Week 22 | Sections 33, 34
In these two sections we read once again the witness of John the Baptist who personifies the humility we ought all embrace with the understanding that “He must become greater; I must become less”. We also read of the first account of Jesus’ disciples “doing ministry” – the baptizing of many – more than whom John had baptized thus far.
22 After these things,1 Jesus came with his disciples into the land of Judea. He stayed there with them, and baptized. 23 John also was baptizing in Enon near Salim,2 because there was much water there. They came, and were baptized. 24 For John was not yet thrown into prison.3 25 There arose therefore a questioning on the part of John’s disciples with some Jews about purification.4¯5 26 They came to John, and said to him, “Rabbi, he who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified, behold, the same baptizes, and everyone is coming to him.”6 27 John answered, “A man can receive nothing, unless it has been given him from heaven. 28 You yourselves testify that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’7 but, ‘I have been sent before him.’8 29 He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice.9 This, my joy, therefore is made full. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease.10 31 He who comes from above is above all. He who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all.11 32 What he has seen and heard, of that he testifies; and no one receives his witness. 33 He who has received his witness has set his seal to this, that God is true.12 34 For he whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for God gives the Spirit without measure. 35 The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand.13 36 One who believes14 in the Son has eternal life,15 but one who disobeys the Son won’t see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”16
1 Therefore when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2 (although Jesus himself didn’t baptize, but his disciples),17 3 he left Judea, and departed into Galilee. 4 He needed to pass through Samaria.
19 but Herod the tetrarch,18 being reproved by him for Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for all the evil things which Herod had done, 20 added this also to them all, that he shut up John in prison.
[one_third last=”no”]Matthew 4:12
12 Now when Jesus heard that John was delivered up, he withdrew into Galilee.19[/one_third]
[one_third last=”no”]Mark 1:14a20
14 Now after John was taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee,[/one_third]
[one_third last=”yes”]Luke 4:14a21
14 Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit22 into Galilee,[/one_third]
- What rituals (especially baptism) have enriched your faith?
- What rituals fall short of satisfying the longing of your soul to be united and reconciled with God? Why? What danger are there in the rituals of the church today?
- How is the peace of God obtained? How are we purified from our sin today?
- In what ways do you struggle with jealousy? How have you overcome that sin?
- What way do pride, jealousy, and human allegiances often divide the body of Christ and the interrupt the work of God among us.
- What is your vocation? How have you needed to serve along side of others with a different vocation and spiritual gifts?
- If you have you ever experienced a commissioning, or passed on a ministry to another, how did you feel?
disciples who make disciples, Jesus empowers and commissions the disciples to begin serving in ministry, humility of John, the bride belongs to the bridegroom,