Read John 3:22-36
1) We’ve looked at some of Jesus’ first disciples, but what does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus? (Matthew 16:24-26, Luke 14:25-35, John 8:31-32, 15:7-8)
2) Verse 22 seems to imply that Jesus himself was baptizing people. Compare this verse with John 4:1-2. Who was actually doing the baptisms? Can you think of any reason why Jesus himself would not have baptized anyone? (See 1 Corinthians 1:11-17)
3) What was the nature and purpose of John’s baptism? (See Matthew 3:1-11)
4) This is the only reference in the gospels to Jesus and his disciples baptizing prior to Jesus’ ascension. Was there any difference between the baptism of John and the baptism of Jesus at this point in their ministries, or did the difference John spoke of come later? (see Matthew 3:1-11, 4:17, Matthew 28:19, Acts 2:1-4)
5) What kinds of problems might the overlap between the end of John the Baptist’s ministry and the beginning of Jesus’ ministry have caused?
6) Why was it necessary for the disciples who had received John’s baptism to be rebaptized in Acts 19:1-7?
7) Compare Matthew 9:14 and John 3: 25-26. What do the nature of these disciples’ questions and the terms they use to refer to Jesus tell you about their attitude toward him?
8 ) What might have been their motivation in the ministry they were involved in with John? Were John’s disciples unique in this? (See Mark 9:38; Luke 9:49)
9) In verse 24, John tells us that John the Baptist was not yet cast into prison. What later happened to John and why? (Matthew 14:1-14)
10) What else do we know about John’s time in prison? (Matthew 11:1-6)
11) Why was it necessary for John’s ministry to end the way that it did?
12) Verses 27 through 36 are the last words of John the Baptist recorded in this gospel. How was John’s attitude different from that of his disciples? Which of these verses do you think expresses the key difference in perspective between John and his disciples? Explain.
13) John provides a beautiful illustration of his role as the one whose purpose as the friend of the bridegroom was to bring the bride and the groom together and his joy in fulfilling that role. When this picture is applied too literally, some have taken it to mean that all of the Old Testament believers are merely guests at the wedding of Christ whose bride is the New Testament church, and that John the Baptist is literally the “best Man” at the wedding, and that this “second-class” status is maintained into the Millenium and beyond. Read Revelation 21:9-14. What is John shown that the angel identifies as the bride, the Lamb’s wife? What are the names written on the gates? What are the names in the foundations? What is the picture that is created in your mind of the relationship between Israel and the Church? (See Romans 11, Galatians 3, and Ephesians 2 for further scriptures on the relationship between Old Testament and New Testament believers.)
14) In verses 31 through 35, John identifies several ways in which Jesus is superior to himself. What are they?
15) John makes a distinction in verses 32-33 between those who are not receiving the testimony of Jesus and someone who does receive his testimony. What is that distinction?
16) Look up Isaiah 11:1-2. One of the distinguishing marks of the Messiah was to be the Spirit of God resting upon him. Earlier, in John 1:32-33 we read that this was how John the Baptist was to recognize the Messiah. Here in verse 34, John says that the Spirit was not given “by measure” unto him. What does John mean? Is there a difference between the Spirit that filled Jesus and the Spirit that fills the New Testament believer?
17) Verse 36 is the first time in the New Testament that the phrase “wrath of God” occurs. What is the wrath of God? Based on our previous discussions in John 3, why is not believing on the Son deserving of God’s wrath?by beakennedy and comments are closed.