And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with you beyond Jordan, to whom you bear witness, behold, the same baptizes, and all men come to him.
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Cornelius a Lapide
And they came, &c. Who was with thee beyond Jordan: viz, Jesus, who came to thee to be baptized. He now ungratefully makes Himself equal to thee, and usurps thine office of baptizing. You ought therefore to restrain Him; otherwise all will flock from thee to Him, to thy shame as well as ours. Thus Euthymius, "He exercises thine own office against thee, and seizes on thy renown." Wishing further to exasperate John , they added, All men leave thee, and go to Him.
That is, He whom you baptized; for this they imply when they say, to whom you bore witness, as though they had said, He whom you pointed out as illustrious, and make remarkable, dares to do the same as thou. Yet they do not say, He whom you baptized baptizes; (for then they would have been obliged to make mention of the Voice that came down from heaven, and of the descent of the Spirit;) but what say they? He that was with you beyond Jordan, to whom you bore witness; that is, He who held the rank of a disciple, who was nothing more than we, this man has separated himself, and baptizes. For they thought to make him jealous, not only by this, but by asserting that their own reputation was now diminishing. All, say they, come to Him. Whence it is evident, that they did not get the better of the Jew with whom they disputed; but they spoke these words because they were imperfect in disposition, and were not yet clear from a feeling of rivalry. What then does John? He did not rebuke them s...