Sunday – January 22, 2023
Word On Worship – Sunday – January 22, 2023
There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light.
The Apostle John turns our attention to John the Baptist. John the Baptist was a very prominent and respected individual. Many came to him to hear him preach, even though his message was a call to repentance. They were content to follow John, and even open to the possibility that he was the Messiah: “While the people were filled with anticipation, and they all pondered in their hearts whether perhaps John could be the Christ” (Luke 3:15). The amazing thing about John the Baptist is that he never performed a miracle or a sign; he only preached and baptized.
John the Apostle was the second disciple of John the Baptist who left him to follow Jesus (John 1:35-42), so it is little wonder that the writer of this Gospel has something to say about John the Baptist. It is interesting that the Apostle John does not refer to the Baptist as “John the Baptist,” but simply as “John.” The emphasis is not on John as a “baptizer,” but on John as a “witness.” John came as a witness to the “light,” that all men might put their trust in Him. John the Baptist was not the light, but only a witness to the light.
John the Baptist’s task was to bear witness to the “light.” His mission was the same as his disciple, John the Apostle: to focus his ministry on the One, so that men might come to believe in Him for salvation. The “light” to which John had been bearing witness had not dawned as yet, nor had Jesus yet been identified as that “light.” John could only speak of the “light” as One who was coming, One who was yet to be revealed. When John tells us that Jesus is the “light,” he is telling us that our Lord is the fulfillment of Israel’s hopes, realized in Messiah, who was symbolized and characterized by light in the Old Testament. Jesus is the “true light,” that is, the final consummation of that “light” foreshadowed in the Old Testament.
This One John has been introducing is Jesus Christ. He is the One of whom John the Baptist bore witness. He is the One who is greater than all. He is greater than John the Baptist; He existed before him. He is greater than the law. He is “full of grace and truth” (verse 14). The law was a revelation of God, written in stone. The Lord Jesus Christ is the revelation of God, manifest in human flesh, who tabernacled among men. He is the full and final revelation of God.