Jesus and his disciples left Jerusalem and went into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them and baptized people.
At the same time John the Baptist was baptizing at Aenon, near Salim, because there was plenty of water there, and people kept coming to him for baptism. (This was before John was put in prison.)
A debate broke out between John’s disciples and a certain Jew over ceremonial cleansing. So John’s disciples came to him and said, “Rabbi, the man you met on the other side of the Jordan River, the one you identified as the Messiah, is also baptizing people. And everybody is going to him.”
John replied, “No one can receive anything unless it is given him from heaven. You yourselves know how I told you that I’m not the Messiah. I’m simply here to prepare the way for him. It’s the bridegroom who marries the bride. The best man is perfectly happy to stand beside him and hear his vows. That’s why my happiness is now complete. For he must become greater and I must become less.
“He who comes from above is greater than everyone else. We are of the earth, and we speak of earthly things, but he has come from heaven and is above all. He speaks about what he’s seen and heard, yet few accept what he tells them! But anyone who does believe him can confirm that God is true. He has been sent by God. He speaks God’s words, for God gives the Holy Spirit without limit. The Father loves the Son and has put everything into his hands. And anyone who believes in the Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life, but will remain subject to judgment.”