John 3:22-36

Jesus and John the Baptist

22 After this, Jesus and his disciples went to the country places in Judea. Jesus stayed there with his disciples for some time, and they baptized people there. 23 John was also baptizing people. He was at a place called Aenon, near Salim, because there was a lot of water there. People were coming to him and John was baptizing them. 24 (This happened before the rulers put John in prison.) 25 John's disciples began to argue with a certain Jew about some Jewish rules. Those rules told people how they should wash properly. 26 The disciples then came to John. They said to him, ‘Teacher, remember the man, Jesus, that you spoke to us about. He was with you on the other side of the Jordan river. Now he is baptizing people and everyone is going to him.’

27 John replied, ‘A man can receive only what God gives to him, nothing else. 28 You yourselves will remember that I said, “I am not the Messiah, but God sent me to prepare things for the Messiah.” 29 When a man marries a wife, she belongs to him. The man's special friend listens carefully. He wants to know when the man will arrive. That friend is very happy when he hears the man's voice. I am like that friend, so I am completely happy now. 30 Jesus must become greater, but I must become less important.

3:28John the Baptist said that God sent him before the Lord Jesus Christ. He was like someone who brings a message from a king. He had to tell people that the king was coming to visit them. The prophet Malachi had told Israel's people that someone would come before the Christ. This person would tell them that their Messiah (Christ) would come soon.

31 The one who comes from above is greater than all things. A person who comes from the earth belongs to the earth. A person like that speaks only about things that belong to the earth. But the one who comes from heaven is greater than all things. 32 He tells people about the things that he has seen. He tells about what he has heard. But people do not believe his message. 33 Anyone who does believe his message agrees that God is true. 34 The one that God has sent speaks God's words. God has given his Spirit to fill that person completely. 35 The Father loves the Son. He has given his Son authority over all things. 36 Anyone who believes in the Son has life with God for ever. But anyone who refuses to obey the Son will never have life with God. God will continue to be angry with people like that.’