Dr. Ronnie Wolfe
Soon after both John and Jesus (through his disciples) were both
baptizing people, John the Baptist was imprisoned; soon afterward he was
While John was still working, some people brought up
questions concerning John's disciples and purifying. This purifying
would be Moses' commandment concerning this rite, or it could have even
been the command of the Jews in their commandments of men added to
Moses' law to go through certain rituals for purifying. This baptism of
John may bring into jeopardy the rites of Moses or the traditions that
men had added to them. So, these men were actually dismissing John's
baptism as unnecessary and even destructive to the Jewish theology of
the day. These men came to John emphasizing the work of Jesus in other
places and how that Jesus was drawing "all men" to himself and that the
ministry of John was deteriorating.
John knew, however, that his
ministry must decrease and the Lord's ministry must increase (John
3:30). John is not to build the church, but Jesus is to build his
church. John's disciples must be Jesus' disciples in the end, and the
churches were to go to the uttermost part of the earth.
answers these critics in a very important and powerful way. He says in
verse 27, ". . . A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from
heaven." What a powerful defense of the Gospel! God must grant
repentance (Acts 11:18), and salvation is by grace (the work of God).
Later John would say in John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
a mighty work that God does in our hearts as he draws us unto himself,
gives grace to believe, and seals us with his Holy Spirit! Jonah
confessed in the fish's belly, "Salvation is of the Lord" (Jonah 2:9).
the Gospel message goes to all people in the world to repent,
confess sins, and trust completely in--and only in--Jesus Christ as