Who is the friend of the Bridegoom (John 3:29)?

Who is the friend of the Bridegoom (John 3:29)?

The friend of the Bridegroom does not represent a group of people but is a designation for John the Baptist. In verses 27-34, John contrasts himself to Christ. Among the several contrasts is the one in verse 29. Christ is the Bridegroom; John is the friend of he Bridegroom. "He must increase, but I must decrease" verse 30 indicates that increasing greatness belongs to the Bridegroom, but the friend of the bridegroom has a passing and fading role.

This is a cultural reference. The fiend of the bridegroom assisted the Jewish groom by making the prior arrangements for his marriage. He brought the couple together. Perhaps the reference in is verse to Johns standing and hearing the bridegroom paints the picture of the best friend of the groom waiting at the bride's home for the arrival of the groom.

All of this is telling. John's water baptism (John 1:26) prepared the people for the coming of the Bridegroom. Christ's baptism with the Spirit (John 1:33) brings the Church, the Bride (Ephesians 5:32) into view.

D. Oliver