September 10 – John 3:22-4:26

John was one of the 12 apostles and referred to himself as the “disciple whom Jesus loved.” His perspective on the Good News is unique and jam-packed with love.  Join our study by reading today’s scripture below and journaling about it using SOAP (click on the “What’s SOAP?” link above to learn more). Below today’s scripture is an example SOAP from our team. Whether it’s your first time reading the Bible or you’ve been doing daily devotions for decades, God will use this One Thing to speak to you. We love hearing from you! Please use the comment section of our website to share your SOAP, thoughts or questions on the reading, or prayer requests. Join us as we build unity and community through God’s Word!

John 3:22-4:26

John Testifies Again About Jesus

22 After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized. 23 Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were coming and being baptized. 24 (This was before John was put in prison.) 25 An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing. 26 They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”
27 To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. 28 You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ 29 The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. 30 He must become greater; I must become less.”
31 The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. 33 Whoever has accepted it has certified that God is truthful. 34 For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit. 35 The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.

Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman

Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John— although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.
Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.
When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
17 “I have no husband,” she replied.
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”

SOAP Note

Supporting Role | Becky Newman

Scripture

John 3:29-30

Observation

John the Baptist is responding with Godly wisdom to his disciples who are trying to drum up dissent and jealousy. John re-iterates his part of God’s plan and specifically what God has called him to and nothing more, and he does this through analogy to a wedding party. Jesus is the bridegroom, John is the friend of the bridegroom, and we believers are the bride. John is in a supporting role only; he doesn’t even get to be in the role of other believers in this world as the bride because he gets beheaded before Jesus’ death and resurrection. John doesn’t know the details like I do, but he has a close enough relationship with God to have an understanding of what is and isn’t his job in the plan for salvation. And even knowing he just has a supporting role, he chooses joy in it, not dissent or jealousy but the joy that comes from knowing you’re in the center of God’s will.

Application

My role in John’s wedding party is the bride, but I also play a supporting role in bringing other “brides” to Jesus (and I’ll stop the wedding analogy there so as not to confuse the message with polygamy). Just as You’ve given John a specific role in the salvation plan, You’ve given me a specific role too — to go and make disciples. And I’ve got to get out of my own way to succeed in that role, less me, more You. I also should choose joy as I do this work, joy in the skills and talents You’ve given me to accomplish this, joy in the opportunities You give me in my role, joy in pleasing You with my work. Less of me is not choosing jealousy and dissent; more of You is choosing joy.

Prayer

Lord, help me to do my role in Your plan and choose joy. Carve out of me what is offensive to You and replace it with more of You. May we as believers work to please You and grow Your Kingdom.

The Discover One Thing main website follows a reading plan that goes through the entire Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.

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Posted on September 10, 2018, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. The story of John the Baptist always amazes me – his bold drive to follow his mission, to pave the way for the Messiah, and then when the Messiah comes, his humility to put on the brakes and turn it all over to Jesus in an instant. My brain just struggles to believe someone could do that without a smidge of jealousy! John had been living in the wilderness working his tail off, and now he was stopping it all without hesitating?! But John knew who HE was, he knew what his mission was, and he knew his place when the mission was complete. What about me? What has God given me to fulfill thru Him? What talents do I share with the world to glorify Him? What is my place? Is this something I should have been told when I was younger? I believe these are questions to ask regularly so that God can mold and reshape us into who HE intended us to be. So what is my mission? I believe it is to Seek God in all that I do, in teaching my children and the children at church. To grow with others in my work and in life groups. To find the joy and peace thru trials and above all to know whatever comes, my God will lead me thru it.

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  2. I caught something in today’s reading that I don’t think I would have noticed had we not clumped the back half of chapter 3 and the front half of chapter 4 together:

    In 3:26, John’s disciples are jealous of Jesus because A) he’s stealing all their followers, and B) what authority does he have?

    In 4:12, the Samaritan woman challenges Jesus by accusing him of thinking himself greater than Jacob (spoiler alert = he is!).

    Change is hard. We get so set in our ways, and even when they’re “good ways”, God’s ways are still better. I know when I’m faced with change – even in the Bible – I meet it with stubbornness as well. But my rejection of the change God’s putting in my path is no less ridiculous than when these people resisted His change. I already KNOW that Jesus is bigger than John and Jacob, so why am I fighting it? In 3:30, John says, “He must become greater and greater while I become less and less.” That’s the key. If I truly accept Jesus as Lord over my life and give myself over to him, those changes will become less painful!

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  3. Daily in His Presence

    John 3:25-27 … John 3:27 always stands out to me. God’s men and women, who know well Whose and who they are, seem to possess greater victory in knowing the righteous boundaries of their life in Him … what they have been given dominion over by God and what is sovereignly held by God Almighty alone. As I read this account of John I perceive a level of intimacy between God and himself that just doesn’t allow much room for the flesh. The religious leaders who came to John were responding solely to what they saw in the natural. John on the other hand saw what they saw but in turn spoke truth from heaven above concerning it! No man … no one … is able to receive anything (matter) unless it is given to him/her from heaven (the Lord). Faith, the desire to confess sin and repent of it, bending one’s knee to the Lord as one asks Jesus to be their Lord and Savior, choosing to be obedient to the Word of God, receiving revelation from the Word, perceiving life from a Kingdom and eternal perspective, going from glory to glory in Jesus (our sanctification journey) … all these originate with and are given to us from God. We are recipients of these good and perfect gifts coming down from God our Father ONLY BECAUSE HE gives them to us. All glory, honor and praise be our Lord’s that this is so! Halleluyah! I have been given much from heaven and I pray that I will be an increasingly excellent steward of all of it! How I want my witness to glorify God as John’s did.

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  4. I believe we are seeing how God sovereignly and wonderfully provides for the precise fulfillment of His redemptive plan. Jesus was anything but a victim of men’s wicked schemes, much less of blind circumstance. Every word He spoke and every action He took were divinely directed and secured. Even the words and actions by others against Him were divinely controlled.

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