In our last message. John the Baptist was explaining to his disciples who were concerned that Jesus and his disciples were baptizing and people were joining them. I suppose they were concerned about the competition
John 3:30-36 (ESVST)
He must increase, but I must decrease.”
31 He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all.
Again here John continues to make a point that Jesus is not only before him but, Jesus is from above, meaning from heaven, from God. John says because he comes from above, he is above all. John then turns to himself and says be cause he comes from earth, he belongs to earth and speaks in an earthly way. This indicating that he says that Jesus is above him as well as Jesus is from above and he is from earth.
32 He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony. 33 Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true.
Supporting exactly what Jesus said to Nicodemus, John says that Jesus bears witness to what he has seen and heard. Meaning Jesus unlike the prophets, he comes from God and is of God and has seen God. John says despite all this, no one receives his testimony. John then says but, whoever does receive it, sets his seal to this that God is true. What is this seal? A seal comes from a Greek word “sphragizo” which also means to stamp or to attest or to testify as true.
g4972. σφραγιζω sphragizo; from 4973; to stamp (with a signet or private mark) for security or preservation (literally or figuratively); by implication, to keep secret, to attest:— (set a, set to) seal up, stop.
AV (27)- seal 22, set to (one’s) seal 1, stop 1, seal up 1, set a seal 1, vr seal 1;
Much like today, prominent individuals then, had distinctive marks on their signet rings, which they would press into hot wax seals on the outside of documents to attest that they were witnesses to the execution of the document. So, what John then means with the seal is that whoever receives Jesus’s testimony, testifies as true or puts a stamp of approval that God is true. That means he also becomes a witness that God is indeed true.
34 For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure.
Now here John gives two reasons why he says that whoever receives Jesus’s testimony, testifies that God is true. The first reasons that John gives is that the one sent by God, utters the words of God. Jesus is not testifying about his own words but he is testifying about the words of God who send him. Second reason is that Jesus gives the spirit without measure. Remember that in the Old Testament, it was not all those who believed that had the Holy Spirit. It was only given to those that God wanted to use for a purpose and it was only temporary until the purpose of God was completed. With Jesus however, he gives the Holy Spirit without measure. He gives it to all those who believe his words. So, if you believe his words as words of truth from God, you will receive the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 1:13-14 (ESVST)
In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
35 The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
Again here john repeats what Jesus said to Nicodemus that those that believe in him are not condemned but those who don’t are condemned already. Note that John does not say if you don’t obey the son the wrath of God will come. John instead says, the wrath of God remains. This simply means that if you don’t believe in Jesus, you have already been judged and the wrath of God is already upon you.
This brings us to the end of chapter 3. Father we are really grateful for these wonderful words that you have given us. May these words find fertile soil in our hearts so that it may regenerate into even more seed. In Jesus name. Amen.