MEDITATION ON JOHN 3:22-36 BY ELIZABETH WALLINGFORD, SAINT AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY EPISCOPAL CHURCH, OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA
After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized. Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were coming and being baptized. (This was before John was put in prison.) An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing. They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”
To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less.”
The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. Whoever has accepted it has certified that God is truthful. For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit. The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.
John was sent before Jesus to spread the good word about God and his Son, and to baptize anyone who wanted to know God and to walk in his ways. When Jesus was baptizing by the river, where John was also baptizing, John said “I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him…The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete.”
Dear God, thank you for sending your Son to bring heavenly knowledge to the world so we may have eternal life in your kingdom, Amen
Submitted by Elizabeth Wallingford, Saint Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
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