After Jesus launched His public ministry, He began to preach and baptize in the same area where John the Baptist was working. Jesus invited at least two of John’s disciples to join His ministry team. One of these was Andrew, the fisherman and brother of Peter. The other is unknown, but many people think he was the apostle John, the son of Zebedee. If John the Baptist objected to these disciples leaving him to follow Jesus, we see no hint of such an objection in the biblical account (John 1:35-39).

Another development that could have caused friction between the two was the decline of John’s influence and the increasing popularity of Jesus. Some of John’s disciples saw this happening. They reported that Jesus was attracting more people and baptizing more people than John was. “Everyone is flocking to Him.” they told him (John 3:30 HCSB).

John compared his relationship to Jesus with that of the groom’s friend to the groom in a Jewish wedding. The groom’s friend was responsible for getting everything ready for the appearance of the bribe and groom after the ceremony was over (John 3:27-29). This analogy means that John was more than a passive observer of the coming of the Messiah.

He was an essential part of God’s plan for sending His Son into the world.

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