When therefore the LORD knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,…
Lightfoot mentions because —
1. He was not sent so much to baptize as to preach.
2. It might have been taken as a thing somewhat improper for Christ to baptize in His own name.
3. The baptizing that was most proper for Christ to use was not with water, but with the Holy Ghost.
4. He would prevent all quarrels and disputes among men about their baptism, which might have risen if some had been baptized by Christ and others only by His disciples. To these reasons we may add another of considerable importance. Our Lord would show us that the effect and benefit of baptism do not depend on the person who administers it. We cannot doubt that Judas Iscariot baptized some. The intention of the minister does not affect the validity of the sacrament. One thing seems abundantly clear, and that is, that baptism is not an ordinance of primary, but of subordinate, importance in Christianity. The high-flown and extravagant language used by some divines about the sacrament of baptism and its effects is quite irreconcilable with the text before us, as well as with the general teaching of Scripture (see Acts 10:48; 1 Corinthians 1:17).
Parallel VersesKJV: When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,