After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.…
I. HOW MUCH OF HUMAN NATURE THERE EVER HAS BEEN AND IS EVERYWHERE AND THROUGH ALL TIME, Even with the Lord present and overseeing jealousies arose.
II. HOW SMALL OFTENTIMES WERE AND ARE THE SUBJECTS OF QUESTIONING BETWEEN FOLLOWERS OF JESUS. On this occasion it was an unknown something about purifying which neither the Baptist nor the evangelist thought it worth while to name. Is it not humiliating that ecclesiastical history is largely a story of strife on the merest "mint and anise" as compared with those fundamentals wherein all true disciples are practically at one. A politician once sought to allay alarm about the invasion of India by sending a large map showing the vast distances and obstacles that would have to be overcome. So if men would only scan the height and depth and length and breadth of the work given to all who love the Lord they could never wrangle over petty things.
III. HOW LITTLE JOHN'S DISCIPLES KNEW HIM OR HAD BEEN INFLUENCED BY HIS MINISTRY. Had they known him could they have imagined rivalry between him and Christ? Had they received his testimony about Christ, they must have known that appeal from what Christ elected to do was impossible. It must have saddened John to have to repeat his testimony again. Let the preacher and teacher be humbly patient in recognizing the transciency of the impression left by the most momentous truths and the necessity of their frequent repetition.
IV. TRIVIAL AND UNWORTHY AS WAS THE OCCASION OF THIS QUESTIONING WE MUST REJOICE THAT IT CAME TO PASS. From this low level the Forerunner re-argues the whole position, and speaks out with a new volume and momentum all that lay in his mind and heart. Trivial circumstances may give rise to the most important disclosures.
(A. B. Grosart, 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.