(You can listen to this on audio and pause the audio to follow page links, then, you can resume the audio, when you are ready. Please note that I use page links in lieu of footnotes and references for important study details).
THE GOSPEL OF JOHN – Part 6
John 1:6-8, says,”A man came, one sent from God, and his 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.”
There are several ways to approach this astounding commentary by John the Baptist. One, is to make a narrative or a story about John, his life and mission as having been sent by God; another, is to make it a religious historic narrative. Yet, another way, is to make it a theological commentary. But, any of these methods would only recount what happened and fall woefully short of releasing the power of the Gospel of John into the life of the reader.
The Bible is the inspired, breathed Word of God. It is prophetic, creative and causative. It is alive and sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. We need to apply the Word of God to our lives in this fashion.
The Bible, when read and taken into the heart of a man or woman, releases the power of God and changes both the person and everything that they come in contact with. Nothing, and I repeat, nothing is ever the same again. So, let’s approach these verses for what they are: an oracle of God, spoken by John, as he is inspired by the Holy Spirit. We are going to look through the eyes and the mind of John the Apostle.
John’s personal experience informs us of two major events. The first is that “a man came, one sent by God, and his name was John”. This seems simple enough, on the surface. But, imagine with me, that if you were John the disciple, (son of Zebedee), and, you see, (DIANOIA), the following, as reported in Matthew 3:1-6,
“Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said,
“THE VOICE OF ONE CALLING OUT IN THE WILDERNESS,
‘PREPARE THE WAY OF THE LORD,
MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT!’” Now John himself had a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. At that time Jerusalem was going out to him, and all Judea and all the region around the Jordan; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, as they confessed their sins.”
Based on what you see, how would you be affected? (PSUCHE). Assuming that you are looking through John the Apostle’s eyes, you would immediately know that John the Baptist’s remarks are coming from a prophetic Word found in Isaiah 40:3. Your mind and emotions would probably be reeling with the thought that you could be witnessing prophecy being fulfilled!
Since we know that John the Apostle wrote these words after witnessing this astounding event, he correctly concluded that “a man came, one sent by God and his name was John”.
It is clear, from these verses, that one reason John the Apostle wrote this was in order to convince others of Jesus’ authenticity and for posterity. But, considering the profound and prophetic nature of this event, it must be for a much broader reason. It is an example or a pattern for future generations of disciples to follow!
When Jesus’ mission on earth was complete, He commanded and commissioned His disciples, (both then, and for all future generations), to,
“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to follow all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
God is speaking through the inspired writing of John the Apostle, (PNEUMA), and calling and commissioning you and, me as His disciples, to “Go and make disciples”. He is telling you and me that He is with us always, even to the end of the age!
You cannot, or should not, read these few verses and simply think, “What a wonderful story about John the Apostle and John the Baptist”. These words are the Breath of God, the Word and Spirit of God, (the PNEUMA), prophesying through John, spoken to you and me, saying as Isaiah said, (Isaiah 40:10-11)
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
And do not return there without watering the earth
And making it produce and sprout,
And providing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
So will My word be which goes out of My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the purpose for which I sent it.”
We are now faced to face with the Word of God, calling us to be His disciples on mission! What will you say? What will you, now, do?
Secondly, we are being informed that “He, (John the Baptist), 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.”
What comes next, gives us a clear picture of Jesus as the Messiah, and a clear pattern for our calling and ministry as disciples of Jesus.
In the meantime, meditate on Isaiah 40:10-11 and realize that the Prophetic Word of God is speaking to you and through you, and if you receive this word into your heart YOU WILL NEVER BE THE SAME.
Let’s GO and DO!
Your Brother and Friend,