Disputes

John Bible Background

New Testament: John 3.25–26

To read the Bible in a year, read John 3.22–36 on May 11, In the year of our Lord Christ 2020

By Don Ruhl

Both Jesus and John the Baptizer baptized. Apparently this brought up a question from the Jews about purification:

Then there arose a dispute between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purification. And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified—behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him!”

– John 3.25–26

Some disputes produce good and some produce evil. It depends upon the motive of the one who started the dispute. Some people dispute because they want to find the answers to questions they have, but others dispute merely out of fun, or they have a critical spirit and have no intention of discovering truth, they only want to humiliate someone with their questioning.

The dispute in this story caused the disciples of John to go to him and report on the large crowds going to Jesus. Were John’s disciples jealous for him? They need not be, because John’s whole purpose was to point people to Jesus. Therefore, they, and we, needed to go to Him for purification through baptism.

Have you gone to Jesus for purification?

Questions:

  • How are we purified in Jesus?
  • What does Rabbi mean?

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