After this, Yahushua and His taught ones came into the land of Yehudah, and He remained there with them, and was immersing. And Yochanan was also immersing in Ayin near Salim, because there was plenty of water there. And they were coming and were being immersed, for Yochanan had not yet been put into prison.
Then a dispute arose between some of Yochanan’s taught ones and the Yehudim about cleansing, and they came to Yochanan and said to him, “Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Yarden, to whom you have witnessed, see, He is immersing, and all are coming to Him!”
Yochanan answered and said, “No man is able to receive any matter unless it is given to him from heaven.”
“You yourselves are witnesses for me that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but I am sent ahead of Him.’
“He that has the bride is the bridegroom, but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the voice of the bridegroom. So this joy of mine is complete.”
“It is right for Him to increase, but me to decrease.”
“He who comes from above is over all, he who is from the land is of the land and speaks of the land. He who comes from the sky is over all.”
“And what He has seen and heard, that He witnesses. And no one receives His witness. He who receives His witness has set his seal that Elohim is true.”
“For He whom Elohim has sent speaks the Words of Elohim, for Elohim does not give the Spirit by measure.”
“The Father loves the Son, and has given all into His hand. “He who believes in the Son possesses everlasting life, but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of Elohim remains on him.”
And Herodes the district ruler, being reproved by him concerning Herodias his brother Philip’s wife, and for all the wicked deeds which Herodes did,
For Herodes himself had sent and seized Yochanan, and bound him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because he had married her, for Yochanan had said to Herodes, “It is not right for you to have your brother’s wife.”
So Herodias held a grudge against him and wished to kill him, but was unable, he feared the crowd, because they held him as a prophet.
For Herodes feared Yochanan, knowing that he was a righteous and set-apart man, and he protected him. And when he heard him, he was much perplexed, yet heard him gladly.
So when the Master knew that the Pharisees had heard that Yahushua made and immersed more taught ones than Yochanan – although Yahushua Himself did not immerse, but His taught ones – He left Yehudah and went away again to Galil. And He had to pass through Shomeron.
This portion of The Good News Series is from the Gospel of Yochanan (John) 3:25-4:4. The stage has been set for the full realization of Yahushua as Messiah. Unfortunately, this also foreshadows the demise of Yochanan the Immerser (John the Baptist), for as Yochanan said – “It is right for Him to increase, but me to decrease.” Yochanan has been “making clear the way,” laying the foundation of the Kingdom of Yahweh for the Messiah to then come and save the world. Here we also see the root of Yochanan’s demise, the insult (however righteous and right it was) of Herodias and her marriages to Herodes leads ultimately to Yochanan’s death – which we will see in a future installment.