John 3:31-36 : “He who comes from above is above all. He who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. What he has seen and heard, of…
John 3:22-30 : After these things, Jesus came with his disciples into the land of Judea. He stayed there with them, and baptized. John also was baptizing in Enon near Salim, because there was much water there. They came, and were…
John 1:35-39 :Again, the next day, John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as he walked, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Jesus…
John 1:24-28 : The ones who had been sent were from the Pharisees. They asked him, “Why then do you baptize, if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize in water, but among…
John 1:19-23: This is John’s testimony, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He declared, and didn’t deny, but he declared, “I am not the Christ.” They asked him, “What then? Are you…
John 1:15 : John testified about him. He cried out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me, for he was before me.'”
I really appreciate this verse. I like to make parenthetical comments when I write (so I really appreciate this part of John). We kind of get around the use of parenthesis today on the web by using hyperlinks. Here John puts in a comment in the text to make sure that we hear it even though it is in the middle of something else.
This particular comment is about John the Baptist testimony concerning Jesus. It is interesting that he mentions it right after his own testimony about the glory of Jesus he saw. One thing to keep in mind is that according to the law of God, a testimony had to be ratified by two witnesses to be acceptable (Deuteronomy 19:15, 2 Corinthians 13:1). John who writes expressed his testimony in verse 14, and then, in verse 15, John the Baptist’s testimony is presented. There will be more about this testimony on verse 19.
If you read more in the Bible about John the Baptist, you learn that he was Jesus’ relative. It is interesting to note that John was older than Jesus in regard to his birth. (Luke 1:36-45) John states here that “He existed before me.” This is a clear statement that he knew that Jesus existed before He was actually born on earth and was not just a man. This truly is a mystery. I don’t know how a person could have existed before they were born, but here we have it. I also realize that I understand very little about how the spiritual world works. If I consider it a little more, I don’t really comprehend many common physical events that occur in our world such as why the heart starts beating or how seeds germinate.
When we really consider this, we realize that we really understand very little in this great world that God made. This is one of the things that causes me to realize that just because I don’t understand something, doesn’t mean it isn’t real or doesn’t exist. This really is a foolish way to think. I am thankful that God challenges my thinking and causes me to be humble about what I know.
As you can see, in the Bible, even the parenthetical statements are very important and that makes sense since these are the words of God.
John 1:6-9 : There came a man, sent from God, whose name was John. The same came as a witness, that he might testify about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but was sent that he might testify about the light. The true light that enlightens everyone was coming into the world.
It’s good to note that the “John” in this passage is not the one who is writing. This is talking about the one known as “John the Baptist.” He was the a prophet just like the Old Testament prophets that God sent. His special purpose was to point the way to Jesus and John talks quite a bit more about it later.
The John who writes makes it clear that John the Baptist, was not “the light.” In other words, John the Baptist should not be confused with Jesus. John was not the light, he was just a man. It’s very important for all of us to remember that we are not the light either. We are just people. If we want to “shine” we need first to come to Jesus and then rely on His power as believers every day.
It’s worth noting that God likes to send people to “testify” about Jesus. As Christians we have been given a similar duty. Jesus sent all of us, much like God sent John.
We also read that the light of Jesus was meant for everyone. It really is a great thing to think about because up to this point, Judaism was only for Jews and those who were willing to become Jews. I think that many assumed that the Messiah would only be for the Jews. God had a plan for the whole world to see the light and this is truly one of the most surprising and wonderful aspects of this new light. It was certainly good news to those of us who were Gentiles.
John covers all of these things in more detail later.