John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
All Commentaries on John 3:27 Go To John 3
Augustine of Hippo
Or perhaps John is speaking here of himself: I am a mere man, and have received all from heaven, and therefore think not that, because it has been given meto be somewhat, I am so foolish as to spear: against the truth.
As if He said, Sheis not My spouse. But do you therefore not rejoice in the marriage? Yes, I rejoice, he said, because I am the friend of the Bridegroom.
But wherefore does he stand? Because he fails not, by reason of his humility. A sure ground this to stand upon, Whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose. Again; He stands, and hears Him. So then if he fails, he hears Him not. Therefore the friend of the Bridegroom ought to stand and hear,i.e. to abide in the grace which he has received, and to hear the voice in which he rejoices. I rejoice not, he said, because of my own voice, but because of the Bridegroom’s voice. I rejoice; I in hearing, He in speaking; I am the ear, He the Word. For he who guards the bride or wife of his friend, takes care that she love none else; if he wish to be loved himself in the stead of his friend, and to enjoy her who was entrusted to him, how detestable does he appear to the whole world? Yet many are the adulterers I see, who would fain possess themselves of the spouse who was bought at so great a price, and who aim by their words at being loved themselves instead of the Bridegroom.
Or thus; This my joy is fulfilled, i.e. my joy at hearing the Bridegroom’s voice. I have my gift; I claim no more, lest I lose that which I have received. He who would rejoice in himself, has sorrow; but he who would rejoice in the Lord, shall ever rejoice, because God is everlasting.
What means this, He must increase? God neither increases, nor decreases. And John and Jesus, according to the flesh, were of the same age: for the six months’ difference between them is of no consequence. This is a great mystery. Before our Lord came, men gloried in themselves; He came in no man’s nature, that the glory of man might bediminished, and the glory of God exalted. For He came to remit sins upon man’s confession: a man’s confession, a man’s humility, is God’s pity, God’s exaltation. This truth Christ and John proved, even by their modes of suffering: John was beheaded, Christ was lifted up on the cross. Then Christ was born, when the days begin to lengthen; John, when they begin to shorten. Let God’s glory then increase in us, and our own decrease, that ours also may increase in God. But it is because you understand God more and more, that He seems to increase in you: for in His own nature He increases not, but is ever perfect: even as to a mancured of blindness, who begins to see a little, and daily sees more, the light seems to increase, whereas it is in reality always at the fall, whether he sees it or not. In like manner the inner man makes advancement in God, and it seems as if God were increasing in Him; but it is He Himself that decreases, falling from the height of His own glory, and rising in the glory of God.