After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.…
I. AFFORDS AN EXAMPLE OF THE TENDENCY TO SINFUL DISPUTES UNDER THE MOST FAVOURABLE CIRCUMSTANCES.
1. The Lord and His messenger are the cause of this dispute.
2. The minds of the disputants were carnal.
3. Times of reformation specially breed such disputes. The gospel is then a new truth. Prejudices are excited and inflamed.
4. We must not be scandalized when such things occur.
II. SHOWS THE INJURY WHICH ARISES FROM MISTAKEN VIEWS OF THE OBJECT INTENDED TO BE SERVED BY OUTWARD ORDINANCES.
1. The question seems to have been the comparative efficacy of John's baptism, the various Jewish washings, and probably Christ's.
2. Ecclesiastical rites may be substituted for Christ and His gospel.
3. Salvation may come without ritualism of any kind.
III. TEACHES THE BANEFUL INFLUENCE OF THE SPIRIT OF SELF AND PARTY, SO COMMON IN THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH.
1. Certain Jews, grieved at the progress of the gospel, approach certain disciples of John and artfully endeavour to excite their minds to jealousy against Christ.
2. These come to John and try to inflame his envy by representing the universal popularity of Christ.
(A. Beith, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.