A Coming Baptizer (John 1:24-28)a

© 2019 Tony Garlandb

Passage (John 1:24-28)

Now those who were sent were from the Pharisees. And they asked him, saying, "Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?" John answered them, saying, "I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know. "It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose." These things were done in Bethabara beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.1

“I baptize with water, BUT . . .” - what does this statement imply about the “One among [them] you do not know”?

  1. This One does something different - baptism with the Holy Spirit (John 1:33 cf. Mat. 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16)

    “I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’” (John 1:33)

    1. Parallel passages: baptism with “the Holy spirit and fire”

      1. Matthew 3:11-12 (cf. Luke 3:16-17)

        “I indeed baptize you [plural] with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you [plural] with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan [is] in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” (Mat. 3:11-12)

      2. John is speaking to a mixed crowd, some responding, others not
      3. In the immediate context, what would his listeners have associated with “fire”? - judgment!
      4. Two baptisms during this age: 1) Spirit baptism (joined to the body of Christ, the Church); 2) fire baptism for those who reject
    2. Baptism with the Spirit - does not begin until the Day of Pentecost

      1. The promised new ministry
        1. Jump ahead to related passages in John (and Luke) — which we will eventually get to
        2. Why: the coin doesn’t usually drop on the first time by
        3. Preconditions which no longer apply today
          1. Do we need to ask for the Spirit? (Luke 11:10-13)

            “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. "If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if [he asks] for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? "Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will [your] heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”” (Luke 11:10-13)

            1. An example of the importance of understanding the larger context of a passage.
          2. Spirit not yet given (John 7:38-39)

            “On the last day, that great [day] of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive [future tense]; for the Holy Spirit was not yet [given], because Jesus was not yet glorified.” (John 7:37-39)

            1. Purpose clause: because Jesus was not yet glorified — a historical precondition
            2. Divine claim of Jesus
              1. “He who believes in Me
              2. “out of his heart will flow rivers of living water”
                1. Jesus is claiming to be the fountain of living waters of Jeremiah 17:13!

                  “O LORD, the hope of Israel, All who forsake You shall be ashamed. "Those who depart from Me Shall be written in the earth, Because they have forsaken the LORD, The fountain of living waters.”” (Jer. 17:13)

          3. Another Helper, not yet present (John 14:16-18)

            “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:16-18)

            1. He dwells (present tense) with you and will be (future tense) in you.
            2. The Helper will come . . . I will come (in some way, the Helper is equivalent to Jesus)
          4. Helper will not come if Jesus does not depart (John 16:7)

            “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.” (John 16:7)

            1. Logic: “if I do not go away [then] the Helper will not come”, “if I depart [then] I will send Him”
            2. How could it be advantageous for Jesus to leave?
            3. A new global “body” spanning geography and history
        4. Joins individuals to the Body of Christ, the Church (1Cor. 12:13)

          “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.” (1Cor. 12:13)

          1. by vs. with - exact same preposition (ἐν [en] = “in, with, by”) as in Matthew 3:11
            1. Mat. 3:11 - ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ [en pneumati hagiō]
            2. 1Cor. 12:13 - ἐν ἑνὶ πνεύματι [en heni pneumati]
          2. body is the church

            “Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.” (1Cor. 12:27)

            “And He put all [things] under His feet, and gave Him [to be] head over all [things] to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” (Eph. 1:22-23)

      2. Jesus points forward to the Day of Pentecost at his ascension (Acts 1:5)

        “for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now” (Acts 1:5)

      3. Peter points back to the Day of Pentecost when reporting the conversion of Gentiles at the house of Cornelius (Acts 11:15-16)

        “And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning. "Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, 'John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’” (Acts 11:15-16)

“whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose" (John 1:27)

  1. Disciples did menial tasks for rabbis, but even this was below them: “Every service which a slave performs for his master shall a disciple do for his teacher except the loosing of his sandal strap”

    Sat Dec 7 17:57:57 2019

    SpiritAndTruth.org Scan Code


1.NKJV, John 1:24-28

Links Mentioned Above
a - See http://www.spiritandtruth.org/teaching/John_by_Tony_Garland/007_John_1_24-28/index.htm.
b - See http://www.spiritandtruth.org/id/tg.htm.
c - See http://www.spiritandtruth.org.