temple, His best message was the cleaning out of the temple of the traders and merchants who had no right to be in the temple, turning it into a means of their commerce rather than a place of learning Gods Word.
Jesus moves on to the South into the general countryside of Judea. Here he is teaching and baptizing. Note the contrast. Jerusalem is a center of activity, of government, of commerce. The location of the temple and all the scrolls of scripture that had been written for centuries. But Jerusalem was also a center of negative volition. Note the conversation with Nicodemus.
Now that Jesus has left this place, he finds more positive volition. People come to Him to be baptized. Nicodemus never asked to be baptized. Nicodemus only wanted a meeting with Jesus. The arrogance of the unbeliever seeks privilege and certain rights, but in secret and on their own terms, not Gods terms. This was Nicodemus. But now that Jesus is out of the 'big' city, he meets the common folk who neither ask for or seek private audiences with Jesus.
They come to Him because they are positive and teachable. They come to Him to hear the gospel, He was spending time with them teaching, and they wished to be baptized. But this is only a water baptism remember. And that is yet another teaching aid for communicating the work of Christ on the Cross. Water baptism does not save. It is merely a way of identifying with Christ as He encounters the work of the Cross, His spiritual death and judgment, followed by His physical death and burial, and His resurrection ascension and session at the right hand of the Father. And that is exactly where Christ is in our current day.
John the Baptist was also in a different area baptizing. But now Jesus is beginning His ministry, teaching and baptizing, though we learn in the next chapter that Jesus Himself did not baptize, but directed the baptisms through His disciples.
John was baptizing where there was 'much' water. The baptism which Christ offered, which is the baptism of the Holy Spirit, does not depend on water or anything else in this world. The true baptism occurs inside you when you believe in Christ. This is when you become indwelled by the Holy Spirit. But more than that you are actually indwelled by all three members of the trinity. Paul will expand on this later.
Here John the Baptist's ministry is about to fade as that of Jesus Christ begins. God never leaves people without a communicator of Bible doctrine. In every generation there are those who communicate doctrine to people who are positive. God always provides a resource for the positive believers. There is nothing in life which can prevent the communication of doctrine to anyone who is positive and has a desire to learn and grow up spiritually. Even though John will be thrown in prison and later executed, all those who followed John are not left without their leader. The transition to Jesus is about to take shape.
In the next few verses we see Johns farewell to his own ministry, and his welcoming of that of Jesus Christ's ministry.
But for now we are given a bit of information that explains the chronology of some of the events described in the other three gospel books. 'John had not yet been thrown into prison'. All of these events described prior to this verse, in the book of John, had happened prior to the time of John's arrest. During His first year, Jesus Christ entered into a period of introduction with mixed results. The ground work for describing the general attitude of the population is made clear. The establishment was negative. The common folk were positive.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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