NLT Life Application Study Bible, Third Edition - Flipbook - Page 29
J ohn 4
the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people
loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20All who do evil hate
the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21But those who do
what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.*”
John the Baptist Tells More about Jesus (25)
esus and his disciples left Jerusalem and went into the Judean countryside. J esus
spent some time with them there, baptizing people.
23At this time John the Baptist was baptizing at Aenon, near Salim, because there was
plenty of water there; and people kept coming to him for baptism. 24(This was before John
was thrown into prison.) 25A debate broke out between John’s disciples and a certain Jew*
over ceremonial cleansing. 26So John’s disciples came to him and said, “Rabbi, the man
you met on the other side of the Jordan River, the one you identified as the Messiah, is
also baptizing people. And everybodyis going to him instead of coming to us.”
27John replied, “No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven. 28You
yourselves know how plainly I told you, ‘I am not the Messiah. I am only here to prepare
the way for him.’ 29It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the bridegroom’s
friend is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy
at his success. 30He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.
31“He has come from above and is greater than anyone else. We are of the earth, and
we speak of earthly things, but he has come from heaven and is greater than anyone
else.* 32He testifies about what he has seen and heard, but how few believe what he tells
them! 33Anyone who accepts his testimony can affirm that God is true. 34For he is sent
by God. He speaks God’s words, for God gives him the Spirit without limit. 35The Father
loves his Son and has put everything into his hands. 36And anyone who believes in God’s
Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life
but remains under God’s angry judgment.”
Jesus Talks to a Woman at the Well (27)
Jesus* knew the Pharisees had heard that he was baptizing and making more disciples than John 2(though J esus himself didn’t baptize them—his disciples did). 3So
he left Judea and returned to Galilee.
John 1:5, 9; 8:12;
1 Jn 1:6
John 3:26; 4:1-2
John 1:7, 34
1 Cor 4:7
1 Jn 4:5
1 Jn 5:10
John 5:20; 15:9
1 Jn 5:12-13
John 3:22, 26
3:21 Or can see God at work in what he is doing.
3:25 Some manuscripts read some Jews.
manuscripts do not include and is greater than anyone else.
4:1 Some manuscripts read The Lord.
recognizing the insufficiency of our own efforts to merit salvation and
by asking him to do his work in us. When Jesus talks about unbelievers,
he means those who reject or ignore him completely, not those who
have momentary doubts.
3:19-21 Many people don’t want their lives exposed to God’s light because they are afraid of what will be revealed. They don’t want to change
their ways. Don’t be surprised when these same people are threatened
by your desire to obey God and do what is right, because they are afraid
that the light in you may expose some of the darkness in their lives. Rather
than giving in to discouragement, keep praying that they will come to
see how much better it is to live in light than in darkness.
3:25-30 Some people look for points of disagreement so they can sow
seeds of discord, discontent, and doubt in order to make themselves feel
better. John the Baptist ended this theological argument by focusing on
his devotion to Jesus. To try to force others to believe our way is divisive.
Instead, let’s witness about what Jesus has done for us. How can anyone
argue with us about that?
3:26 John the Baptist’s disciples were disturbed because people were
following Jesus instead of John. It is easy to grow jealous of the popularity
of another person’s ministry. But we must remember that our true mission
is to influence people to follow Jesus, not us.
3:27 Why did John the Baptist continue to baptize after Jesus came
onto the scene? Why didn’t he become a disciple too? John explained
that because God had given him his work, he had to continue it until
God called him to do something else. John’s main purpose was to point
people to Jesus. Even with Jesus beginning his own ministry, John could
still point people to him.
3:30 John’s willingness to decrease in importance shows unusual humil-
ity. Pastors and other Christian leaders can be tempted to focus more
on the success of their ministries than on Jesus. Beware of those who
put more emphasis on their own achievements than on God’s Kingdom.
3:31-35 Your whole spiritual life depends on your answer to one question: Who is Jesus Christ? If you accept Jesus as only a prophet or teacher,
you have to reject his teaching, for he claimed to be God’s S on—to be
God himself. The heartbeat of John’s Gospel is the dynamic truth that
Jesus Christ is God’s Son, the Messiah and the Savior, who existed from
the beginning and will continue to live forever. Jesus’ testimony was
trustworthy because he had come from heaven and was speaking of
what he had seen there. His words were the very words of God. This
same Jesus has invited us to accept him and live with him eternally. When
we understand who Jesus is, we are compelled to believe what he said.
3:34 God gives the Spirit without measure or limit. Jesus was always
filled, empowered, and totally connected to the heart and mind of God.
Thus, Jesus was the highest revelation of God to humanity (Hebrews 1:2).
He always spoke the words of God.
3:36 Jesus says that those who believe in him have (not will have)
eternal life. To receive eternal life is to join in God’s life, which by nature
is eternal. Thus, eternal life begins at the moment of spiritual rebirth.
3:36 John, the author of this Gospel, wrote to demonstrate that Jesus
is the true Son of God. Jesus sets before us the greatest choice in life. We
are responsible for deciding today whom we will obey (Joshua 24:15), and
God wants us to choose him and life (Deuteronomy 30:15-20). “God’s
angry judgment” refers to his final rejection of those who reject him.
To put off the choice means choosing not to follow Jesus. Indecision
is a fatal decision.