What does John 3:34 mean?
ESV: For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure.
NIV: For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit.
NASB: For He whom God sent speaks the words of God; for He does not give the Spirit sparingly.
CSB: For the one whom God sent speaks God's words, since he gives the Spirit without measure.
NLT: For he is sent by God. He speaks God’s words, for God gives him the Spirit without limit.
KJV: For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.
Verse Commentary:
Nearly 40 times in this gospel alone, John claims that Jesus has been sent from God. This is the reason the book was written (John 20:30–31), and Jesus' miracles are the primary evidence (John 5:36). Nicodemus recognizes Jesus' miraculous abilities as proof that He is sent by God (John 3:2). Jesus offers other reasons to believe, including the testimony of John the Baptist, and the information found in the Hebrew Scriptures (John 5:36–39). Since Jesus is the only valid source of knowledge about God (John 3:12–13), rejecting Christ means rejecting God (1 John 5:10).

In the Old Testament, certain people were given the Spirit of God for a limited time. These include certain prophets (2 Chronicles 24:20; Micah 3:8; 2 Samuel 23:2), various people (Numbers 24:2, 1 Samuel 19:20), and some of the Judges (Judges 3:10; Judges 6:34), including Samson (Judges 13—16). Jesus, however, has the Spirit of God continuously. This is why He is said to have the Spirit "without measure," or "without limit."

This permanent presence of the Spirit, and the fact that Jesus came from heaven, are important proofs that He is, in fact, God incarnate (John 1:1; John 1:14).
Verse Context:
John 3:31–36 describes how Jesus’ ministry is from God, but almost everyone will reject it. Verse 36 is an important footnote to the core gospel message, seen in John 3:16–21. Those who put their faith in Christ will be saved, but those who reject Him will face the wrath of God. This passage emphasizes the exclusivity of the gospel: there is absolutely no other way to obtain heaven, but through Jesus Christ. “Testimony,” and the need to believe it, are also crucial in this text.
Chapter Summary:
John chapter 3 is one of the most important in the entire gospel. Many crucial ideas are explained in this passage, including the role of Jesus as Savior. After the loud, public commotion at the temple, John transitions to a quiet, nighttime discussion. These verses make it clear that Christ—and Christ alone—is the means of salvation for the entire world. This text also states that those who reject Jesus are rejecting God.
Chapter Context:
The gospel of John is meant to prove that Jesus is God. Chapter 3 contains some of the most direct, most important concepts in Christianity. The ideas of spiritual rebirth, and the need to believe in Christ, are reinforced by the rest of the information in this gospel. John continues to use contrast, moving from the loud and public temple cleansing to the quiet of this conversation. After Jesus injects humility into a powerful leader, chapter 4 will transition again, as Jesus gives dignity to an outcast stranger.
Book Summary:
The gospel of John was written by the disciple John, decades later than the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The author assumes that a reader is already familiar with the content of these other works. So, John presents a different perspective, with a greater emphasis on meaning. John uses seven miracles—which he calls “signs”—in order to prove that Jesus is, in fact, God incarnate. Some of the most well-known verses in all of the Bible are found here. None is more famous than the one-sentence summary of the gospel found in John 3:16.
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