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Jesus and John the Baptist

According to the Unification Church (UC), Jesus was supposed to have received assistance from John the Baptist during his public ministry in Israel. In particular, John should have done everything in his power to persuade the Jewish people that Jesus was the Messiah. John's failure to do so was, according to the church, the chief obstacle to the fulfillment of Jesus' mission.

The UC view is controversial, in part because theologians generally say that John fulfilled his obligation to Jesus completely, merely by baptizing him at the Jordan River and declaring that Jesus was the Messiah. The UC argues strenuously that John was intended to do far more than this.

"He must increase"

Much of the controversy centers around the meaning of John's words: "He must increase, but I must decrease." Many theologians have interpreted this statement as an expression of John's humility, indicating his willingness to be brought down to a lowly position of having no followers.

The UC view on the contrary sees this verse as indicating John's arrogance and foolishness. If John had followed Jesus as an disciple, he would have easily become Jesus's chief apostle (instead of Peter). As Jesus' following "increased", John as Jesus right-hand-man would also have "increased".

The crucifixion

According to the UC view, it was John's disbelief in Jesus which led to the crucifixion of Jesus. The UC interprets the following passage as indicating that the people should believed that Jesus was the Messiah:

Then they said to him, "What must we do to perform the works of God?"

Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom He has sent" (John 6:28,29)

It was because of John's failure to support him that Jesus had to go to the cross.

It has long been a source of consternation to UC members that many Christians impute to the UC the view that Jesus failed, although the UC clearly teaches it was rather John who failed.


The Mandaeans believe that they follow the true teachings of John and that Jesus was a false prophet.



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