There is nothing more important that you can do today or any day in 2020 than to listen to and believe in the testimony of John the Baptizer. Listen to his words and see, know the One to whom he points in John 1:14–34.
attention to the voice. John testifies. John the disciple, the author
of the Gospel, introduced another John, John the Baptizer, back in
verse 6. He was sent by God, he came for witness. His purpose was to
give testimony. That is what he does, see verses 15, 19, 32.
Significantly he testifies, verse 15 – present tense, as some
translations reflect. John the Baptizer had been executed during the
public ministry of Jesus, long before John the disciple wrote his
Gospel. The testimony of John continues. It is relevant. The text
repeatedly identifies John’s speaking as testimony. It is
objectively true. Our post-modern world tells you it’s all about
you. If you find peace in Jesus, fine, just don’t try to insist
that anything is objectively true or universally valid. You have your
way, I have mine. Yet even today, our court system refuses to bend to
that kind of subjectivity. John is giving true testimony. He is a
faithful witness. He is testifying not about earthly things, but
matters with eternal consequences.
Continue reading “John on the Witness Stand”
and Christmas celebration seem to go together. In John 1:10–13 the
Apostle makes the point that the Word coming into the world gives to
those who believe in him the right to be children of God.
the world’s rejection of Jesus. The world rejected its Creator! In
v.5 John hinted at the conflict between light and darkness. Now the
world’s rejection of Christ becomes explicit. “World”
occurs three times in v.10, first in its clause each time, and with a
progression from a neutral reference to the creation to identifying
the body of sinful rebellion against God. Although he was in the
world, the world which he had made, it did not know him. The world
refused to recognize him for who he is. It refused to render him the
honor and worship he deserves. Matthew details the murderous intent
of Herod. The people, by and large, simply ignored the greatest event
to that point in the history of the world! Men still ignore it. Yes,
I am disturbed by efforts to root out of public life any mention of
Christ at Christmas time. But the self-centered complacency of our
culture is an even more serious rejection of the eternal Word.
Continue reading “e Children of Christmas”
Lights are prominent in Christmas decorations. John 1:6–9 shows that light is a vital concept to John’s Prologue. John ties in with that emphasis a stress on testimony.
the light! Understand the contrast between John and the Word. Which
John are we talking about? John the disciple? John the Baptizer? The
way John introduces John draws you to reflect on what he, the author,
and John the Baptizer, have in common: they are witnesses to Christ.
Note the contrasts between John and the Word. The Gospel may be
correcting an unduly high view of John’s ministry (cf. Acts 18:25;
19:3). The Word was God. John was sent from God. The Word was light.
John was a witness to that light. Recognize your own role. You are
not central–God is. Yet God has chosen to bring his Word to this
sinful world through you, his church. John was in a unique position
to witness (regarding what was about to come and was actually
happening). You bear witness to what has happened.
Continue reading “The Light of Christmas”
“Where should I begin?” you ask as you begin to tell a true story. Obviously, “At the beginning!” The beginning is where the beloved disciple of Jesus starts when he writes his account of the life of Jesus, the Gospel of John, as you see in John 1:1–5.
at the beginning–with the Word. John uses the term “Word”
to refer to Jesus. It is not until v.14 that the identification is
made. The Word is the eternal Son of God. Logos was used in
Greek culture to refer not only to the spoken word, but also to
unspoken word, thought, or (in philosophy) a basic underlying
principle. Although John uses a term recognized in Greek circles, his
primary influence is not Greek philosophy. For readers and hearers
with a background in the Old Testament, the opening verse recalls
Genesis 1 and the activity of God’s word in creation. God’s speech is
active, Psalm 33:6, and effective, Isaiah 55:11. The term is also
related to the concept of wisdom, cf. Proverbs 8.
Continue reading “In the Beginning”