2 (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples), 3 He left Judea and departed again to Galilee.
(though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples),
This parenthesis might indicate a desire to diffuse a conflict that the Pharisees tried to create, by stating that neither Jesus nor John had a superior baptism.
Jesus may not have baptized to keep people from bragging, “I was baptized by Jesus.” In any case, He was a wonderful delegator.
He left Judea and departed again to Galilee.
The two words “left” and “departed” indicate that Jesus made a definite break with what He was doing in Judea. He walked away from a growing controversy. He did go back to Judea but very infrequently. His decision was to avoid any appearance of rivalry between Him and the Baptizer. He did not want any confusion on this point. Jesus and John were both part of God’s plan.
Jesus wanted to avoid what might look like a rivalry between Himself and John. They were not vying between ministries. The Pharisees’ hostility toward Jesus had been growing for months. They had implacable hatred toward Jesus.
Wisdom in ministry requires knowing who our enemies are.
Anyone in ministry knows that they will have opponents. Some will dog faithful ministers wherever they may go or whatever they may do. These people will attempt to impose their own biases on a ministry without respect for the authority of that institution. Some will be implacable in their hostility to leadership.
It will take great wisdom to deal with these kinds of people. It is important to know “what was in a man” (Jn 2:25). Sometimes it is wise to avoid conflict, especially premature conflict. Sometimes it is better to walk away from a controversy than to try to deal with it directly. That is what Jesus did in our passage.