John 3:22-36 (Happy to Play 2nd Fiddle)


A Great Conductor was once asked – What is the hardest spot to fill in the Orchestra?

A)Without – hesitation he respond – 2nd Violin – See No one wants to be 2nd Fiddle

Especially if you have been first fiddle.


B) How many great NFL QB’s want to step down and be the back up and Mentor for the young upstart – with all the potential.

1) it is our human nature to want to be the top dog – to be in the spot light.


C) Well here we see in the last part of John 3 – John the Baptist – willingly and gladly stepping out of the limelight – so that Jesus will shine brighter.

1) John’s actions were not understood  at first by all of his followers


John 3:22-26


After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He remained with them and baptized. 23 Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there. And they came and were baptized. 24 For John had not yet been thrown into prison.


25 Then there arose a dispute between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purification. 26 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!"

Here we see in the disciples of John an attitude that is very common in the Church today.

A)We are told, that the disciples of John the Baptist were offended, because the ministry of Jesus began to attract more attention than that of their master.


B) Jesus was baptizing and more people were coming out to him – rather than John

1) The followers of John didn’t like that !


C) There is always that tendency in the body of Christ – to want to compare!

1) Compare Ministries / Compare Churches – Paul said in 2 Cor 10:12 { Those who compare themselves….


D)The true Christian must watch and pray against the spirit here manifested by John's disciples.

1)It is very insidious, very contagious, and very injurious to the cause of Christ!


E)Nothing so defiles Christianity and gives the enemies of truth such occasion to blaspheme, as jealousy and party-spirit among Christians.{ Known by our Love?


Courson: Be careful not to cut down a tree that is bearing fruit

A)Paul declared in his letter to the Philippians – some preach Christ from Selfish motives –


But I don’t care – I am just rejoicing that Christ is being preached.

B) If souls are being saved – AWESOME – PTL in that – leave all the other stuff to the Lord – Judge rightly – Wood / Hay / Stubble / Gold / Silver/ Gem


C) So John’s disciples had the wrong Perspective:


John is about to reveal to them the RIGHT PERSPECTIVE:

A)He begins by declaring that all position comes only from God and that acceptance with man is a special gift of God;


B)So we shouldn’t be worried or upset – that someone seems to be experiencing more acceptance than we are.


27 John answered and said,"A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven.


C)He goes on to remind his followers of his repeated declaration, that one greater than himself was coming—

28 You yourselves bear me witness, that I said,'I am not the Christ,' but,'I have been sent before Him.'


D) Instead John refers to himself as the friend of the bridegroom.

1) The best man, who is rejoicing that the bride groom is here


29 He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled

The best man is often involved in all the pre wedding activities{ Those days the Bride groom was as important and a focus as the bride. –  

Today all about the bride – Brides Mag -


A) The best man played a major role: He is in Charge of getting things set up – He is in Charge of making sure that everything is ready –


B)But once the Bride groom shows up – He takes a back seat – He wants to get out of the way – so that the focus is on the bridegroom and his bride,


C)Jesus is the Bridegroom – John is the Best man – So he declares – v.30 I need to decrease – He needs to increase.

1) I need to shrink – He needs to grow! -


Compare John’s attitude with that of Absalom:

A)John has been in the limelight – He has been the attraction- But He knows his place – He knows His purpose – He is there to prepare the way for the Lord –


B) He is the voice of one crying in the wilderness – Make ready – Make your paths straight – Messiah is coming –


C) But the minute that the messiah comes on the scene – He immediately takes a back seat

1) His ministry immediately – begins to decrease –


Absalom never had the limelight – He never was the focus – but he wanted it badly – he craved the limelight – he wanted to be the centered of attention.

A)So he puts himself in that place of being in the public eye – he sits in the gates – he is greeting people as they come into the city – FACE TIME –


B) David is busy attending the affairs of the kingdom and Absalom is seeking to win the hearts of the people.


C) Instead of trying to see what he can do to maybe – help his Dad- he is slowly trying to increase – trying to be the man –


D) His philosophy is the Polar opposite of John’s – John wants to decrease – so that Jesus increases more and more –

1) Absalom wants to increase so that David might decrease.


It was said of the Hitler that he loved the attention of others so much he wanted to be the baby at every christening, the bridegroom at every wedding, and the corpse at every funeral!


E) That was Absalom – The more his craving for the spotlight grew the more cunning he became in his over throw.

1) John was the Polar opposite of that mentality.


Well in order to further help his disciples gain the right perspective: John proceeds to do what he does best. He points them to Jesus!

A)He proclaims that Jesus is the Ultimate person in the universe – who speaks the Highest truth.


31 He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. 32 And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony. 33 He who has received His testimony has certified that God is true. 34 For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure. 35 The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand.


B) John uses one striking expression after another, to convey a correct idea of the majesty of Christ.


1) He comes from above and is above all.


He is not from earth as a normal man.
In fact, the earth came from Him.
He is above all kings and leaders.
He is above the majesty and beauty of earth.
He is above John the Baptist.
He is above all creation.

As the writer of Hebrews says (1:1-3)…

In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.


It was this claim that the Jews disputed, because they knew it was His claim that He was God (John 6:38–42).


C) John is saying look my knowledge is limited. – EARTHLY

1) Why I believe it is so important that we pay close attention to the perspective of Jesus in the gospels – From another WORLD – HEAVEN


D) He sees things so differently – we pay attention to his reactions – might help us to have his perspective when we are in a similar situation.



 #2 Because He came from Heaven – His Knowledge of the things of God is first hand

A)He speaks with a greater authority because of His Knowledge and relationship with the father.


 B)He shares what He has seen and heard from the Father!

C) Who would you rather listen to ONE who has BEEN THERE? – Or one who has only read a book about the place.


#3 He comes in the authority and the backing of the Father. V.34-35

A)The father loves the Son – When the son speaks – he does so in the authority of the Father -  


B) There is a Close bound.


C) The father has given all things into the hands of his Son –

1)All authority over the sea / air / animals /  Demons


C) John is saying – Jesus is the real deal – From God – Speaks for God – comes in the authority and backing of God –


1) He is like NO OTHER.


That reality basically leaves men with one of two Choices to consider:

36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."


Every Knee will bow and tongue confess – Jesus Christ is Lord