“He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all. He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony. Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true. or he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” (John 3:31-36)
As we have previously noted, a discussion arose among John the Baptist’s disciples about the growing popularity of Jesus of Nazareth. They were concerned that John was becoming less popular. John then made several statements about himself reflecting his proper understanding of not only who he was before God but also concerning his ministry before the people (John 3:25-30).
In John 3:31-35, John the Baptist continues speaking to his disciples. However, instead of talking about himself he makes several statements regarding the person and work of Jesus Christ.
First, John acknowledges that Jesus Christ is God. “He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all” (3:31).
John says that Jesus comes from above, or comes from heaven. That is because Jesus is the Lord of heaven and earth. Unlike other men, who are of the earth, Jesus is eternal God (John 1:1-14). This is not only because Jesus comes from heaven, but also because He and He alone is above all or is superior over all.
Second, John acknowledges that Jesus Christ gives a truthful testimony to what He not only understands about Himself, but also what He understands about mankind. “He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony” (3:32). Mankind is sinful and this is the reason it rejects not only Jesus but also His message.
The Gospel of John testifies that the Jewish nation, and for that matter the world, is neither ready to receive Jesus nor His gospel (John 1:10-13). This is because fallen, sinful mankind is dead in their trespasses and sin (Ephesians 2:1-3) and are spiritually blind (John 1:5).
Third, John testifies that Jesus Christ will save God’s elect. God has always had a remnant. God has always had a people. John speaks of the believing remnant in vs. 33. “Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true.” While the world in general continues to reject the light of the Gospel, there are those who the Father is giving to the Son (John 6:35-66). These are they who are accepting the Gospel with their entire being. They testify to the truth of the Gospel of God and the character of God.
Fourth, John also declares that Jesus Christ speaks the very words of God. “or he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure” (John 3:34). Additionally, John acknowledges the biblical reality of the Trinity by referring to all three members of the Godhead. Jesus utters the words of God for He is the Living Word of God (See Hebrews 1:1-4).
Fifth, the Father loves the Son and has therefore entrusted all things to the Son. “The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand” (John 3:35). One of the responsibilities the Father has given to the Son is the power and authority to give life (See John 5:21-26) and to judge (John 5:22; 27-29).
Sixth, the Son alone is the source of eternal life. “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:36). Tied to the truth of believing, which is trust, commitment, dependence and worship, is the idea of obedience. Those who obey the Son are those who truly believe in the Son. Faith leads to obedience. Therefore, a lack of obedience reveals a lack of faith. (See John 15 and I John 2:1-6).
The foreboding conclusion by John is that those who do not obey the Son will not experience eternal life, but rather God the Father’s eternal wrath. See Hebrews 3:18-19; James 2:14-26.
Are you secure in knowing that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior? Have you received His righteousness as your own? If so, rejoice in the Lord today. If not, then repent of your sins and receive, by grace alone, through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone for eternal life and the forgiveness of your sins.
Soli deo Gloria!