When therefore the LORD knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,…
The ordinances of religion are compared to wells of water; but then they are like Jacob's well. The water lies far below the surface, and to the man of the world, the mere professor of religion, who has the name but not the faith of a Christian, we may say, as the woman said to our Lord, "Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep." Faith is, as it were, the rope, and our souls the vessels, which we let down into this well to fill them with living water. But that they do no good to some forms no reason why we should despise or neglect ordinances. It is no fault in the bread that, thrust between a dead man's teeth, it does not nourish him. Water will revive a withering, but not a withered, plant; wine will revive a dying, but not a dead, man; the breath of your mouth, or the breeze of heaven, will re-kindle the smouldering coal, but not the cold, grey ashes of the hearth. And it is only spiritual life that can derive benefit from such ordinances as are intended to revive the faint and give strength to the weary.
(D. Guthrie, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,