18 Jesus and his disciples baptize many in Judea.

Malachi 3:1; Matthew 4:12; Luke 3:19–20; John 3:22–36, 4:1–3

Why might Nicodemus have gone with Jesus and the disciples into the Judean countryside (John 3:22)?

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How might Jesus’ baptism message have differed from John’s preaching (John 3:22–23)?

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Why might the distance between John’s and Jesus’ ministries be significant (John 3:23)?

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What reasons did John have for thinking his popularity should decrease, but Jesus needed to become even more well-known (John 3:27–36)?

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How could John have known that “not everyone believes” Jesus (John 3:32)?

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John had seen the Spirit descend upon Jesus like a dove, but how did he know he had the “fullness” of God to speak his words (John 3:34)?

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Why did John think it crucial for people to listen to Jesus (John 3:36)?

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What would have happened to John’s message after he was imprisoned (John 3:24)?

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Why would the Pharisees keep track of how many were being baptized by John and by Jesus (John 4:1)?

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Why do you think Jesus left the baptizing to his disciples (John 4:2)?

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After hearing that John had been imprisoned, what led Jesus to leave Judea and go to Galilee (Matthew 4:12)?

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After meeting with Nicodemus, Jesus and his disciples left Jerusalem and went into the Judean countryside. They spent a significant amount of time there, baptizing people.

Eyewitness

John 3:22 After the meeting with Nicodemus, Jesus and his disciples left Jerusalem and went into the Judean countryside. They spent a significant amount of time there, baptizing people.
King James

John 3:22 After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.

John the Baptizer was at Aenon near Salim because the water there was plentiful, and people were constantly coming to be baptized. John’s disciples and a certain Jew argued over whose message about repentance was most effective. They came to John and said, “Teacher, the man who was with you on the east side of the Jordan, the one you pointed out, is also baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”

Eyewitness

John 3:23 John the Baptizer was at Aenon near Salim because the water there was plentiful, and people were constantly coming to be baptized.
John 3:25–26 John’s disciples and a certain Jew argued over whose message about repentance was most effective. They came to John and said, “Teacher, the man who was with you on the east side of the Jordan, the one you pointed out, is also baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”
King James

John 3:23 And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized.
John 3:25–26 Then there arose a question between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying. And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.

“A man can receive only what God gives him,” John said. “You heard me testify, ‘I am not the Anointed One, only the one sent ahead of him.’ At a wedding, the groom gets married. The attendant only stands with him, glad to listen and do anything he asks. My joy is complete as he becomes greater and I become less.

Eyewitness

Malachi 3:1 “See, I will send my messenger to prepare the way before me. Then the Lord you seek will come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight is surely coming,” says the Lord of Hosts.
John 3:27–30 “A man can receive only what God gives him,” John said. “You heard me testify, ‘I am not the Anointed One, only the one sent ahead of him.’ At a wedding, the groom gets married. The attendant only stands with him, glad to listen and do anything he asks. My joy is complete as he becomes greater and I become less.
King James

Malachi 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.
John 3:27–30 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.

“He who comes from above is greater than those below. We speak of earthly things. He reveals the truth from above, yet not everyone believes him. Anyone who believes his message confirms the truth of God. The one sent from God speaks his words because he has the fullness of his Spirit. The Father loves the Son and has given everything into his hands. Everyone who believes in the Son will live forever. Those who reject him will never see life but will remain under God’s wrath.”

Eyewitness

John 3:31–36 “He who comes from above is greater than those below. We speak of earthly things. He reveals the truth from above, yet not everyone believes him. Anyone who believes his message confirms the truth of God. The one sent from God speaks his words because he has the fullness of his Spirit. The Father loves the Son and has given everything into his hands. Everyone who believes in the Son will live forever. Those who reject him will never see life but will remain under God’s wrath.”
King James

John 3:31–36 He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all. And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony. He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

After this, John was imprisoned for publicly criticizing Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee, for marrying Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, and for many other evil deeds.

Eyewitness

Luke 3:19–20 John had openly rebuked Herod Antipas, ruler of Galilee, for marrying his brother’s wife, Herodias, and for all the evils he had done. So Herod put him in prison, adding this to his many sins.
John 3:24 This was before John had been imprisoned.
King James

Luke 3:19–20 But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done, Added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison.
John 3:24 For John was not yet cast into prison.

Jesus was aware of the Pharisees who kept track and knew he baptized more people than John. Actually, it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples.

Eyewitness

John 4:1–2 Jesus was aware of the Pharisees who kept track and knew he baptized more people than John. Actually, it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples.
King James

John 4:1–2 When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,)

After hearing that John had been put in prison, Jesus left Judea and went to Galilee.

Eyewitness

Matthew 4:12 After hearing that John had been put in prison, Jesus left Judea and went to Galilee.
John 4:3 He left Judea to go to Galilee.
King James

Matthew 4:12 Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee;
John 4:3 He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee.