What Jesus Did! 'Jesus, John, Disciples and Baptizing' — John 3:22-24

Friday, February 21, 2014

After this, Jesus and his followers went into the area of Judea. There Jesus stayed with his followers and baptized people. John was also baptizing people in Aenon. Aenon is near Salim. John was baptizing there because there was plenty of water. People were going there to be baptized. (This happened before John was put into prison.)
— John 3:22-24
Illustration of John 3:22-24 —  John was also baptizing people in Aenon.

Key Thought

Jesus, his disciples, and John the Baptist all practiced baptism—immersion of repentant folks who were preparing themselves for God's coming Kingdom. Two things about this are particularly interesting. First, until Jesus and John, most of the washings in Judaism were self-administered. Second, baptism like John practiced was in use, but primarily for Gentiles who were becoming Jewish proselytes. Imagine the attention and furor—Jews being baptized like Gentiles! Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all reveal this attention in their stories of Jesus. Many people realized God was doing something special in his people. To prepare themselves for this work of God, many were willing to do whatever God asked of them. So the biggest question for us is: "Am I willing to do anything God asks of me to follow Jesus?" I hope our answer is, "Yes." So now let's ask God to show us what that "anything" truly is!

Today's Prayer

Almighty God, please remove any stumbling block in my heart that would keep me from following Jesus and loving you with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. I confess, dear Father, this prayer makes me a bit afraid because I often do not recognize my blind spots, areas of unresolved sinfulness, or immaturity. So I ask, dear Father, that you humble me gently and that you fully take control of my heart. I want to follow your Son wholeheartedly and to do your will without reluctance. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

After this, Jesus and his followers went into the area of Judea. There Jesus stayed with his followers and baptized people. John was also baptizing people in Aenon. Aenon is near Salim. John was baptizing there because there was plenty of water. People were going there to be baptized. (This happened before John was put into prison.) Some of John's followers had an argument with another Jew. They were arguing about religious washing. So the followers came to John. They said, "Teacher, remember the man that was with you on the other side of the Jordan River? He is the man you were telling people about. That man is baptizing people, and many people are going to him." John answered, "A man can get only what God gives him. You yourselves heard me say, 'I am not the Christ. I am only the one that God sent to prepare the way for him.' The bride always belongs to the bridegroom. The friend that helps the bridegroom just waits and listens. He's happy just to hear the bridegroom talk. That's how I feel now. I'm so happy that he (Jesus) is here. He must become more and more important. And I must become less important. "The One (Jesus) that comes from above is greater than all other people. The person that is from the earth belongs to the earth. That person talks about things that are on the earth. But the One (Jesus) that comes from heaven is greater than all other people. He (Jesus) tells what he has seen and heard. But people don't accept what he says. The person that accepts what he (Jesus) says has given proof that God speaks the truth. God sent him (Jesus). And he tells the things that God says. God gives {him} the Spirit fully. The Father loves the Son. The Father has given the Son power over everything. The person that believes in the Son has life forever. But the person that does not obey the Son will never have that life. God's anger stays with that person."

John 3:22-36

Related Scripture Readings

So Jesus came to them and said, "All authority (power) in heaven and on earth is given to me. So go and make followers of all people in the world. Baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach those people to obey everything that I have told you. You can be sure that I will be with you always. I will continue with you until the end of the world."

Matthew 28:18-20

At that time John the Baptizer came and began telling people a message {from God}. This was in the desert area of Judea. John said, "Change your hearts and lives, because the kingdom of heaven is coming soon." John the Baptizer is the one that Isaiah the prophet was talking about. Isaiah said: "There is a person shouting in the desert: 'Prepare the way for the Lord. Make his paths straight.'" John's clothes were made from camel's hair. John had a leather belt around his waist. For food, John ate locusts and wild honey. People went to hear John. The people came from Jerusalem and all Judea and all the area around the Jordan River. People told the sins they had done, and John baptized them in the Jordan River.

Matthew 3:1-6

The Pharisees heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more followers than John. (But really Jesus himself did not baptize people. His followers baptized people for him.) Jesus knew that the Pharisees had heard about him.

John 4:1-2

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.