John 3:27 Commentary - Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Observe here, How holily and wisely John the Baptist corrects the envy and jealousy of his own disciples, and endeavours to root out all prejudice out of their minds against Christ; in order to which, he shews them a five-fold difference betwixt Christ and himself.

1. He tells them Christ was the Master, John but his minister, and that he had told them so from the beginning. Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ; but that I am sent before him. The faithful ministers of Christ think it honour enough to be servants to him, and would not have their followers attribute the least part of that honour and glory to them, which is due to Jesus Christ.

2. John acquaints his disciples, that Christ was the bridegroom of his Church, to whom the Christian church was to be solemnly espoused and married; and that he had honour enough in being one of the bridegroom's friends and servants; and accordingly, instead of envying, he rejoiced, at the success which the bridegroom had, and took great pleasure in it.

Learn, 1. That the relation betwixt Christ and his church is a conjugal relation, a relation of marriage; yet set forth under the name of bride and bridegroom, rather than under the notion of a complete marriage, because it is but begun here, and to be consummated in heaven. And also to shew that Christ's and his people's affections are as warm and fresh, as strong and vehement, towards each other, as the affections of espoused and newly married persons are to one another; Isa 62:5 As the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.

Learn, 2. It is honour sufficient to the ministers of Christ, that they, as friends of the bridegroom, are employed by him to further the marriage relation betwixt him and his spouse. Their office is to woo for Christ, to commend his person, and to invite all persons to accept of him for their head and husband, I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 2Co 11:2

Learn, 3. That there is no greater joy to the ministers of Christ, than to see themselves honoured by him, as his instruments, in preparing a people for Christ, and happily uniting them unto him.

Oh! how little do our people know, and less consider, how much of the comfort of their poor ministers lives lie at their mercy: we live as we see any of them stand fast in the Lord; we die as we see others stick fast in their sins. This was the second difference which John acquaints his disciples was found betwixt Christ and himself.

The third follows ver. 30. He must increase, but I must decrease. He must increase; that is, in honour and dignity, in esteem and reputation, in discovery and manifestation. He shall shine forth as the rising sun, and I must disappear as the morning-star. Not that John's light was diminished, but by a greater light obscured only; as all the stars disappear at the appearance of the sun.

Yet, Observe, What matter of joy it was to John to see himself out-shined by Christ; let him increase, tho' I decrease. That minister has true light in himself, that can rejoice when he is out-shined by others; who is content to be abased and obscured, if he may but see Christ dignified and exalted in the lives of his people, whosever the person is, whom God honours as his instrument in that service.

The fourth difference wherein Christ excels John and all his ministers, is in the divine original of his person, ver 31. He that cometh from above, is above all, says John. Now Christ is from above, his original is from heaven; I am from the earth (though I had my commission from heaven) and accordingly my words and actions are earthly. My Master therefore infinitely surpasseth and excels me in the dignity of his person, and in the sublimity of his knowledge.

From the whole, note, How much it is the desire and endeavour of every gospel minister to magnify Jesus Christ, to display his glorious excellencies and perfections before the people, that they may reverence his person, revere his authority, and respect his laws. This was the care of the holy Baptist here, and it will be the endeavour of every faithful minister of Christ that succeeds John, to the end of the world.

Consult other comments:

John 3:27 - The Greek Testament

John 3:27 - Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible

John 3:27 - Joseph Benson’s Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

John 3:27 - Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

John 3:27 - Calvin's Complete Commentary

John 3:27 - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

John 3:27 - Adam Clarke's Commentary and Critical Notes on the Bible

John 3:27 - Commentary on the Holy Bible by Thomas Coke

John 3:27 - Companion Bible Notes, Appendices and Graphics

John 3:27 - Expository Notes of Dr. Constable (Old and New Testaments)

John 3:27 - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

John 3:27 - The Expositor’s Greek Testament by Robertson

John 3:27 - Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

John 3:27 - Geneva Bible Notes

John 3:27 - John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

John 3:27 - Gnomon of the New Testament

John 3:27 - Godet Commentary (Luke, John, Romans and 1 Corinthians)

John 3:27 - Henry Alford's Greek Testament

John 3:27 - Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

John 3:27 - Lightfoot Commentary Gospels

John 3:27 - Heinrich August Wilhelm Meyer's New Testament Commentary

John 3:27 - Commentary Series on the Bible by Peter Pett

John 3:27 - English Annotations on the Holy Bible by Matthew Poole

John 3:27 - Old and New Testaments Restoration Commentary

John 3:27 - Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

John 3:27 - A Popular Commentary on the New Testament

John 3:27 - John Trapp's Complete Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

John 3:27 - The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

John 3:27 - Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament

John 3:27 - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

John 3:27 - Combined Bible Commentary

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament