My grandparents gathered in one-roomed buildings of their communities to sing hymns, pray and read the Bible every Sunday. They called the Messiah by the name Jesus. They knew nothing of the 7th day Sabbath. My grandparents and parents had no knowledge of a Mikvah but went humbly down to a river. They were baptized by a pastor who had no Hebrew or Greek at his finger-tips. They kept the Ten Sayings which they called commandments. They had no Tzitzit hanging from the 4-corners of their garments. If one were to say the word Shema, they would have said, “what?” When someone in their community was hungry, without clothing, sick, or had died, they came together–echad. If I were a betting woman, I would almost guarantee that they were a holier, less desensitized, humbler people than us today. Their heads were not puffed up with a knowledge that lacked humility.
They opened their hymnals and in one voice sang,
“What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
- Oh! precious is the flow
- That makes me white as snow;
- No other fount I know,
- Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”
“And Yoḥanan (John) was also immersing in Ayin (Aenon) near Salim, because there was plenty of water there. And they were coming and were being immersed,” (John 3:23, ISR).
Most are aware of John baptizing in the Jordan River. Aenon or Ayin is only mentioned once in the Bible. Ayin is the 16th letter of the Hebrew aleph-bet, and it means to see, understand, and be obedient and salvation. It is a pictograph of an eye with a numerical value of 70. John was immersing in Ayin. HalleluYah. The word “Enon,” or “Aenon,” means “a fountain.” In Greek, Aenon/Ayin means fountains and many waters.
“And John also was baptizing in Aenon,… The Syriac and Persic versions call it “Ain,” or “In you,” the fountain of the dove, and the Arabic version reads it, the fountain of “Nun”: (Gill’s exposition). Nun is the 14th Hebrew letter and means seed and faithfulness.
The dove’s fountain sounds so beautiful and is something I believe the Body of Messiah needs. We need the fountain of Living Water and the dove/ Holy Spirit. We need humility. John tells those gathered around him that he must decrease. The Messiah must increase. A simple message with a fountain of water behind it. What does that look like in the Body? His House?
“And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified—behold, He (Yeshua) is baptizing and all the people are coming to Him.” (John 3:26, NASB). All the people are coming to HIM. Oh, what a fountain of sweet springs. The one created and anointed to announce the Lamb and immerse Him is going to fade into the background and decrease so Yeshua Messiah can increase. John was immersing them in the Ayin so they could see.
“John replied, “A person can receive not even one thing unless it has been given to him from heaven” (John 3:27, NASB). From heaven—. “He who comes from above is above all; the one who is only from the earth is of the earth and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all” (John 3:31, NASB).
One day Yeshua will straighten out all our earthly knowledge and Rabbinical knowledge and the things we think we know. One day we will weep over what our lips have said and our Biblical arguments and puffed up yeast that our sticky fingers keep playing with like a tar baby. One day we will fall facedown and know that One from the heavens is speaking. This Messiah is so full of mercy that He will wipe the tears from our Ayin and wash us in His Fountain springs like a dove because we will see our righteous acts can be as filthy menstrual cloths. Yes, even among the most humble.
John then says something significant in verse 34. “For He whom God has sent speaks God’s words; for God does not give the Spirit with limitations.”
“For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God [proclaiming the Father’s own message]; for God gives the [gift of the] Spirit without measure [generously and boundlessly]!” (John 3:34, AMP).
John must decrease. Yeshua must increase. We must decrease. No man will get Adona’s Glory.
How do we as a people decrease? How do we articulate Ayin, a place where we see and don’t speak. A place where we are immersed in fountains of a dove? How do we remove ourselves and place all the glory on our King?
Two birthday parties occur in the Bible: Pharaoh had a birthday party. “On the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, he held a feast for all his officials, and in their presence, he lifted up the heads of the chief cupbearer and the chief baker” (Genesis 40:20). Pharaoh lets the birds eat the head of the baker. Herod has a birthday party and removes the head of John the Baptist. “On Herod’s birthday, however, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod so much that he promised with an oath to give to her whatever she asked. Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” Herod’s name means to tremble, to be a coward.
John came in the spirit of Elijah to announce the Messiah and prepare the Way of salvation. John was so hated for his words that his head was severed entirely off his neck. Can you see John bowing his humble head as the sword came down and removed it? Can you see his head sitting on a platter one might display meat on? May we eat the MEAT of John. May we decrease. May He increase. Do we speak words like John that cause people to want to take our heads clean off? What manner of man was this? Yeshua describes John like this:
“What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swaying in the wind? ( a coward—a man who changes his position, an erratic, double-minded man like Herod) Otherwise, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? Look, those who wear fine clothing are found in kings’ palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written:
‘Behold, I will send My messenger ahead of You, Who will prepare Your way before You.'” (Matthew 11:7-11).
Oh, friends, sometimes we need to be immersed in Ayin. Sometimes we need to be cleansed, humbled, and willing to allow the One more qualified than us to do the immersing. Are we becoming more holy with our knowledge or more arrogant? How can we be a light to a dying, broken world? How can we begin to decrease? Can we bring messages with rich and beautiful knowledge and be so removed that the people only see Him? May our heads be severed entirely off. May we decrease so much that the only one others see is Yeshua Messiah, Jesus the Christ.