Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 3:22

After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He was spending time with them and baptizing.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Baptism;   Jesus, the Christ;   Scofield Reference Index - Inspiration;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Baptism;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Baptism;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Baptize, Baptism;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Episcopacy;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Faith;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Aenon;   Gospels;   Jesus Christ;   Holman Bible Dictionary - John;   John, the Gospel of;   Machaerus;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Gospels;   Haunt;   John, Gospel of;   John, Theology of;   Mss;   Scribes;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Aenon ;   Baptism;   Dates (2);   Eschatology;   John the Baptist;   Lord's Supper (Ii);   Metaphors;   Organization (2);   Popularity ;   Proverbs ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Enon;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Baptism;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Ae'non;   E'non;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Andrew;   Baptism (Lutheran Doctrine);   Judaea;   Judas Iscariot;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Christianity in Its Relation to Judaism;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Came - into the land of Judea - Jerusalem itself, where Christ held the preceding discourse with Nicodemus, was in Judea; but the evangelist means that our Lord quitted the city and its suburbs, and went into the country parts. The same distinction between Jerusalem and Judea is made, Acts 1:8; Acts 10:39; and in 1 Maccabees 3:34; and in 2 Maccabees 1:1, 10. See Bp. Pearce.

And baptized - It is not clear that Christ did baptize any with water, but his disciples did - John 4:2; and what they did, by his authority and command, is attributed to himself. It is a common custom, in all countries and in all languages, to attribute the operations of those who are under the government and direction of another to him by whom they are directed and governed. Some however suppose that Christ at first did baptize; but, when he got disciples, he left this work to them: and thus these two places are to be understood: -

  1. this place, of Christ's baptizing before he called the twelve disciples; and
2. John 4:2, of the baptism administered by the disciples, after they had been called to the work by Christ.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 3:22". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-3.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Land of Judea - The region round about Jerusalem.

And baptized - Jesus did not Himself administer the ordinance of baptism, but his disciples did it by his direction and authority, John 4:2.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on John 3:22". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/john-3.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them and baptized.

THE FINAL WITNESS OF JOHN THE BAPTIST

Into the land of Judaea ... is somewhat of an indefinite location of Jesus' activity at this point; but Hendriksen suggestion the location was "not far from Jericho, near the fords of the Jordan."[20]

This Gospel gives the Judean ministry of Christ, almost totally omitted by the synoptics. The Spirit of God directed the apostles in the choice of the material they included. Jesus had definitely stressed the fact that the Gospel should first be offered to the Jews and then to the Gentiles (Luke 24:27; Acts 1:8); and "to the Jew first" became a slogan of the missionary work of Paul, and presumably of all the apostles. How fitting, therefore, that the Lord himself should have carried his great message first to the Jews as revealed in this Gospel, and as we should not have known if only the synoptics existed. Furthermore, this Judean ministry explains a number of statements in the synoptics which, in the light of this Gospel, are clear references to the Judean ministry. Thus, Jesus said in Matthew that he had "often" attempted to gather the citizens of Jerusalem unto himself (Matthew 23:37). See Matthew 26:6; Mark 14:3if, and Luke 13:34,35, all of which are trace references to the great Judean ministry of Jesus which occurred before John the Baptist was cast into prison, a fact John stressed, thus making it very early in the Lord's ministry. This Judean part of it lasted from May until December.

His disciples ... probably refers to the six already mentioned in this Gospel: Peter, James, John, Andrew, Philip, and Nathaniel. It is not certain if more had been added at this time or not.

He tarried with them and baptized ... It must be assumed that Jesus took up the work of carrying forward God's work already being evident in the labors of John the Baptist, and that the baptism administered by Jesus (through his disciples) was God's baptism exactly like that of the great herald. It must not be thought that Jesus, in any sense, was here working under the administration of John the Baptist. John was a servant carrying out God's orders; and Jesus was a Son doing the same thing; but in order not to mislead anyone, Jesus refrained from administering God's baptism personally, doing so only through his disciples.

This taking a hand in the preaching of baptism, on the part of Jesus, was probably the result of our Lord's having seen the urgent need in his interview with Nicodemus. With the blindness of the religious leaders in their rejection of John the Baptist's preaching, it was clear that John needed all the help he could get; therefore, Jesus encouraged his disciples to take a hand in the baptizing. The connection of John's baptism (so-called) with the kingdom of heaven lies in the fact of its being the only baptism submitted to by the Lord's disciples prior to Pentecost; for all such, it was not necessary for them to be baptized again, but only to receive the Holy Spirit, thus completing in them the new birth. After Pentecost, the old baptism was no longer valid, but was replaced by the baptism of the great commission.

Nothing may be made of the fact that Jesus did not baptize, but his disciples baptized. See under John 4:2. What one does through his agents he is lawfully said to do; therefore Jesus baptized. Why did he refrain from doing so personally? It might have given rise to jealousies and strife, later on, through some claiming greater privilege in having been baptized personally by the Lord. Perhaps, as noted above, it was to avoid any mistaken notion that Jesus was one of John's subordinates. Furthermore, although Jesus had submitted to God's baptism as preached by John, and for a time administered by himself through his disciples, he was nevertheless above John's baptism in the sense that baptism in his own blessed name was designed to succeed it. For more on the baptism of Christ, see my Commentary on Matthew, Matthew 3:13.

ENDNOTE:

[20] William Hendriksen, Exposition of the Gospel according to John (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1961), p. 146.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on John 3:22". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/john-3.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

After these things,.... After Christ's coming to Jerusalem, at the feast of the passover, with his disciples, and driving the buyers and sellers from the temple, and doing the miracles he did there, upon which many believed on him; and after the long discourse he had with Nicodemus, concerning regeneration, and other things:

came Jesus and his disciples, into the land of Judea; or "into Judea the country", having been in Jerusalem, the city part or chief city in Judea; so that the country is distinguished from, and opposed to the city. And thus, a countryman, and a Jerusalemite, or citizen of Jerusalem, are distinguishedF12Misn. Demai, c. 6. sect. 4. ;

"if, הקרתני, "a countryman", (one that lives in the country any where in the land of Israel out of JerusalemF13Maimon. Bartenora in ib. ,) receives a field, מירושלמי, "from a man of Jerusalem", the second tithes belong to the Jerusalemite; but the wise men say, the countryman may bring them up, and eat them at Jerusalem.'

Or, it may be, because that Jerusalem was part of it in the tribe of Benjamin, and the other in the tribe of Judah; therefore, when Christ, and his disciples, left Jerusalem, they might more properly be said to come into the land of Judea. Indeed, it is commonly said by the JewsF14T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 12. 1, & Megilla, fol. 26. 1. , that Jerusalem was not divided among the tribes, and that it did not belong to any tribe; and if so, then with greater propriety still might Christ be said to come into the land of Judea, when he departed from Jerusalem; unless it should be thought, that he went into Galilee, and after that came into the land of Judea; so Nonnus:

and there he tarried with them: with his disciples, as Nonnus; and with the inhabitants of those parts: he made a longer stay here than at Jerusalem, having more work to do here, and being more delighted with the plainness and simplicity of the country people; or "he conversed" with them, as the Syriac version renders it; he exercised, and employed himself among them, as the Greek word used signifies: he went about from village to village, doing good, healing diseases, and preaching the Gospel which was made useful to many:

and baptized; not he himself, but his disciples, by his orders, and in his name; see John 4:2; whereby he gave fresh countenance and sanction to the ordinance of water baptism, administering it to others, as well as submitting to it himself.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on John 3:22". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-3.html. 1999.

People's New Testament

Came into the land of Judea. Left Jerusalem and went into the country districts.

Tarried... and baptized. The first intimation that Jesus administered the baptismal rite. He did it through his disciples (John 4:2).

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Original work done by Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
Johnson, Barton W. "Commentary on John 3:22". "People's New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/john-3.html. 1891.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

After these things (μετα ταυταmeta tauta). Transition after the interview with Nicodemus. For the phrase see John 5:1; John 6:1; John 7:1.

Into the land of Judea (εις την Ιουδαιαν γηνeis tēn Ioudaian gēn). Into the country districts outside of Jerusalem. The only example of this phrase in the N.T., but “the region of Judea” (η Ιουδαια χωραhē Ioudaia chōra) in Mark 1:5.

He tarried
(διετριβενdietriben). Descriptive imperfect active of διατριβωdiatribō old verb to rub between or hard, to spend time (Acts 14:3).

Baptized
(εβαπτιζενebaptizen). Imperfect active of βαπτιζωbaptizō “He was baptizing.” The six disciples were with him and in John 4:2 John explains that Jesus did the baptizing through the disciples.

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 3:22". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/john-3.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

The land of Judaea ( τὴν Ἱουδαίαν γῆν )

Literally, the Judaean land. The phrase occurs only here in the New Testament.

Tarried ( διέτριβεν )

The verb originally means to rub, hence to wear away, consume; and so of spending or passing time.

Baptized ( ἐβάπτιζεν )

The imperfect tense agrees with the idea of tarrying. He continued baptizing during His stay.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 3:22". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/john-3.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.

Jesus went — From the capital city, Jerusalem, into the land of Judea - That is, into the country.

There he baptized — Not himself; but his disciples by his order, John 4:2.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on John 3:22". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/john-3.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judea; and there he tarried with them2, and baptized3.
    FIRST MINISTRY IN JUDEA--JOHN'S SECOND TESTIMONY. (Judea and Aenon.) John 3:22-36

  1. After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea. That is, he left Jerusalem, the capital of Judea, and went into the rural districts thereof. We find him there again in John 12 and Luke 13-18. He gained disciples there, but of them we know but few, such as Mary, Martha, Lazarus, Simeon, and Judas Iscariot.

  2. And there he tarried with them. It is not stated how long he tarried, but it may have been from April to December, for the passover was in April, and December was "yet four months" before the harvest (John 4:35).

  3. And baptized. This baptism was not into the three names of God (John 7:39), into which the apostles were afterwards directed to baptize (Matthew 28:19). It was a continuation of John's baptism, preparatory to the organization of the church--a preparation for the kingdom. Some think that Jesus, at this time, baptized in his own name, and afterwards gave the full baptismal formula into the other two names--Father and Spirit. But there is no evidence of this, and Christian baptism is a baptism into the death of Christ (Romans 6:3). Christ would hardly have ordered baptism into his death before his crucifixion. Such a proceeding would have wrought confusion.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on John 3:22". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/john-3.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

После сего пришел Иисус. Скорее всего Христос после праздника пришел в ту часть Иудеи, которая находилась поблизости от города Енон, расположенного в землях колена Манассии. Евангелист говорит, что там было много воды, запасы которой в Иудее не столь уж обильны. Два этих города Енон и Салим были расположены, по словам географов, недалеко от слияния рек Иордана и Иавока, близ города Скифополь. Кроме того, из его слов можно вывести, что Иоанн и Христос совершали крещение полным погружением тела. Хотя не следует сильно переживать по поводу внешнего обряда, лишь бы он соответствовал духовной истине и установлению Господню. Насколько можно судить, из-за такого соседства возникало множество слухов и споров о законе, о способе богопочитания, о статусе Церкви, и все сие было вызвано одновременным появлением двух новых крестителей. Ибо Евангелист, говоря, что Христос крестил, имеет в виду начало Его служения, когда Он публично приступил к исполнению служения, возложенного на Него Отцом. Хотя Христос делал это через учеников, Он называется в качестве главного автора крещения. О служителях же не упоминается вовсе, поскольку все, что они совершали, было от Его имени и по Его поручению. Об этом будет еще сказано в начале следующей главы.

 

 

 

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 3:22". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-3.html. 1840-57.

Frédéric Louis Godet - Commentary on Selected Books

Ver. 22. "After this Jesus came with his disciples into the country of Judea; and he tarried there with them and baptized."

΄ετὰ ταῦτα (after this), connects this passage, in a general way, with John 2:23-25 : "Following upon this activity of Jesus at Jerusalem." ᾿ιουδαία γῆ (the land of Judea), denotes the country, as opposed to the capital. The imperfect he was tarrying, and he was baptizing, indicate that this sojourn was of some duration. The expression, he was baptizing, is more exactly defined in John 4:2 : "Yet Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples." The moral act belonged to Jesus; the material operation was wrought by the disciples. If these two passages were found in two different Gospels, criticism would not fail immediately to see in them a contradiction, and would accuse of harmonistic bias the one who should seek to explain it. The intention of the narrator in our passage is only to place this baptism under the responsibility of Jesus Himself.

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Godet, Frédéric Louis. "Commentary on John 3:22". "Frédéric Louis Godet - Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsc/john-3.html.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

22 After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.

Ver. 22. And baptized] Wherever we are we must be doing. If Moses may not do justice in Egypt, he will do it in Midian, Exodus 2:14-17. I had rather be sick, said Seneca, than out of employment, Malim mihi male esse quam molliter.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 3:22". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-3.html. 1865-1868.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Our blessed Saviour having now finished his excellent sermon, preached to Nicodemus at Jerusalem, he departs thence with his disciples into the country of Judea, to make proselytes by the ordinance of Baptism.

Where note, 1. Our Lord's unwearied diligence in doing his Father's work and will. He goes from place to place, from city to country, preaching with, and baptizing by, his disciples; for Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples, John 4:2

Note, 2. That the enjoyment of Christ's bodily presence did not take away the use of his own ordinances. None are above ordinances, till they come to heaven. The ordinance of baptism is here administered by the disciples, even in the presence of Christ himself. This is called the baptism of repentance, of which children, as well as others, were capable subjects; because baptsim doth not require children's repentance at present, but engages them to repentance for time to come; as children that were circumcised were obliged to observe the whole law, but could not perform it till they came to understand it.

Note, 3. How John did go on with his work of baptizing, though Christ and his disciples did eclipse and obscure him; though the people now flocked after Christ, All men came unto him, ver 26. yet John kept to his duty. 'Tis the duty of God's ministers to continue in their diligence, and go on with their work, when God raises up others about them of greater parts and better success.

O! the admirable humility of that minister, who can say with John the Baptist, Let another increase, though I decrease.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on John 3:22". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/john-3.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

22. μετὰ ταῦτα] The sequence is not immediate; for this, John uses μετὰ τοῦτο, see ch. John 11:7; John 11:11; John 19:28.

τὴν ἰουδαίαν γῆν, the rural districts of Judæa, in distinction from the metropolis.

ἐβάπτ., viz. by means of His disciples: see ch. John 4:2, and note. The place is not named: perhaps He did not remain in one fixed spot.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on John 3:22". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/john-3.html. 1863-1878.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

John 3:22. εἰς τὴν ἰουδαίαν γῆν, into the land of Judæa) from the metropolis of the Jews. [He did not however long delay there (comp. concerning the word, διέτριβε, ch. John 11:54; Acts 16:12; Acts 20:6, οὗ διετρίψαμεν ἡμέρας ἑπτά), and that because of the Pharisees, who were even less well-inclined towards Jesus, than towards John, ch. John 4:1, “When the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John.”—Harm., p. 165.]— ἐβάπτιζεν, was baptizing) ch. John 4:1-2, “Though Jesus Himself baptized not, but His disciples.” John did not repel those, who came of their own accord, whilst Jesus was baptizing: but still he now in a less degree invited [lie did not to the same extent invite] them.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 3:22". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/john-3.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Soon after our Saviour had had the forementioned conference with Nicodemus, which it is believed he had at Jerusalem, not (as some think) in Galilee, for then Nicodemus would hardly have come to him by night, he came into the land of Judea. He had before been in the province of Judea, and in the metropolis, or great city, of Judea, which was Jerusalem; but now he goeth into the country of Judea. Judah and Jerusalem are often mentioned distinctly. The chief city of a country is oft distinguished from the country, though within the same province and tribe; see Joshua 8:1, the king of Ai, his city, and his land; and in particular as to Jerusalem, 2 Chronicles 11:14 20:17 2 Chronicles 36:23 Ezra 2:1 Luke 5:17 6:17, Christ and his disciples went into the country part of Judea;

and there he tarried with them, and baptized, by his disciples, for himself personally baptized none; but as in our common speech, so in the language of Scripture, there is nothing more ordinary than for persons to be said themselves to do what they do by others, 1 Samuel 26:11,12 2 Kings 22:16 2 Chronicles 34:24 Acts 7:52.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 3:22". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-3.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

в землю Иудейскую Поскольку эпизод с Никодимом произошел в Иерусалиме (2:23), который был частью Иудеи, эта фраза здесь означает, что Иисус отправился в сельские места этой области.

крестил В гл. 4:2 конкретно говорится, что лично Иисус не крестил, а это дело совершали Его ученики.

(3:22-36) В этом разделе содержится последнее свидетельство о Христе Иоанна Крестителя в этом Евангелии. По мере того, как его служение угасало, служение Иисуса выходило на первый план. Несмотря на то, что Иоанн Креститель приобрел широко распространенную в Израиле известность и в большинстве случаев был признан простыми людьми страны, а также социальными изгоями, тем не менее его свидетельство об Иисусе было отвергнуто, особенно лидерами Израиля (ср. Мф. 3:5-10; Лк. 7:29).

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on John 3:22". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/john-3.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Baptized; not personally, but through is disciples, John 4:2.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on John 3:22". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/john-3.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there he stayed for a time with them and baptised.’

The land of Judea is in Southern Palestine, below Samaria. Galilee was above Samaria in northern Palestine. Across the Jordan from Judea was Perea. All are differentiated from Jerusalem which looked on itself as a city on its own. This had been true from the days of David, when Jerusalem was his own personal possession having been taken by him from the Jebusites, and not being a part of Israel or Judah (see Mark 1:5 and often in the Old Testament).

Thus Jesus may have ‘come into the land’ of Judea from Jerusalem. It is significant that until John 6 :1 John makes no mention of a Galilean ministry. He does of course mention the visit to Cana and Capernaum in chapter 2, which appears to have been for a few days, and he will mention a further visit in John 5:43-47, but there is only the slightest suggestion of any ministry there in that we are told that ‘the Galileans welcomed Him’ (John 4:45). Nothing further is said. There is no suggestion of a public ministry.

This agrees with Mark’s statement that Jesus’ Galilean ministry, of which the other Gospels are full, commenced after John the Baptiser was put in prison (Mark 1:14), which has not yet happened at this stage as he is still baptising at Aenon near Salim (John 3:23).

Thus we have in John’s Gospel valuable new material about the beginnings of Jesus’ ministry which is not mentioned by the other Gospels. It demonstrates that His first ministry was in Judea, and carried out in parallel with, and alongside, John the Baptiser’s. It may suggest that, while He clearly had a following of ‘disciples’ at this point (some of whom would leave him - John 6:66), that may not have included many of the twelve. We cannot, in fact, be certain which of the twelve were with Him. They are never mentioned until John 6:67 where they are looked on as a specific unit, and this is after we know that the Galilean ministry has been in progress for some time (John 6:1).

This agrees with the other Gospel accounts where the twelve are appointed before the feeding of the crowds, but clearly after the first Judean ministry. In John 6:67 John just assumes that the appointment of the twelve will be known to his readers.

Furthermore, it is clear that John is very sparse in his dealings with the Galilean ministry. Except when it suits his purpose he leaves it out of the reckoning. This is because he is not trying to write a full scale life of Jesus, but is drawing on material of which he has special knowledge in order to present Jesus to his readers in a certain way. If he writes long after the others, as some think, he would, of course, be aware that the details of the Galilean ministry were already public knowledge in the churches. But hiowever that may, be he is happy to ignore them for his purposes. Yet he constantly assumes what is in the Galilean tradition, for he mentions such things as John’s imprisonment as a matter of course rather than as new information (John 3:24). Note also how in chapter 5 He is in Jerusalem and then in John 6:1 he is suddenlycontinuinga Galilean ministry.

‘There he remained with them and baptised.’ Jesus is at this stage carrying on a similar ministry to John the Baptiser, identifying Himself with the work of John. The work of the Spirit which that baptism symbolises has already begun. This is evident from the constant mention of the Spirit in John’s Gospel (John 3:5-6; John 4:24; John 6:63) and in His indication that ‘the life of the age to come’ is available already (John 3:15). Indeed it is evident in John’s ministry also. But as yet it is to a certain extent localised and not the great outpouring that was to follow the resurrection (John 7:39). To suggest that somehow this ministry was not effective in the power of the Spirit, but simply symbolic, is to ignore the evidence of both Old and New Testament that the Spirit has worked through the ages.

The new age of the Spirit would be notable for the power manifested and its widespread nature, but it was not a totally new work. Ezekiel in John 18:31 could tell his listeners ‘cast away all the transgressions you have committed against me, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit’, which in view of Ezekiel 36:26-27 must mean the work of God’s Spirit. Compare also Psalms 51:10-12; Psalms 139:7; Psalms 143:10 and the mention of Holy Spirit inspired people in the early chapters of Luke.

While baptism is important as a commitment to God and to a new way of living, and a declaration of a desire to take part in the pouring out of the Spirit, it is that inner work that is most important. As Paul makes clear, to him baptism is secondary to preaching the Gospel, for it is the latter which produces the saving work which the former confirms (1 Corinthians 1:17-18).

It is stated in John 4:2 that Jesus Himself did not baptise, but left the responsibility to His disciples. Aware of His special status, it would certainly have been wise for Jesus to leave baptising to His disciples, as otherwise all kinds of problems could arise as people fought to be baptised by Him. Jesus knew what was in men. He would therefore know very well the complications that could arise later if some people had been specifically baptised by Him. We can compare how Paul clearly left the baptising of people to others (1 Corinthians 1:11-17) and was thankful that he had done so. Thus this is not a case of special pleading.

We do not know how such baptisms were carried out although we know they required ‘much water’ (v. 23). It seems probable therefore that people went down into the water. Perhaps the water was poured over them, symbolic of rain, or possibly they were dipped under the water. It is probable that John’s disciples also acted on John’s behalf as well in the work of baptising. In view of the great crowds this seems likely.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on John 3:22". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/john-3.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

22.Land of Judea—The country, in distinction from Jerusalem.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on John 3:22". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/john-3.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Jesus" conversation with Nicodemus evidently happened in Jerusalem ( John 2:23). Jerusalem was within Judea. After that conversation, Jesus went out into the Judean countryside. Jesus had not yet commissioned the Twelve. That commissioning happened after John the Baptist"s imprisonment ( Mark 1:14). The disciples who accompanied Jesus may not have been the Twelve, but they were His followers and they could have included all or some of the Twelve. This is the only record in the Gospels that Jesus engaged in a baptizing ministry similar to John the Baptist"s. It was undoubtedly baptism expressing repentance rather than "Christian baptism." The writer later explained that Jesus did not do the baptizing Himself, but His disciples did ( John 4:2). Jesus was also spending time with these disciples undoubtedly to help them understand and appreciate who He really was.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 3:22". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/john-3.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

John 3:22. Alter these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized. The introductory words ‘After these things’ may possibly include a considerable period. Apparently several months intervened between the Passover of chap. 3 and the visit to Samaria (chap. 4); but only two events belonging to this period are related. The words of this verse, however (tarried and bap-timed), show that after leaving Jerusalem Jesus remained for some length of time in the country parts of Judea. In no other passage than this is there any mention of the Saviour’s baptizing, and chap. John 4:2 explains that this baptism was only indirectly His. Still, however, it is clear that the baptism was by the authority of Jesus, the disciples acting only as His ministers. Yet they did not baptize with Christian baptism in the full sense of the term. They were engaged in preparatory work like that of the Baptist, just as the Twelve were sent forth by Jesus to declare the very message which John had preached (Matthew 10:7). The baptism of the Spirit was still future (chap. John 7:39). The next verse shows the main design of this section. When Jesus baptized in Judea, He came into direct and necessary comparison with John.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 3:22". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/john-3.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

John 3:22. , subsequent to the ministry in Jerusalem Jesus and His disciples came , “into the Judaean country,” the rural parts in contradistinction to the metropolis. “Nam quum ex Judaeae metropoli exiret Jesus, non poterat simpliciter dici proficisci in Judaeam; ’ maluimus ergo territorium convertere quam terram,” Beza. So in Joshua 8:1 (Codex Ambrosianus), “I have given into thy hand the King of Gai ”. Cf. also John 11:54.— , “and there He spent some time with them”; whether weeks or months depends on the interpretation of John 4:35.— , that is, His disciples baptised, John 4:2.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on John 3:22". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/john-3.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

And baptized. Not Christ himself, but his disciples. See chap. iv. 2. (Witham)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on John 3:22". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/john-3.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

After = After (Greek. meta. App-104.) these things. A note of time, frequent in John. See John 21:1.

the land of Judaea: literally the Judan land. Phrasehere.

land. Greek. ge. App-129.

baptized = was (engaged in) baptizing. See John 4:2 and App-115.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 3:22". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/john-3.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.

After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judea, [ eis (Greek #1519) teen (Greek #3588) Ioudaian (Greek #2449) geen (Greek #1093)] - not the province of Judea, as distinguished from Galilee and Samaria, for the foregoing conversation was held in its capital. But the meaning is, that leaving the city He withdrew to the rural districts, and, it would appear, to some part of the valley-district of the Jordan northward.

And there he tarried with them, and baptized, [ ebaptizen (Greek #907)] or, as we should say, 'kept baptizing;' but only in the sense explained in John 4:2.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 3:22". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/john-3.html. 1871-8.

The Bible Study New Testament

22. Went to the province of Judea. He left Jerusalem and went out into the countryside. And baptized. This is the first statement that Jesus baptized disciples. McGarvey says this must have been a continuation of John’s baptism, and not into the “three names of God,” since the Holy Spirit had not yet been given (John 7:39). With the coming of the Spirit on Pentecost, the rite of baptism took on a new meaning (see notes on Acts 19:1-6). Note also that Jesus baptized by proxy through his disciples [in contrast to John the Baptist]. See John 4:1-2.

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on John 3:22". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/john-3.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(22) After these things.—Not implying that He left Jerusalem at once. The “land of Judæa” is the province as distinct from the capital. This verse points to a work in Judæa of which we know nothing more. It was probably not confined to one place. We have to think of Christ as continuing His teaching, of large numbers influenced by it (John 3:26), and of these as being baptised by the disciples (John 4:2). His converts were the country people, and it is the action of the Pharisees which caused Him to retire to Samaria.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 3:22". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-3.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.
these
2:13; 4:3; 7:3
and baptized
26; 4:1,2
Reciprocal: Mark 1:14 - after;  Acts 8:38 - and he baptized

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 3:22". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-3.html.

Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms

Ver. 22. "After these things came Jesus and His disciples into the land of Judea; and there He tarried with them, and baptized."

Since Jesus came from Jerusalem, by the land of Judea can be meant only the rest of the land excluding the capital. The limitation, however, is not implied in the expression itself, as though γῆ might denote the country in distinction from the city, as χώρα, in John 11:55, Mark 1:5; but it is given only in the connection by which Jerusalem is excluded. The mere word ἰουδαίαν might have been used equally as well. Cf. the opposition of Jerusalem and Judah in Ezra 2:1; Ezra 7:14; 2 Chronicles 20:18. Similar is the opposition of Judah and (the rest of ) Israel. As in this case, Israel does not in itself designate the ten tribes, but only in their opposition to Judah, so also the "land of Judea "is in itself the whole of Judea, and the limitation is given only by the preceding mention of the stay in Jerusalem,

Jesus was sent to all the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and must therefore proclaim the Gospel of the kingdom in all parts of the land. At the very commencement of His ministry He made a sort of circuit through it. He commenced His activity in Bethabara beyond Jordan; then He turned to Galilee; then to Jerusalem, where His stay was not long, because there the most dangerous elements were in opposition, which were not to be stirred up before the time; and then to the land of Judea, excepting the capital. The expression leads us to conclude that He made more than a transient stay there.Cf. John 11:54. According to the apparently chance notice in John 4:35, He continued there a number of months—not less than seven or eight. And this we should expect from the fact, that Judea was the chief part of the whole. If Jesus had immediately withdrawn to a corner of Galilee, this would have given rise to suspicions against His ministry. Chap. John 4:45 shows, that even the successes in Galilee were conditioned by the preceding appearance in Judea. It is remarkable that John communicates so little from this long period,—nothing but the testimony of the Baptist, which for him had a special interest. This is explained only by the fact, that he presupposes the first Gospels, and particularly that of his fellow-Apostle, Matthew. That which took place in the land of Judea had essentially the same character as that of which the others had given an account as taking place in Galilee. Even the summary manner in which the Evangelist refers to Christ's doings in Jerusalem,— θεωροῦντες αὐτοῦ τὰ σημεῖα ἅ ἐποίει, John 2:23, cf. John 4:45,—requires to be supplemented from the first Gospels, and refers back to them. In this brevity of John is contained at the same time a justification of the total silence concerning Christ's doings in Judea, in Matthew and the two disciples of the Apostles who followed him. On account of the similarity of the facts, Matthew could attain his object—to prove that Jesus is the Christ—by beginning his account only when Jesus had made Galilee the theatre of His continued activity. To this he was invited still more by the interest which, as a Galilean, he felt in Galilee, and the circumstance, that he was not, like John, an eyewitness of the earlier ministry, and that this very ministry of the Saviour in Galilee was rendered prominent in the prophecies of the Old Testament, the fulfilment of which it was his task to demonstrate. Matthew places the passage of Isaiah expressly at the head of his account in Matthew 4:14-16, and thus himself declares his purpose. The two apostolic disciples, who did not share his purpose, did not feel themselves called upon to open a new path, which was therefore left to the second Apostle among the Evangelists. Between the baptism and the commencement of the continued Galilean ministry of Jesus (he passes by the transient stay there, mentioned by John), Matthew records only a single fact—the temptation, which, on account of its high significance, and especially its Old Testament reference, could not be passed by. That this fact falls during the time of the stay in the land of Judea, we have already seen, and it will be brought out more distinctly in the remarks on ver. 23. John distinctly designates the point of incidence of his Gospel on that of Matthew. John 4:1-3 refers back to Matthew 4:12.

This passage and John 4:2 are the only places in the Gospels which mention the baptizing of Jesus and His disciples; from which this at least is evident, that during the earthly life of Jesus, baptism still occupied only a subordinate position. It is possible even, that it was afterwards entirely given up, or occurred only sporadically. It had more of a prophetic than a certifying significance, as Jesus, during His life on earth, loved to prefigure, in general, that which would take place in the future developments of the kingdom of God, as may be seen in the instance of awakenings from the dead. The institution of the second sacrament, the Lord's Supper, had also a symbolic, prophetic significance; so that the essence of the sacrament did not, in it, immediately come to life. The being born of water and Spirit, John 3:5, could then take place only very imperfectly. That the Holy Spirit, in His property as the regenerating principle, did not till after the glorification of Christ attain His true nature and full energy, so that He did not previously, as it were, exist, is expressly stated in John 7:39. And as yet also, there was not the true water. According to John 19:34, it flowed first with the blood from the wound in Jesus side. The spiritual water of the forgiveness of sins, which is bestowed in, with, and under the water of baptism, rests on the fact of the atonement accomplished by Christ. According to 1 John 5:6, Jesus came with water and blood; not with water only, but with water and blood, and the blood is the ground of the water. But, although the baptism which Jesus then allowed to be imported had not yet the full significance of the later baptism, since the institution of the proper and true baptism was not made by Christ until after His resurrection, Matthew 28:19, yet there is no ground for concluding, that those who were baptized during the earthly life of Jesus were afterwards baptized over again; but we must rather suppose that the baptism of water which had already, taken place received its spiritual supplement afterwards, and that it had the significance of a pledge of the sprinkling with the true water, and of the impartation of the Holy Ghost therewith connected. The repetition was the less allowable, since the germ-like commencements of the impartation of forgiveness and of the Spirit were already, during the earthly life of Christ, connected with the baptism imparted.

If the signification of this baptism of Christ is correctly apprehended, the question is at once answered, why John did not immediately cease to baptize, after Jesus had been baptized by him, or at least after Jesus had commenced to baptize with His disciples. The baptism of John was not essentially different from the baptism of the disciples of Christ. The latter also partook of its essentially prophetic character. When John designates himself as him who baptizes with water, and Christ as Him who baptizes with the Holy Ghost, John 1:33, cf. Matthew 3:11, he has not in view the baptism which Jesus then already allowed to be performed, but rather the baptism which was to be established by Him after He had proved Himself to be the Lamb of God, which taketh upon Him the sins of the world. Even the juxtaposition of the spiritual baptism of Jesus and the fiery baptism of the judgment, Matthew 3:11 (ver. 12 forms the commentary to καὶ πυρὶ, by which the reference to the judgment is clearly corroborated—the πυρὶ is resumed in πυρὶ ἀσβέστῳ), and Luke 3:16, indicate that we are not to think of the baptism which was performed by Jesus during His appearance in the form of a servant. The Saviour, in Acts 1:5, says to the disciples before His ascension, ὅτι ἰωάννης μὲν ἐβάπτισεν ὕδατι, ὑμεῖς δὲ ἐν πνεύματι βαπτισθήσεσθε ἁγίῳ οὐ μετὰ πολλὰς ταύτας ἡμέρας. According to this, the specifically Christian baptism, the baptism of the Spirit, was then still in the future. Up to this time there was only a baptism of water; and this being mentioned in connection with John, implies that the baptism which the Apostles had hitherto performed, had essentially the same character as that of John. An appeal might be made in favour of the contrary view to the fact of the second baptism of the disciples of John, in Acts 19:1 sq.; while, on the other hand, it has been remarked, that those who were baptized by the Apostles before the atoning death of Christ were not subjected to a second baptism. But the case mentioned is only an exceptional one, and concerns those who had received the baptism of John without recognising its deeper significance: cf. Bengel in loc. Apollos was not baptized again, nor were the Apostles.

With the question, Why did John continue to baptize?—which is the less justified, since John had not himself to determine the limits of his ministry, but to wait quietly until they were fixed by God—is connected another, "Why did he not himself enter the circle of Jesus disciples, instead of remaining without, so that Jesus could say, in Matthew 11:11, that the least in the kingdom of heaven was greater than he? "This question is grounded on false assumptions. John did become a disciple of Jesus, as is plainly evinced by ver. 29. Matthew 11:11 does not declare the contrary. It is not the least who are there spoken of, but the relatively less; and the reason why John occupies only a low position within the kingdom of God is not, that he did not follow Christ, but that the redemption was not made till after his departure, and that the possession of the highest gifts was conditioned by the atoning death of Christ. Cf. John 7:39; Acts 1:4-5; Acts 1:8.

The declaration here, that Jesus baptized, is more exactly defined by John 4:2; according to which, Christ did not baptize personally, but only through the medium of His disciples. The question, why Jesus did not Himself baptize, has been variously answered. The Berleburger Bibel says, "Christ would not have been ashamed to do it Himself, but He did not, because the people would have made comparisons and boastings out of it: Such an one baptized me with his own hand! as at Corinth such factions arose in this way, that even Paul was glad that he had not baptized many." If the baptism at this time had essentially a typical significance, it was the more appropriate that it should be performed by the same ministry commissioned by Christ which was afterwards to administer the baptism typified. It is, however, of importance to note, that the baptism, administered by the Apostles is traced immediately to Christ. "It is of great service," says Quesnel, "to present this truth to the mind at the distribution and reception of the sacraments, in order that the faith and reverence may be brought to them which are due."

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on John 3:22". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/john-3.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

22.After these things came Jesus. It is probable that Christ, when the feast was past, came into that part of Judea which was in the vicinity of the town Enon, which was situated in the tribe of Manasseh. The Evangelist says that there were many waters there, and these were not so abundant in Judea. Now geographers tell us, that these two towns, Enon and Salim, were not far from the confluence of the river Jordan and the brook Jabbok; and they add that Scythopolis was near them. From these words, we may infer that John and Christ administered baptism by plunging the whole body beneath the water; though we ought not to give ourselves any great uneasiness about the outward rite, provided that it agree with the spiritual truth, and with the Lord’s appointment and rule. So far as we are able to conjecture, the; vicinity of those places caused various reports to be circulated, and many discussions to arise, about the Law, about the worship of God, and about the condition of the Church, in consequence of two persons who administered baptism having arisen at the same time. For when the Evangelist says that Christ baptized, I refer this to the commencement of his ministry; namely, that he then began to exercise publicly the office which was appointed to him by the Father. And though Christ did this by his disciples, yet he is here named as the Author of the baptism, without mentioning his ministers, who did nothing but in his name and by his command. On this subject, we shall have something more to say in the beginning of the next Chapter.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 3:22". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-3.html. 1840-57.