The Gospel Of John
Chapter 1






  1. John’s purpose had two main goals that should be kept in mind, especially with this opening.
  2. First, he wrote to confirm believers to build faith for greater assurance (Jn 20:31; I Jn 5:13).
  3. Second, he refuted heretics that had corrupted the doctrine of Christ (Jn 20:31; I Jn 2:18-23).
  4. For manner, John presented Jesus as God and Saviour in the most glorious and personal way.
  5. Instead of the life of Christ, as the other three gospels, we get His deity, person, and doctrine.
  6. This book has more of the mystery of Christ and His gospel than the history of them both.
  7. When John spoke, men knew he was unlearned and ignorant (Acts 4:13), but the introduction alone shows inspiration and deals profoundly with the loftiest of subjects. Think Stephen!
  8. For a detailed and thorough introduction.


  1. 1-18 Introduction of Jesus & Preamble of the book
  2. 19-28 John Baptist’s response to Jewish leadership
  3. 29-34 John Baptist’s testimony of Jesus Christ
  4. 35-42 Calling of Andrew and Peter to follow Jesus
  5. 43-51 Calling of Philip and Nathanael to follow Jesus

The Precious Preamble:

  1. A preamble is a preliminary statement in speech or writing; an introductory paragraph, section, or clause; a preface, prologue, introduction. John 1:1-18 outlines the rest of the book.
  2. 1:1-3 introduces the deity of Jesus Christ. See Jn 3:13; 6:62; 8:58; 10:30; 14:9; 17:5; 20:28.
  3. 1:4-5 for life-giving and light. See Jn 1:12-13; 3:3-5,19-21; 5:24; 6:63; 8:12; 17:2-3; I Jn 1:2.
  4. 1:6-8 introduces John the Baptist. See John 1:19-37; 3:23-36; 5:32-36; 10:40-42.
  5. 1:9-13 for division by Him. See John 1:10-12; 2:23-25; 6:44-45; 7:43; 8:30-49; 9:16; 10:19.
  6. 1:14-18 introduces glory of the only begotten Son. See John 3:13,16,18; 11:4; I John 4:9.
  7. 1:15-17 introduces His grace and truth. See John 3:16-18; 4:20-24; 6:37-39; 8:32; 14:6.
  8. Notice how the language of John 1:19 and the verses following is very different and detailed.

The Glorious Goal:

  1. The objective of this gospel is the glorious majesty of Jesus Christ for great faith in Him.
  2. Look at the glory found in the preamble/prologue of the book in the first eighteen verses.
    1. The eternal nature of the Word (Jn 1:1a)
    2. The place of the Word in the Trinity (Jn 1:1b)
    3. The full deity of the Word (Jn 1:1c)
    4. The underived equality of the Word (Jn 1:2)
    5. The role of the Word as Creator of all (Jn 1:3)
    6. The Word is Source of life and light (Jn 1:4)
    7. The depravity of man cannot see Him (Jn 1:5)
    8. The greatest man sent to introduce Him (Jn 1:6-8)
    9. The difference the Word makes in men (Jn 1:9-13)
    10. The Word incarnate is glorious, full of grace and truth (Jn 1:14)
    11. John declared the superiority of Jesus to himself (Jn 1:15)
    12. The bountiful provision of Jesus for His own (Jn 1:16)
    13. The superiority of Jesus to Moses (Jn 1:17)
    14. Jesus is the display of the invisible God (Jn 1:18)

Do you Know the Glory of Jesus by His Names?

  1.  = Advocate, Almighty, Alpha, Altogether Lovely, Amen, Author of Eternal Salvation & Faith.
  2.  = Beginning, Bishop, Blessed & Only Potentate, Bread of Life, Bridegroom, Bright & Morning Star.
  3.  = Captain, Chief among Ten Thousand, Christ, Comforter, Consolation of Israel, Counselor, Creator.
  4.  = Daystar, Desire of all Nations, Door of the Sheep.
  5.  = Emmanuel, Ensign of the People, Eternal Life, Everlasting Father.
  6.  = Faithful, Finisher of our Faith, First Begotten, Firstfruit, Friend of Sinners, Friend closer than Brother.
  7.  = God-Blessed Forever, God manifest in Flesh, God with Us, Good Shepherd, Great God, Great Shepherd.
  8.  = Harmless, Head of All, Heir of All, Helper, High Priest, Holy Child, Horn of Salvation, Husband.
  9.  = I Am, Image of the Invisible God, Immanuel, Intercessor.
  10.  = Jehoshuah, Joshua, Jesus, Judge of Quick and Dead, Just One.
  11.  = King Eternal, Immortal, Invisible … King of Glory, Heaven, Kings, Peace, Righteousness, Saints.
  12.  = Lamb of God, Lamb Slain, Last Adam, Life, Light, Lion, Living Bread, Lord, Lord of Glory-Lords.
  13.  = Man of Sorrows, Master, Mediator, Messiah the Prince, Mighty God, Morning Star.
  14.  = Name Above Every Name, Nazarene.
  15.  = Omega, Omnipotent, Only Begotten Son, Only Potentate, Only Wise God.
  16.  = Passover, Peace, Physician, Prince of Peace, Propitiation for our Sins.
  17.  = Quickening Spirit.
  18.  = Rabbi, Ransom, Redeemer, Resurrection, Righteous Judge, Rock, Root of David, Rose of Sharon.
  19.  = Saviour of the Body & World, Shepherd, Son of God, Son of Man, Spiritual Rock, Star, Stone, Sun.
  20.  = Tender Plant, Testator, True Bread from Heaven, True Light, True Vine, Truth.
  21.  = Undefiled, Unspeakable Gift, Upholder of all Things.
  22.  = Vine.
  23.  = Way, Well of Living Waters, Wisdom of God, Wonderful, Word of God.
  24.  = Express Image of God’s Person.
  25.  = Yes and Amen!
  26.  = Zeal of God!

Names of Jesus by letter .

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

In the beginning.

  1. John started his gospel off about as basic, impressive, and scriptural as possible.
    1. The Bible begins with the same words in Genesis 1:1, which believers knew.
    2. The book of Hebrews begins very gloriously, but John here matched it well.
    3. In the beginning of Genesis 1:1 we have God, and here is the Word of God.
    4. Thus, by John here, the history of the universe is the history of Jesus Christ.
  2. Compare openings of the other gospels; John reached back farther and higher.
    1. Matthew opened with Mary, and traced Jesus back to Abraham (Mat 1:1,18).
    2. Mark opened with John baptizing in the wilderness; Jesus was 30 (Mk 1:4).
    3. Luke opened in the days of Herod, and traced Jesus to Adam (Lu 1:5; 3:38).
    4. John went back to eternity and very high to the existence of the eternal God.
  3. When was the beginning, and what are we to understand by this inspired word?
    1. Beginning. The point of time at which anything begins; absolute, the time when the universe began to be. That in which anything has its rise, or in which its origin is embodied; origin, source, fount.
    2. It is a powerful and profound word, taking us back to a time before any time.
    3. We know from Genesis 1:1 that the beginning was before anything existed.
    4. If you want to feel small, as you should, then think about a non-universe.
    5. Before the world began.The word is used various ways that do not directly relate to the Word of God.
    1. It is used for creation (Gen 1:1; Matt 19:4; 24:21; Mark 10:6; 13:19; John 8:44; Heb 1:10; II Pet 3:4; I John 3:8).
    2. It is used for the Baptist’s ministry introducing Jesus (Luke 1:2; Acts 1:22).
    3. It is used for our Lord Jesus Christ entering into His ministry (John 6:64; 8:25; 15:27; 16:4; I John 2:7; II John 1:5).
    4. It is used for Pentecost and the start of the apostles’ ministry (Acts 11:15).
    5. It is used for Paul’s religious life known well among the Jews (Acts 26:5).
    6. It is used for the Philippians’ conversion as a starting point (Phil 4:15).
    7. It is used for a person or persons’ conversion (I Jn 2:24; 3:11; II Jn 1:5-6).
    8. It is used for the time before a person’s conversion to the truth (II Pet 2:20).
  4. What did John mean by the beginning in his opening about the Word of God?
    1. John used it here for the divine Word of God and also in I John 1:1; 2:13-14.
    2. It is before creation due to the Word creating all things by Himself (Jn 1:3).
    3. It therefore references eternity, the time (or lack thereof) before Genesis 1:1.
    4. The Word was not created, for He was in the very beginning before creation.
    5. Since the Word created all things (1:3), therefore He is Creator, not creature.
    6. If the Word gave being and existence to all things, He is independent of all.
    7. Since existence before creation is eternity, then Jesus Christ is eternal God.
    8. Before the world began.
  5. The Bible tells us about events in the beginning, or eternity, before Genesis 1:1.
    1. James applied a general axiom to the conversion of Gentiles (Acts 15:18), which proves God purposed events in eternity, the beginning of the world.
    2. God promised eternal life by covenant before the world began (Titus 1:2).
    3. God committed to save us by Jesus Christ before the world began (II Ti 1:9).
    4. God chose and predestinated us in Christ before the foundation of the world (Ep 1:4), though neither existed then (the Godman), thus it was by covenant.
    5. God foreordained Jesus to die before the foundation of the world (I Pe 1:20).
    6. God wrote the book of life from the foundation of the world (Re 13:8; 17:8).
    7. God built a heavenly kingdom from the foundation of the world (Mat 25:34).
    8. God purposed Gentiles saved from the beginning of the world (Acts 15:18).
    9. God deserves perpetual praise for salvation from the beginning (II The 2:13).
    10. We have heard secrets from before the world began (Matt 13:35; Eph 3:5,9).
    11. God loved Jesus and duplicated His glory before the world was (Jn 17:5,24).
    12. Before the world began.
  6. Other considerations of the beginning for the Word of God or Jesus Christ.
    1. Jesus, born in Bethlehem, had been going forth from everlasting (Mic 5:2).
    2. Jesus is the beginning – creation, union with God, resurrection (Col 1:18).
    3. Jesus is the beginning of the creation of God: He started and did it (Re 3:14).
    4. Jesus is the beginning and end, before and after all (Rev 1:8; 21:6; 22:13).
    5. God’s word is true from the beginning, but here it is the Bible (Ps 119:160).
    6. This is wisdom personified; it has nothing to do with Jesus (Prov 8:22-23).
    7. God is active and operative in the world from beginning to end (Eccl 3:11).
    8. Man misses God from the beginning (Is 40:21; 41:4,26; 46:10; 48:3,5,7,16).
    9. From the beginning of the world men have been dull and blind (Isaiah 64:4).
  7. What does this in the beginning mean to you? What should it mean to you?
    1. No one has loved you from the beginning … nothing like the love of Christ!
    2. This world and universe is winding down, but before it your Lord knew you.
    3. In the infinity of eternity, without universe, time, or creatures, He had committed to save you for eternity … eternal life … His name (I John 1:2).
    4. When you close a prayer, in Jesus name, Amen, you claim Jehovah God.
    5. When you are overwhelmed, there is One not overwhelmed, your Saviour.

Was the Word.

  1. Note the Spirit’s word – the Word, not the Son, was in the beginning with God.
  2. In the beginning, before time, in eternity, there existed the eternal Word of God.
    1. The God of the Bible, Jehovah, is the self-existent God, I AM THAT I AM.
    2. He inhabits eternity, from everlasting to everlasting (Isaiah 57:15; Ps 90:2)).
    3. This Word is immediately identified as God and also as Him (John 1:1,3-4).
    4. Make the God He was with the Father, and He is the Father in His nature.
    5. What more does a person need to know that the Word here is Jehovah God?
    6. Further, since the context is clearly about God’s Son, Jesus is Jehovah God!
  3. John called Jesus the word of God in several places. Do you know them all?
    1. Here He is as the Word of God and as the Word made flesh (John 1:1,14).
    2. Similarly John called Him the Word of life opening his epistle (I Jn 1:1-2).
    3. When listing the three heavenly witnesses, he used the Word (I John 5:7).
    4. He gave the name Word of God to the triumphant conqueror (Rev 19:13).
  4. Due to much ado made about a Greek work, let us superficially consider Logos.
    1. It is correctly pronounced either of two ways … LOW-goess or LAH-gahss.
    2. Logos. A term used by Greek (esp. Hellenistic and Neo-Platonist) philosophers in certain metaphysical and theological applications developed from one or both of its ordinary senses ‘reason’ and ‘word’; also adopted in three passages of the Johannine writings of the N.T. (where the English versions render it by ‘Word’) as a designation of Jesus Christ; hence employed by Christian theologians, esp. those who were versed in Greek philosophy, as a title of the Second Person of the Trinity. [OED].
    3. In Greek it means … I say; that which is said: word, sentence, speech, story, discourse, account, debate, utterance, a ground, a plea, an opinion, an expectation, to reason; that which is thought: reason, logic, consideration, computation, reckoning; an account, explanation, or narrative.
    4. The Stoic philosophers identified the logos with the divine animating principle pervading the universe.
    5. The Gnostic notion was that the Logos or Word was one of the Aeons that had been created and this one had been united to the man Jesus (A. Barnes).
    6. Derived from it are the suffix ology (knowledge or science) and word logic.
    7. Let us remember the Greeks sought after wisdom and never found any of it.
    8. I hate Greek; it steals God’s words from God’s people; its all Greek to me!
    9. There is no magic or mystery using Greek words, except to mystify hearers.
    10. Some will mock RCC use of Latin and then use Greek for deeper meanings!
  5. There is more superstition in the Greek than there is profit, substance, or value.
    1. I have never heard or read a single verse where light is shed by the Greek.
    2. I do know this – once you choose Greek, you must again select your version.
    3. I do know this – the internal contradictions like Mark 1:2 prove their folly.
    4. I do know this – professional or scholastic esteem by the world requires it.
    5. I do know this – those that demand or esteem the Greek seldom use the KJV.
  6. Since the gospel was foolishness to the Greeks, John did not try to win them.
    1. We have in the introduction indicated that John by the Spirit wrote Gentiles.
    2. John’s severity against Christ heresies in his epistles denies compromise.
    3. He would not have equated Jesus Christ with their theological speculations.
  7. Let us consider the English word – word – and its context here and elsewhere.
    1. Word. I. Speech, utterance, verbal expression. Things said, or something said; speech, talk, discourse, utterance; report, tidings, news, information. II. An element of speech. A combination of vocal sounds, or one such sound, used in a language to express an idea and constituting an ultimate minimal element of speech having a meaning as such. [OED].
    2. The English sense directly above is comparable to the Greek further above.
    3. By its context, consider how the Word of God is a declaration or revelation.
    4. The heavens, part of all things, declares the glory of God (Jn 1:3; Ps 19:1-6).
    5. The Word of God is the light of men by the eternal life He gives (Jn 1:4-5).
    6. He was the true Light that lights every man coming into the world (Jn 1:9).
    7. He was incarnated in man’s flesh for men to see; He revealed God (Jn 1:14).
    8. He brought grace and truth, totally unlike the word Moses brought (Jn 1:17).
    9. No man has ever seen God, but the incarnate Word declared Him (Jn 1:18).
    10. The eternal life with the Father, the Word of life, was manifested (I Jn 1:2).
  8. The Word of God, with human nature as Jesus Christ, revealed God the Father.
    1. Jesus said no man could know the Father but by His revelation (Matt 11:27).
    2. Jesus came to give men an understanding (the Word) of God (I John 5:20).
  9. The Word of God, incarnate as Jesus Christ, is credited with the value of Logos.
    1. Regarding wisdom, Jesus grew in it, yet had all of it (Luke 2:52; Col 2:3).
    2. Regarding wisdom, God made Jesus wisdom unto us (I Cor 1:24,30).
  10. Was John the only scripture writer to use the name Word for God for Jesus?
    1. Most say yes by begging the question – Paul could not have used Word of God for Jesus, because only John used that name for Jesus Christ!
    2. Paul used word of God in a verse usually applied to the Bible (Heb 4:12).
    3. For more about Hebrews 4:12.
    4. Luke wrote that the apostles were eyewitnesses of the word (Luke 1:2).
    5. Peter used it for an incorruptible seed, which lives and abides, and it is kept distinct from the written scriptures following in context (I Peter 1:23,25).
    6. James used it for the Creator who by His will regenerates men, and it is kept distinct from the engrafted following in the context (Jas 1:18,21).
    7. Peter and David used word of God for God or His word (II Pet 3:5; Ps 33:6).
    8. Some try to see the living Word where He is likely not (Gen 15:1,4; Ps 29).
    9. Capitalization was not standardized (Dan 3:25; Is 7:14; 9:6; Rev 1:10; 4:2).

And the Word was with God.

  1. Note the Holy Spirit’s choice of words – the Word, not the Son, was with God.
  2. John’s second descriptive fact to learn about the Word is that He was with God.
    1. The first descriptive fact about the Word was that He was in the beginning.
    2. The third descriptive fact, also contained in this verse, is that He was God.
    3. The fourth descriptive fact, in the next verse, is He was with God in eternity.
    4. The fifth descriptive fact, the third verse, is that the Word created all things.
  3. We understand these five descriptive facts to teach certain general attributes.
    1. First, by the first phrase of 1:1, we understand the Word’s eternal existence.
    2. Second, by the next phrase, we understand He is a distinct Godhead person.
    3. Third, by the third phrase, we know He is God like the God He was with.
    4. Fourth, by the second verse, we know He was eternal like God He was with.
    5. Fifth, by the third verse, we know He is uncreated and Creator of all things.
  4. The Word of God, as God, yet with God and distinct from God, is the Trinity.
    1. We know the Word of God is God by looking ahead to the third phrase.
    2. If the Word of God was God and also was with God, then there is plurality.
    3. Since there is only one God, then there must be plural Persons (Deut 6:4).
  5. Christianity is a monotheistic religion as much as monotheism can be defined.
    1. Monotheism. The doctrine or belief that there is only one God. [OED].
    2. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are widely practiced forms of monotheism.
    3. Judaism and Islam both got their monotheism from the Christian Bible.
    4. Polytheism. Belief in, or worship of, many gods (or more than one God).
    5. Greece, Rome, Mormonism, and especially Hinduism were/are polytheistic.
    6. There is no pantheon or arrangement of multiple deities in Christianity.
    7. Hindus are so blinded that they have 330 million gods or deities to sort out.
  6. There is only one God. Period. There can only be one totally Supreme Being.
    1. This is self-evident if we define and describe God as the Supreme Being.
    2. The scriptures declare it clearly (Deut 6:4; Isaiah 43:10; 44:6,8; I Cor 8:4-6).
    3. God is eternal in both directions without end (Deut 33:27; Ps 90:2; Is 57:15).
    4. For much material about His attributes … see the author’s Knowing God sermon outline.
  7. Our God is self-existent, self-subsistent, infinitely independent (Exodus 3:14).
    1. Before this revelation, I AM THAT I AM, He was Almighty God (Ex 6:3).
    2. Our God’s name is Jehovah, and He is infinitely transcendent to all gods.
    3. His special name of Jehovah is His memorial to all generations (Ex 3:15).
    4. Love every occurrence of Jehovah or its derivatives (Ps 68:4; Re 19:1,3,4,6).
    5. More of God’s name.
  8. Yet, the Bible also indicates and declares a plurality in the Godhead of Jehovah.
    1. Note God created man based on plural and singular pronouns (Gen 1:26-27).
    2. And John, the writer of this gospel, declared three-in-one clearly (I Jn 5:7).
    3. They are the Highest, the Word, and the Spirit (Luke 1:32; Jn 1:1; Is 48:16).
    4. They are also Father, Son, Holy Ghost (Mat 3:16-17; 28:19-20; II Co 13:14).
    5. They are also Spirit, Lord, and God operating in the church (I Cor 10:4-6).
    6. Or they can be the Ancient of Days and the Son of Man of Daniel (Da 7:13).
    7. All three participated in different ways at Jesus’ baptism (Matthew 3:16-17).
  9. We absolutely trust I John 5:7 and consider it as much scripture as any other.
    1. In one verse it states the three-in-one God, which is what we mean by trinity.
    2. Begotten god advocates deny this testimony in their annual Bible sequels.
    3. The first verse you should check in any Bible of any language is I John 5:7.
    4. For I John 5:7 .
    5. For I John 5:7.
    6. For I John 5:7.
  10. There is no difference in nature between these three Persons in the Godhead.
    1. The nature of God is the attributes that makes Him distinctly God (Gal 4:8).
    2. When three are said to be one (I Jn 5:7), they are one in essence and nature.
    3. All three are credited with creation (Job 33:4; John 1:1; Heb 1:3; Rev 4:11).
    4. All three are credited with regeneration (I Pet 3:3; 1:23; John 5:25; Tit 3:5).
    5. All three are credited with resurrection (Gal 1:1; Rom 1:4; John 10:18).
  11. The Bible trinity is far superior to the speculative trinities of any other origin.
    1. The Nicene Creed (RCC) and its adoring followers hold to a heretical trinity.
    2. The Bible has all three Persons without any distinction at all in their nature.
    3. The Bible knows nothing of “God of God” and similar human speculations.
    4. The Bible does not know a begotten god, turning the trinity into paganism.
    5. Rome, John Calvin, and others slander us for denying their manmade trinity.
    6. They proudly say we must use Origen’s, not God’s, words to be orthodox.
  12. They are named for their given roles in creation or especially in our redemption.
    1. They did not need names for each other; they were part of the same nature.
    2. Their names are for us; their names do not alter their absolute equality.
    3. God is not Father of the Word; the Word does not declare Him to the Spirit.
    4. Names are descriptive, Almighty God, Ancient of Days, King of kings, etc.
    5. What is God’s name? It is Jehovah, I AM THAT I AM, for all three Persons.
    6. God is Father in creation of Adam (Lu 3:38) and angels (Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7).
    7. God is Father of Jesus Christ (Lu 1:35; Ro 1:2) and us (Ro 8:15; Gal 4:4-6).
    8. God as Father in the O.T. is rare, usually of Israel or prophetic of Christ.
    9. God as Father of Jesus teaches incarnation at least and Father of us adoption!
    10. God is Holy, all three Persons (Is 6:3); God is spirit, all three Persons (Jn 4:24); but one is called the Holy Spirit; the name is relational, not of nature.
    11. God has seven Spirits (Rev 3:1; 4:5; 5:6). Why? Seven churches in context!
    12. Do not think God has only seven candlesticks or stars (Rev 1:20), or we are plumb out of blessings and hope. Right?
    13. The Bible reveals the Trinity to us in words descriptive of redemption … Father (of Jesus and us) … Word (declarer and revealer of God and truth) … the Holy Spirit (the internal, invisible, hidden operator of holiness).
  13. The oneness doctrine of Pentecostal groups and Unitarians is confused heresy.
    1. William Branham (1909-1965), a wild Pentecostal, promoted the confusion.
    2. Their Jesus is one God, working in three offices: Father, Son, Holy Spirit.
    3. But three offices do not come close to satisfying the witnesses in I John 5:7.
    4. They see name (singular) of Father, Son, and Spirit as Jesus (Matt 28:19-20).

And the Word was God.

  1. Note the Holy Spirit’s clear use of words – the doctrine is simple: Word = God.
    1. The Holy Spirit did not say … the Son was God, as eternal sonship heretics.
    2. The Holy Spirit did not say … the Word was a god, as Russellites imagine.
    3. The Holy Spirit did not say … the Word was a begotten God, as the RCC.
    4. The Holy Spirit did not say … the Word was an Aeon of God, as Gnostics.
    5. The Holy Spirit did not say … the Word was an emanation of God, as Plato.
  2. John’s third descriptive fact to learn about the Word is that the Word was God.
    1. The first descriptive fact about the Word was that He was in the beginning.
    2. The second descriptive fact, also in this same verse, is that He was with God.
    3. The fourth descriptive fact, in the next verse, is He was with God in eternity.
    4. The fifth descriptive fact, the third verse, is that the Word created all things.
  3. We understand these five descriptive facts to teach certain general attributes.
    1. First, by the first phrase of 1:1, we understand the Word’s eternal existence.
    2. Second, by the next phrase, we understand He is a distinct Godhead person.
    3. Third, by the third phrase, we know He is God identical to God He was with.
    4. Fourth, by the second verse, we know He was eternal like God He was with.
    5. Fifth, by the third verse, we know He is uncreated and Creator of all things.
  4. The Word of God, as God, is perfect deity fully equal to the God He was with.
    1. Not only was the Word of God with God, but He was Himself God as well.
    2. If the Word of God was God, then He is not a God or a begotten God, etc.
    3. Since there is only one God, then there must be plural Persons (Deut 6:4).
  5. The deity of Jesus Christ has long been questioned, compromised, and attacked.
    1. God foretold the great enmity between Satan and Jesus in Eden (Gen 3:15).
    2. Satan has long known the humiliating and painful truth Jehovah would promote a man over him, Who would shame and destroy him, which happened 2000 years ago (Gen 3:15; Mat 4:1-11; Luke 4:34; John 12:31; Ep 1:20-23; Col 1:15-17; 2:15; Heb 1:4-14; 2:14; I Pet 3:22; I John 3:8).
    3. Satan hates the Lord Jesus Christ and wants to destroy His glory and kingdom by doctrinal lies, insinuations, caricatures, etc. (John 8:44; 14:30; II Cor 2:17; 4:2-4; 11:1-4,13-15; I Tim 4:1-3; I John 4:1-6; Rev 12:4-5,17).
    4. Philip thought Jesus was Joseph’s son, as did others (John 1:45; Matt 13:55).
    5. Nathanael, like others, dismissed Him due to Nazareth (John 1:46; 7:41,52).
    6. They said John, Elijah, Jeremiah, a prophet, the Son of God (Matt 16:13-17).
    7. The Jews tried to kill Him for saying He was God’s Son (Jn 5:18; 10:30-36).
    8. A theological speculator, Origen (182-251), used Greek philosophy to define the Trinity in terms agreeable to Gnostics. He imagined that God generated the deity of the Son in eternity past, which he understood as an inferior God.
    9. Arius (250-336), rejecting an inferior God as a contradiction in concept, held that the eternal generation introduced by Origen made the Son a creature.
    10. The Council of Nicea, governed by Constantine, ruled against Arius and for Athanasius (295-373), who kept Origen’s pagan language, which has been an idol of Catholic and Protestant Christendom ever since. See the pagan Nicene Creed and read their double talk about “begotten before all worlds.”
    11. Michael Servetus (1511-1553) attacked this heresy; Calvin burned him for it.
    12. Roman Catholics, Protestants, most Baptists, and the Jehovah’s Witnesses are united in holding a begotten god from the speculative language of Origen about the eternal generation of the Son, which is required in all seminaries.
    13. The controversy still rages, with few holding to Bible language and doctrine.
    14. Jesus Christ’s sonship is clearly stated in 1:14, so here is the Word’s deity.
  6. The deity of Jesus Christ is the doctrine that Jesus Christ was and is fully God.
    1. Deity. The estate or rank of a god; godhood; the personality of a god; godship. The divine quality, character, or nature of God; Godhood, divinity; the divine nature and attributes, the Godhead.
    2. Deity is not a Bible word, but Godhead is (Acts 17:29; Rom 1:20; Col 1:9).
    3. Deity is not a Bible word; the word nature is (Gal 4:8; Heb 2:16; II Pet 1:4).
    4. The deity of Jesus Christ is that in His divine nature He was and is perfectly God, without alteration, compromise, dilution, generation, subjection, etc.
  7. The Word of God is perfectly God without any alteration of essence or nature.
    1. First of all, it declares it so right here in this verse. Believe it or be a heretic.
    2. Then it declares it in I John 5:7, where the Word is a member of the Trinity; Jesus did not bear record of Himself with the Father, but the Word did.
    3. The Word became flesh as Jesus Christ, so therefore He must be fully God.
  8. Jesus Christ is fully God; the scriptures confirm this important doctrine plainly.
    1. Prophecy and reality of Jesus is Immanuel – God with us (Is 7:14; Mat 1:23).
    2. Prophecy declared Him the Mighty God and Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6).
    3. The great mystery of true Christians is God manifest in the flesh (I Ti 3:16).
    4. Messianic Psalm 45 declared Jesus to be God and King (Heb 1:8; Ps 45:6-7).
    5. Paul declared and warned the full Godhead was in Jesus’ body (Col 2:8-9).
    6. Jesus declared to the Jews that before Abraham was, I am (John 8:58-59).
    7. Thomas, an apostle, who should know best, called Him God (John 20:28).
    8. The blessed hope of the believer is the appearing of the great God (Tit 2:13).
    9. Jesus said that to have seen Him was to have seen the Father (John 14:9).
    10. Every knee will bow to the only God … to Jesus (Is 45:22-23; Phil 2:10-11).
    11. Jesus is the Almighty Alpha and Omega by comparison (Rev 1:8,11,17-18).
    12. The blessings of Israel included Christ, God blessed for ever (Romans 9:5).
    13. God purchased the church with His own blood, which is Jesus (Acts 20:28).
    14. God created all things, but God says it of Jesus (Ge 1:1; Jn 1:3; Co 1:14-16).
    15. John’s word to prepare the LORD’s way was for Jesus (Is 40:3; Mark 1:3).
    16. LORD of hosts was a stone of stumbling … Jesus (Is 8:13-14; I Pet 2:7-8).
    17. Jesus was a branch of David, LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS (Jer 23:5-6).
    18. Pentecost involved the LORD, even Jesus (Joel 2:32; Ac 2:38-39; 4:10-12).
    19. For Jesus to be equal to God cannot mean other than being God (Phil 2:5-8).
    20. Jesus included Himself in the baptismal formula, so He is God (Matt 28:19).
    21. Jesus declared He and the Father were one in nature; see context (Jn 10:30).
    22. There are many more arguments and connections that could be developed.
    23. Here is another collection of proofs.
  9. False Bible versions attack Jesus Christ’s deity, implicating their source spirit?
    1. We need not deal with the NWT, for it is intentional corruption and a fraud.
    2. But what of … John 1:18 … in the NASB … Jesus is only a begotten God.
    3. But what of … I Timothy 3:16 … He was manifest in the flesh? Who was?
    4. But what of … John 3:13 … which is in heaven are missing from the text.
    5. For more about Bible attacks on Christ’s deity .
  10. Satan wanted to be so much like the Most High, but Jesus is the Most High!
    1. Isaiah quotes the devil saying, “I will be like the most high,” (Isaiah 14:14).
    2. We know from Paul’s warning to Timothy that his sin was pride (I Tim 3:6).
    3. Jesus will fatally destroy the devil – he heard it clearly in Eden (Gen 3:15).
    4. Jesus will torture them – they knew it during His ministry (Mat 8:29; 25:41).
    5. Jesus defeated him at His first coming (Heb 2:14-15; Col 2:15; I John 3:8).
  11. For more about Jesus as Jehovah.
  12. For the name of Jesus.

2 The same was in the beginning with God.

The same.

  1. The Being or Person has not changed: it is the Word, eternal God and with God.
    1. The logical loop created by the Holy Spirit through John is to stop heretics.
    2. This eternal member of the Godhead is unchangeable and absolutely true.
  2. Why the repetition, for there does not appear to be new revelation given here?
    1. Repetition of such important points of identification for Jesus are justified.
    2. It is repeated to guard the doctrine that the Word is as eternal as the Father.
    3. The combination is an axiom of His eternal coexistence as God with God.
    4. By returning to his in the beginning clause, John connected and closed his argument, leaving no loose end whatsoever to form distinctions of the Word.
    5. This states more than the first clause of verse one that the Word was eternal.
    6. This states that the Word was alongside God in their existence from eternity.

Was in the beginning with God.

  1. All the concepts, doctrine, or description of God’s eternity applies to the Word.
  2. John wrote Jesus is the Word made flesh, so all applies to Jesus’ divine nature.
  3. Take any Bible statement of God as eternal; it is true of the Word and of Jesus.
    1. The eternal God with everlasting arms is the Word and Jesus (Deut 33:27).
    2. Long before creation, from everlasting to everlasting, God was (Psalm 90:2).
    3. The glorious God of scripture, and the Word, inhabit eternity (Isaiah 57:15).
    4. The true and living God, with the Word, is an everlasting king (Jer 10:10).
  4. Some Bible statements show the eternality of Jesus Christ directly without God.
    1. Jesus is specifically identified by prophecy as the everlasting Father (Is 9:6).
    2. Israel’s coming ruler, Jesus Christ, had goings from everlasting (Micah 5:2).
    3. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
  5. The phrase with God cannot alter, contradict, or overthrow that He is God (1:1).

What should these verses mean to me?

  1. Jesus Christ in His divine nature has been fully defined for you to believe Him.
  2. You have been equipped with knowledge to reject many heresies against Him.
  3. You know Jesus while JW’s, Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Mormons do not.
  4. You may put your full trust in Him, the Son of God able to deliver you from all.
  5. He committed by covenant in eternity past to fully redeem you as a son of God.
  6. His incarnation was for no other purpose than your salvation for God’s glory.
  7. The full Godhead is committed to redeem you without any possibility of failure.
    1. 1-2 Identity of the Word of God
    2. 1:1a Word is Eternal
    3. 1:1b Word is Part of Trinity
    4. 1:1c Word is God
    5. 1:2 Word is Unbegotten God
    6. 3 Word of God as Creator
    7. 4 Word of God as Saviour
    8. 5 Depravity of Man

3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

All things were made by him.

  1. Remember, John is teaching us about Jesus Christ – Immanuel – God with us.
    1. The Word of God – the divine nature of Jesus Christ – created the universe.
    2. From our perspective this side of Christ, we know Jesus created all things.
    3. Facts about one nature may not be true of the other but are true of the Lord.
    4. Did He grow in wisdom, or does He have all wisdom (Luke 2:52; Col 2:3)?
    5. Did He make all things, or was He Himself made (Ga 4:4; Ro 1:3; Lu 1:35)?
  2. On the basis of the preceding, Jesus is credited with creation, only by the Word.
    1. Both Jesus and the Son created (I Cor 8:6; Eph 3:9; Col 1:16-17; Heb 1:2).
    2. This does not prove Jesus an eternal Son beyond Luke 2:52 an ignorant God.
  3. Jesus must be Jehovah by creating all things, for Jehovah is credited elsewhere.
    1. This is another argument that annihilates Charles Russell’s a god heresies.
    2. Jehovah views creation of all things as a distinguishing fact of His Godhead.
    3. Therefore, the Word = Jehovah; the Word is not a god, but the Creator God.
    4. Consider references that prove Jehovah created all things (II Kgs 19:15; Neh 9:6-7; Job 38:4-7; Psalm 102:24-27; 136:1-9; 146:5-10; Isaiah 40:25-28; 42:5-6; 44:23-24; 45:11-12,18; 48:11-13; 66:1-2; Jer 10:10-13; 27:4-5; 32:16-18; 51:14-19; Zech 12:1; Acts 7:49; 14:15; 17:23-25; Rev 4:11).
    5. The JW’s took their name from Is 43:10-12, but the context is Creator Jesus.
    6. Where the KJV has LORD in caps for Jehovah, the NWT prints out Jehovah.
    7. If the Creator God is Almighty God, the Word is Almighty God by creation.
    8. If the Word is Almighty God by creation, then Jesus is Almighty God by it.

And without him was not any thing made that was made.

  1. If the Word was in the beginning as God and with God, then He is not created.
  2. The Word of God is the uncreated Creator God of all things … and thus Jesus!
  3. The preeminence of Christianity is the fact that its Founder created all things.
    1. How will you compare any other religion? Mohamed was an illiterate trader.
    2. Will you compare Jesus to Buddha, Confucius, Vishnu, or Joseph Smith?
  4. When the Bible says, Immanuel – God with us, it means Creator of the universe.
  5. From divine identity in verses 1-2, John gave the Word creation, now salvation.

4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

In him was life.

  1. There are basically two options for this verse about the life and light of men.
    1. It is mere human reason or conscience that gives general light to all men.
    2. It is eternal and vital life that gives spiritual light only to children of God.
  2. It is important to remember John 1:1-18 is a preamble or prologue to the book.
    1. Therefore, there are short statements made here without much elaboration.
    2. See the short outline at the beginning that identifies 1:1-18 as the preamble.
    3. He briefly introduced John (1:6-8), then gave the details (1:15-37; 3:23-36).
    4. From the preamble (1:6-8), you can hardly tell if the Baptist or another John.
    5. Therefore, short statements made here without detail must be used carefully.
  3. The Word of God Himself is the Word of Life and eternal life (I John 1:1-2).
    1. He is so full of life and the power of life – His name is I AM THAT I AM.
    2. Since He created all things (1:3), He gave life to all the things needing it.
    3. He is the origin and source of life; He gave everything breath (Acts 17:25).
  4. He is life and eternal life in the most potent way possible, even His own life.
    1. He gave the first man life (Ge 2:7); He holds us in life (Ps 66:9; I Sa 25:29).
    2. He has power to lay down His life and to take it up again (John 10:17-18).
    3. He could not be held by death (Ac 2:24); He will ransom us (I Co 15:54-57).
    4. He has keys of hell and death (Rev 1:18); He destroyed its power (He 2:14).
    5. He will come with life for us (Col 3:4); He is the Prince of life (Acts 3:15).
    6. Your life now is by Christ (Gal 2:20); He will give the tree of life (Rev 2:7).
  5.  But He is preeminently the origin and source of eternal life that He gives some.
    1. John wrote much about eternal life (Jn 3:15-16; 5:39; 6:54,68; 10:28; 17:2).
    2. God promised eternal life to His elect through Jesus (II Tim 1:1; Titus 1:2).
    3. God the Father gave Jesus the authority to raise the dead (John 5:21-29).
    4. He is the resurrection and life, and the way, truth, and life (Jn 11:25; 14:6).
    5. The first Adam was a living soul, but Jesus a quickening spirit (I Cor 15:45).
    6. As the second Adam, He gives eternal life to reign in life (Romans 5:17,21).
    7. John says much of vital life (John 1:13; 3:3-8; 5:24; 6:44; 8:47; 17:2-3; etc.).
    8. He that hath the Son hath life; He that hath not Him hath not (I Jn 5:11-13).
  6. In the Word of God, in Jesus our Lord, was eternal life and the gift of vital life.
    1. The life under consideration results in light, which is eternal and vital life.
    2. Jesus is the Source and Giver of this life; it was not merely His for Himself.
    3. God the Father had life in Himself, and He gave it to the Son (John 5:21-29).
    4. The Holy Spirit quickens into life; without it there is no light (John 6:62-66).

And the life was the light of men.

  1. There are basically two options for this verse about the life and light of men.
    1. It is mere human reason or conscience that gives general light to all men.
    2. It is eternal and vital life that gives spiritual light only to children of God.
  2. It is important to remember John 1:1-18 is a preamble or prologue to the book.
    1. Therefore, there are short statements made here without much elaboration.
    2. See the short outline at the beginning that identifies 1:1-18 as the preamble.
    3. He briefly introduced John (1:6-8), then gave the details (1:15-37; 3:23-36).
    4. From the preamble (1:6-8), you can hardly tell if the Baptist or another John.
    5. Therefore, short statements made here without detail must be used carefully.
  3. We choose by immediate context and all of John for eternal life for gospel light.
    1. We see transition from Christ as Deity (1:1-3) to Christ as Redeemer (1:4-5).
    2. Creation light is Psalm 19:1-6 and Romans 1:18-25; it is not by life in Him.
    3. Conscience light is Roman 2:12-16 and Prov 20:27; it is not by life in Him.
    4. Such life and light does not extend to infants, imbeciles, idiots, or such like.
    5. Light here is not comprehended (1:5), but creation and conscience are fully.
    6. What darkness is in John, brute beast or spiritual darkness (Jn 3:19-21; etc.)?
    7. John says much of vital life (John 1:13; 3:3-8; 5:24; 6:44; 8:47; 17:2-3; etc.).
    8. What is next? John preaching to base human reason, or about the Messiah?
    9. Can it be creation or conscience, since there was both in the O.T.? Is this description from the beginning or from the first advent of the Messiah?
    10. The life was not light for men, but rather was the light of men; who then did it enlighten? the whole human race? for there is no light without life in men.
  4. Jesus gives eternal life so His elect might know God and His Son (John 17:2-3).
    1. The understanding of God and Christ via faith is by eternal life (I John 5:20).
    2. Belief in Jesus Christ is evidence of prior life (John 5:24; I John 5:1,4; 4:15).
    3. The Ephesians were in darkness until quickened by grace (Eph 2:1-3; 5:8).
    4. If you believe God’s record of Jesus Christ, it proves you have eternal life.
    5. Light is the evidence of eternal life, for you would not see or care otherwise.
    6. Following Jesus saves from darkness by having the light of life (John 8:12).
    7. God’s spiritual operation on men includes the gift of life for spiritual light (John 1:13; 3:3-8; 5:24-29; 6:44-45,62-66; 8:43,47; 10:26-29; 17:2-3; etc.).
    8. This operation is sovereign and monergistic for the elect (II Cor 2:14-17; 4:1-7; II Tim 2:10; Eph 2:1-3; Phil 2:12-13; Jas 1:18-21; I Pet 1:21-23; etc.).
  5. It is heresy to teach that Jesus Christ is the light, and the light is the life of men.
    1. Men must have life before they can see light, just as the next verse declares.
    2. Without life, men love darkness over light; they will not come (Jn 3:18-21).
    3. The devil blinds the minds of all unsaved men to not see light (II Cor 4:2-4).
    4. God shines in men’s hearts by light-giving force like creation (II Cor 4:5-6).
    5. You are not enlightened to get life; you are given life to then be enlightened.

5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

And the light shineth in darkness.

  1. The light here is the Word of God, Jesus our Lord, with His life-giving power.
    1. Follow the word light down through 1:11, and you will see it is Jesus Christ.
    2. It is also the life and light He gives, for 1:9 declares both are true, as Jn 8:12.
    3. This was true of John Baptist also, who was a light and gave light (Jn 5:35).
    4. Through John, the light of Christ is never creation, conscience, reason, etc.
  2. What is the darkness here, in light of interpretive assumptions made thus far?
    1. It cannot be animal darkness below human reason and conscience, but that is what we must reason if 1:4 is applied to creation, reason, conscience, etc.
    2. This must be spiritual darkness that still exists after creation and conscience.
  3. Jesus fulfilled prophecies of a great light (Is 9:2; 42:6-7; 60:1-3; Matt 4:12-17).
    1. He was the light of the world; faith saved from darkness (John 8:12; 12:46).
    2. Light prophesied and fulfilled in Jesus was gospel light of a spiritual sort.
    3. This was new light that dispelled Jewish darkness under the old covenant.
  4. As John shifted to Jesus and redemption, he assumed and taught total depravity.
    1. Jesus is Light of the world, but man rejects it (John 3:18-21; Job 24:13-17).
    2. Though they had timed prophecies and many miracles, they loved darkness.
  5. We are Gentiles – dark ones (Acts 11:18; 13:47-48; 14:27; 17:29-31; I Jn 2:8).
    1. But Christ’s light shined to us (Romans 15:9-16; Eph 2:11-18; I Tim 3:16).
    2. Let us make sure that there is no darkness in us at all (I John 1:5-6; 2:9-11).

And the darkness comprehended it not.

  1. This is incredibly terrible – as it is worded just five verses later (John 1:10).
    1. How could the Creator God be here in His world to be ignored and rejected?
    2. This should cause personal and tangible hatred for your spiritual depravity.
    3. For much more about depravity.
  2. What is the darkness here? The spiritual darkness of man’s corruption in sin.
    1. It cannot be animal darkness below human reason and conscience, but that is what we must reason if 1:4 is applied to creation, reason, conscience, etc.
    2. This must be spiritual darkness that still exists after creation and conscience.
  3. What is comprehend here? What the natural man cannot or will not do to Christ.
    1. Comprehend. To grasp with the mind, conceive fully or adequately, understand, ‘take in’. Compare such uses in Job 37:5 and Ephesians 3:18.
    2. Natural man cannot discern/know, comprehend, spiritual things (I Cor 2:14).
    3. Jesus said they can discern weather … but not God on earth (Matt 16:1-4).
    4. Jesus taught even a man rising from the dead would not help (Lu 16:27-31).
  4. Natural man does comprehend the false interpretations put on the light by some.
    1. He comprehends the light of creation perfectly (Ps 19:1-6; Rom 1:18-25).
    2. He comprehends the light of conscience perfectly (Rom 2:12-16; Pr 20:27).
  5. Our Lord’s exchanges with the Jews are incredibly frustrating (John 12:34-41).
    1. They that had advantage for spiritual light above all others chose to be blind.
    2. And in judicial judgment, God sent them blindness in judgment (Is 6:9-13).
  6. There are consequences for rejecting the light of all kind that God freely offers.
    1. Lady Wisdom gave harsh warning about rejecting her (Pr 1:20-33; 8:32-36).
    2. Without excuse due to truth, He turns men to reprobate minds (Ro 1:20,28).
    3. Since man rejected God’s light, He has eternal darkness for him (Jude 1:13).

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

There was a man sent from God.

  1. In six verses John moves from the Word in the beginning to a Baptist preacher.
    1. Over 4000 years of world history are summarized very briefly about Jesus.
    2. This is no ordinary Baptist preacher; this is the greatest man born of women.
    3. Any real study of the life of Jesus of Nazareth must include John the Baptist.
    4. The gospel dispensation began with this Baptist (Mark 1:1; Luke 16:16).
  2. John Baptist was not only prophesied earlier but his birth had related miracles.
    1. He cried out with comfort for Israel (Mk 1:1-12; Is 40:1-11; Mal 3:1; 4:5-6).
    2. Both Zacharias and Elisabeth were descendants of priestly Aaron (Luke 1:5).
    3. His birth was to a barren woman, announced by angels (Luke 1:5-25,57-80).
    4. Zacharias doubted Gabriel, so he was left dumb until birth (Luke 1:18-20).
    5. He leaped in his mother’s womb for joy when near Jesus (Luke 1:36-56).
    6. Elisabeth was a cousin of Mary, who had been born into Judah (Luke 1:36).
  3. John was the prophesied Elijah the prophet foretold by Malachi (Mal 4:5-6).
    1. The Old Testament ended with a prophecy of John coming to warn Israel.
    2. Jesus settled once and for all that John was Elijah (Matt 11:1-19; 17:1-13).
    3. As Gabriel foretold, he came in the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:17).
    4. When John denied being Elijah, he only meant literally for Jews (John 1:21).
    5. He followed the Nazarites about wine and strong drink (Luke 1:15; 7:33-35).
    6. He was filled with the Spirit from his mother’s womb (Luke 1:15,39-44).
    7. His ministry and purpose was to make Jesus manifest to Israel (John 1:31).
    8. He turned many to God, but he did not stop God’s curse (Lu 1:16; Mal 4:6).
    9. He was never baptized, and he baptized Jesus against his will (Mat 3:13-15).
    10. For much more detail of this prophecy.
  4. A God-sent man and ministry may be very different than ministers sent by men.
    1. It is good to flush ideas derived from men for appearance or pulpit presence.
    2. For example, Joel-Victoria Osteen do not even slightly resemble ministers.
    3. His clothes were camel’s hair tied by a leather girdle at his waist (Mark 1:6).
    4. His diet was locusts and wild honey – nothing pasteurized, folks (Mark 1:6).
    5. He rejected the ordinary fare or menu of Jews – bread and wine (Luke 7:33).
    6. He was abrupt, bold, forceful like Elijah (Matt 3:7-12; 14:1-5; Luke 1:17).
    7. He demanded repentance of hearers with practical warnings (Luke 3:10-14).
    8. John was beheaded by a wicked woman and her daughter (Matt 14:6-12).
    9. Jesus highly praised John the Baptist before he was beheaded (Mat 11:7-15).
    10. For more of a rude and instant ministry.
  5. Let it be declared with authority that God only sends men for ministerial work.
    1. A man that desires the work of a bishop desires a good work (I Tim 3:1).
    2. As qualifications are listed, a bishop must have only one wife (I Tim 3:2).
    3. It is wrong for women to do public teaching (I Tim 2:11-12; I Cor 14:34-35).
    4. It is even wrong for a woman to ask questions in a meeting (I Cor 14:34-35).
    5. Ability or desire by a woman does not alter the authority or rule of scripture.
    6. Women preachers is merely a symptom of perilous times (II Tim 3:1 – 4:4).
  6. Without being sent by God a man does not have a legitimate, rightful ministry.
    1. No man is to take a ministerial office without a scriptural mandate (He 5:4).
    2. Desire proves nothing; another must qualify him (I Tim 3:1-15; Tit 1:5-9).
    3. Ability, consistent with any calling or profession, is the strongest evidence.
  7. John’s ministry was to announce and present Jesus as the Messiah to Israel.
    1. He did not do miracles, but his testimony of Jesus was true (John 10:39-42).
    2. Different from John, Jesus had many miracles for confirmation (Jn 5:31-36).
    3. His baptism of Jesus fulfilled 69 weeks of Daniel’s prophecy (Dan 9:24-27).
    4. For the 70-weeks prophecy.

Whose name was John.

  1. The man sent from God to announce the Word made flesh was John the Baptist.
  2. An angel gave the new name of John to his father Zacharias (Luke 1:13,59-64).
  3. The name John, when from the Hebrew, is the Greek Joannes, from Johanan.
    1. It was a name of John Mark (Acts 12:12) and a relative of Annas (Acts 4:6).
    2. It is a contraction Johanan (27 times in O.T.) of Jehohanan (six times O.T.).
    3. Jehohanan = Jehovah hath been gracious; this is clearly true of the Baptist.
    4. John = grace, and he first published the grace of God through Jesus Christ.
    5. Note repetitive statements of grace in Christ by John Baptist (John 1:16-17).
  4. He was not just John; He was John the Baptist or John Baptist (Matt 3:1; 14:8).
    1. He was known by this appellation by Jesus, friends, enemies, and all men.
    2. Baptist. Transliterated Greek baptizo to dip, immerse, or submerge in water.
    3. Any definition of the word different from this is willful ignorance or malice.
    4. Proof #1: John only baptized by immersion (Mat 3:13,16; Mk 1:9; Jn 3:23).
    5. Proof #2: The apostles immersed (Ac 8:38-39; Ro 6:4-6; Co 2:12; I Pe 3:21).
    6. Proof #3: The Greek Orthodox, Greek experts, immerse infants for baptism.
    7. For much more about baptism.
  5. Never be ashamed to be known as a Baptist, though very despised by the world.
    1. Baptists have been called Anabaptists by enemies for so-called rebaptizing.
    2. Baptists usually dislike this name, for they never thought Rome’s a baptism.
    3. Baptists have always been the greatest lovers and disciples of Jesus Christ.
    4. Their name is by the Spirit, and they follow their Lord’s example in baptism.

7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

The same came for a witness.

  1. John’s purpose, role, and work was to testify or witness of Jesus of Nazareth.
    1. John had a very specific sign to identify Messiah – the Spirit (John 1:31-34).
    2. He declared Jesus the Lamb of God, and he lost two disciples (Jn 1:35-37).
    3. With prophecies pointing to then, John told of a holy One coming after Him.
  2. Much or most of what you believe is by the testimony or witness of others.
  3. Thus, the apostles had to have been eyewitnesses of the risen Lord Jesus Christ.

To bear witness of the Light.

  1. Jesus was and is the Light of the world, first introduced by John earlier (1:4-5).
  2. Though John was a burning and shining light, he was not like Jesus (John 5:35).
  3. John was a special preacher to identify Jesus Christ to Israel by word and deed.

That all men through him might believe.

  1. Though limited to Judea and surrounding area, John was not otherwise limited.
    1. He did all he could to be a voice crying in the wilderness, though only local.
    2. It was not the secret or revealed will of God for all men to believe by John.
    3. We can either keep all men as all kinds of men or the elect men in context.
  2. The all men here must be severely restricted, just as it is in similar contexts.
    1. Do you think it includes you, Cain, Hitler, Balaam, Janis Joplin, or Cher?
    2. How far did Paul go to be all things to all men by all means (I Cor 9:22)?
    3. How far will you push God’s will to have all men saved to truth (I Tim 2:4)?
    4. How many actually, truly went to hear John and were baptized (Mark 1:5)?
    5. Learn to think all kinds without distinction, rather than all without exception.
    6. Learn to think a large number or the general event, not precise universalism.
    7. An excellent explanation of the use of the word all is I Timothy 6:10, where all evil is severely restricted to all kinds of evil by elementary reasoning.
    8. Another excellent example is all the world in Luke 1:2, which is very few.
  3. John’s ministry was sufficient, but it was not enough to avert a curse on Israel.
    1. John presented Jesus as Christ and turned many to righteousness (Lu 1:15).
    2. Publicans and harlots believed him, but religious ones did not (Matt 21:32).
    3. Not enough of the nation repented to turn away promised wrath (Mal 4:5-6).
  4. The only ones John could help believe were those given life by Jesus Christ.
    1. No other apostle is as careful as the apostle John to require life before faith.
    2. His gospel shows priority (John 1:12-13; 3:3; 5:24; 8:43,47; 10:26-28; etc.).
    3. He declares the same order in his epistle (I John 4:15; 5:1,4-5,13; 3:23-24).

8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

He was not that Light.

  1. John was a burning and a shining light (John 5:35), but not like Jesus Christ.
  2. Though John the Baptist was great, he did not compare, as admitted, to Jesus.
    1. He declared Jesus too great for him to loose or carry His shoes (Ac 13:25).
    2. He declared that he himself needed to decrease and Christ increase (Jn 3:30).
  3. Every minister is a light, but in an inferior way to the light of life (Acts 13:47).
  4. Every believer is a light, but in an inferior way to the light of life (Mat 5:14-16).

But was sent to bear witness of that Light.

  1. God sent a special Baptist preacher to announce the arrival of Jesus the Christ.
  2. With such a special ministry, Jesus said he was the greatest born of a woman.
  3. Jesus was special for many reasons, but one is the man that announced Him.
  4. Jesus is the Light of the world, and it is our privilege to point men to His light.

9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

That was the true Light.

  1. John was a burning and shining light (John 5:35), but He was not Jesus Christ.
  2. John, Paul, all ministers, and all believers are lights, but not the real, true Light.
  3. John could not light men like Jesus did, for Jesus had the life that lighted men.
  4. No other preacher, Baptist or otherwise, can light men. Only Jesus gives life.
  5. No one, not John or Paul, can compare to the Eternal Life with the Father.

Which lighteth every man.

  1. There are basically two options for these verses about the life and light of men.
    1. It is mere human reason or conscience that gives general light to all men.
    2. It is eternal and vital life that gives spiritual light only to children of God.
  2. It is important to remember John 1:1-18 is a preamble or prologue to the book.
    1. Therefore, there are short statements made here without much elaboration.
    2. See the short outline at the beginning that identifies 1:1-18 as the preamble.
    3. He briefly introduced John (1:6-8), then gave the details (1:15-37; 3:23-36).
    4. From the preamble (1:6-8), you can hardly tell if the Baptist or another John.
    5. Therefore, short statements made here without detail must be used carefully.
  3. Two issues must be answered. What is the lighting here? Who is every man?
    1. We take the position this is the gift of eternal life to the elect to know Christ.
    2. First, since John’s universal terms are vague, we let the verb drive the sense.
    3. Second, the context immediately next is sovereign grace in regeneration.
    4. Third, the only life and light in the rest of the Bible is eternal life to see God.
  4. The lighting in context is the light of life, which is a very special light indeed.
    1. This is not an offer of light; this is actual lighting of men coming into world.
    2. John had already identified the Word as having life that lightened men (1:4).
    3. Christ’s light shown in the world, but depraved men did not grasp it (1:5).
    4. John Baptist was a light, but he was not the real, true light of Christ (1:6-8).
    5. Therefore, this lighting is one based on eternal life given by the Lord to men.
    6. Lighting men by the gift of eternal life is consistent with John elsewhere and the rest of scripture (John 1:10-13; 8:12; Eph 2:1-3; 5:8; I Thess 5:4-10).
    7. Not all men are lighted; most are in darkness and hate light (John 3:19-21).
    8. Men get lightened by regeneration leading to conversion (John 12:35-36,46).
    9. The Spirit must quicken (regenerate) men to hear Christ (Jn 6:63; 8:43,47).
    10. For any man to have light, he must be lighted by the Light, which is Jesus.
    11. This cannot be light of creation, providence, or conscience, for the world and His own, both in the immediate context, did not know Him or receive Him.
    12. Context continues the difference by regeneration (Jn 1:11-13; 3:3-8; 5:24).
    13. The light was not comprehended (1:5), but creation and conscience are.
    14. The great contrast is those born of God are able and actually do receive Him.
    15. The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus is only for the elect (Rom 8:1-4).
    16. This is not conscience, since by Christ, and it was before Christ (Pr 20:27).
  5. Who is the every man that Christ lightens, which men also come into the world?
    1. Not all men are lighted; the next verse says the world knew him not (1:10).
    2. Is every man in the world lightened by Christ, which requires life by Christ?
    3. Not all men are lighted; most are in darkness and hate light (John 3:19-21).
    4. Jesus also came to keep some men in darkness (John 9:39-41; Matt 13:9-17).
    5. Should the every man here bother us any more than it does in Hebrews 2:9?
    6. Are all taught of God by use of every man drawn to Christ (John 6:44-45).
    7. The extent of every man cannot be more than all the men actually lightened.
    8. Examples show every man restricted by context (Mark 8:25; 15:24; Luke 16:16; John 2:10; 6:45; 7:53; Rom 12:3; I Cor 3:5; II Cor 4:2; Col 1:28).
    9. It can be every kind of men, some men of every kind, every child of God, etc.
    10. Every man is limited by context to the lighted, which is only those with life.
    11. Most all men are in darkness and do not have the light of life (John 8:12).
    12. The understanding of most Gentiles is without light or life (Eph 4:17-19).
    13. Every man coming into the world and lighted is lighted only by the Messiah.
    14. This is the start of the gospel lighting men beyond the boundaries of Israel.
    15. Universal words limited by context or every kind are common in the Bible.
  6. Why did John choose words to mislead Arminians and make us rightly divide?
    1. Because God wrote the Bible for the goals of His own glory and our profit.
    2. Author of Confusion.

That cometh into the world.

  1. There are no other men than those that come into the world, so what is meant?
  2. This is the first of 59 uses by John of the word world, the other gospels only 32.
  3. John’s use of world here is no more than the earthly state of human existence.
  4. There is no reason yet to alter the first four occurrences of world very much.
  5. Yet, there is a world in John that is given the gift of eternal life (John 3:16-17).

10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

He was in the world.

  1. What a terrible indictment of humanity for their blind ignorance of God’s Son.
  2. The Word was in the world in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
  3. The eternal, unbegotten God that created all things visited and dwelt on earth.
  4. This is the first and maybe greatest fact of the mystery of godliness (I Ti 3:16).
  5. Consider what happened to the Judean skies when many angels announced it.

And the world was made by him.

  1. Every creature, rational and irrational and inanimate, had been created by Him.
  2. The whole sphere of earthly existence for men had been created by the Messiah.
  3. How can rational creatures living on this earth ignore and reject their Creator?
  4. Is it even possible to imagine a comparison in our minds of this great calamity?

And the world knew him not.

  1. This is incredible to consider – that worldly men had no idea of God on earth.
  2. But some did know, love, obey, and die for Christ … were they in the world?
  3. There have been men that have known God from Abel right down to Anna.
  4. What will you do right now to make up for most other men ignoring Him?

11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

He came unto his own.

  1. He came to Jews, the lost sheep of Israel, and not to others (Matt 15:24; 10:6).
  2. From prophecy to reality, the virgin-born Son of God was for Israel (Gal 4:4).
  3. The apostles understood this priority from prophecy (Acts 3:25-26; Rom 9:5).
  4. Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision, the Jews of Israel (Rom 15:8).
  5. The intent had always been to raise up a Saviour in Israel (Is 7:14; 9:6-7; etc.).

And his own received him not.

  1. Though the Messiah was sent to Israel, they did not receive their own Saviour.
  2. In spite of prophets, prophecies, apostles, they rejected the Lord Jesus Christ.
  3. The ox knows its owner and the ass its master’s crib, but Israel did not know the arrival of Jesus Christ, even with a multitude of stupendous signs (Isaiah 1:3).
  4. Even His own brothers did not believe on Him until His resurrection (John 7:5).
  5. This was a proper and righteous judgment on a wicked nation (John 12:37-41).
  6. Be ready always to divide words – many of His own did receive Him (Jn 1:12).

12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

But as many as received him.

  1. Rejoice in the inspired disjunctive – but – for the light of life made a difference.
  2. In spite of the previous verse stating that His own received Him not, some did.
  3. The historical narrative continued, stating exceptions to the previous generality.
  4. Natural man cannot and will not receive Christ, even by the Spirit (I Cor 2:14).
  5. To receive Christ is to believe on Him as Son of God; see last clause of 1:12.
  6. To receive Christ is to accept and believe His doctrine and duties (Col 2:5-9).

To them gave he power to become the sons of God.

  1. Jesus, the Word of God made flesh, gave power to some to become God’s sons.
    1. Those that received Jesus had His power change them to become His sons.
    2. Those that received Jesus were given authority, privilege, right of His sons.
  2. What is the order? Receive Christ or become God’s sons? What is the order?
    1. There is no proof thus far, for both verbs are past tense – received and gave.
    2. The priority or timing of actions is determined by one thing – verb tenses.
    3. The order of verbs matters little, especially when context declares priority.
    4. For example, the verb tenses in I John 4:15 overthrow the order of the verbs.
  3. How did you become the child of your parents? By what process did it occur?
    1. They generated and procreated you by a choice of lovemaking to conceive!
    2. In the same way you become God’s Son, by His loving choice to regenerate!
    3. You are no more involved in your second birth than you were in your first.

Even to them that believe on his name.

  1. Even. adverb. Prefixed to a subject, object, or predicate, or to the expression of a qualifying circumstance, to emphasize its identity. Also in 16-17th century (hence still archaic after Bible use) serving to introduce an epexegesis; = ‘namely’, ‘that is to say’. Compare Bible usage in John 8:41; 15:26; I Co 15:24.
    1. It is italicized because the KJV translators honestly admitted interpolation.
    2. Do we trust italicized words? Jesus argued from one (Mat 22:31-32; Ex 3:6).
  2. Believe is present tense. What happened to ‘d’ to lose the context’s past tense?
    1. We trust the word of God at the word level, even for one letter (Gal 3:16).
    2. John shifted from a past tense historical narrative to believers in the present.
    3. The difference of a single letter makes a big difference and agrees with 1:13.
    4. Now we have priority by verb tenses … He gave power to those that believe.
    5. The order and priority of salvation is His power in regeneration before faith.
  3. This precious verse is not a complete sentence and does not end with a period.
    1. It is heresy to memorize and preach this verse while ignoring its second half.
    2. Arminians could not care less about what follows, for they totally reject it.
    3. They adore their manmade heresy of decisional regeneration against 1:13.
  4. Regeneration and conversion should be carefully defined and rightly ordered.
    1. The vast majority of Christians have a formula for you to be born again.
    2. They want you to accept Jesus, pray a prayer, get baptized, underground, etc.
    3. But it is clear from this sentence and the Bible that regeneration comes first.
    4. Regeneration is God’s instantaneous work to give the elect a new nature.
    5. Conversion is the educational process lasting a lifetime to conform to Christ.
    6. Definitions and timing separate this salvation truth from most all Christians.
  5. These documents are very important to rightly identify and time the new birth.
    1. Five phases.
    2. Details about being born again.
    3. Regeneration-Conversion.
    4. When was Cornelius Saved?
    5. Calvinism Corrected.
    6. For right order of the Three ‘B’s.
    7. Grammar of regeneration.

13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Which were born.

  1. What plurality was born – not by three rejected means – but by one true means?
    1. The plural pronoun which refers to a plurality of those that believe on Christ.
    2. The plural verb were refers to this plurality of those believing on the Lord.
    3. Those that received Jesus Christ were the exact same ones believing on Him.
    4. Those believing on Jesus Christ in the present were already the sons of God.
  2. When were they born – based on actual verb tenses – rather than order of verbs?
    1. The phrase were born is a plural number, passive voice, present-perfect verb tense, demanding the action was finished, or perfected, before the present.
    2. Rejoice in the grammar of regeneration, which demands birth before faith.
    3. Of course they were born naturally before faith, but this is being born again.
    4. Let it be settled once and for all time, regeneration always precedes faith.
    5. Grammar of regeneration.

Not of blood.

  1. Becoming a child of God has nothing to do with natural descent, pedigree, etc.
  2. The Jews especially had this problem, for they trusted in Abraham (Luke 3:8).
    1. Descent and nationalism were real problems of Jews (Is 48:1-8; Ro 2:17-29).
    2. Paul declared Abraham’s children are not the children of God (Rom 9:6-8).
    3. We are the seed of Abraham, for we are Christ’s, his true Seed (Ga 3:16,29).
  3. Today there are British Israelites and similar sects that trust in vain genealogies.

Nor of the will of the flesh.

  1. Becoming a child of God has nothing to do with your natural will or choice.
  2. This phrase condemns the decisional regeneration heresy of Arminian fools.
    1. These heretics will do anything to elicit a choice by the flesh to get saved.
    2. They talk ad nauseam about the simplicity of getting yourself born again.
    3. Prior to being born again, all you have is a flesh nature that is denied here.
    4. Not only is the will of the flesh denied, but it is impossible for it to so will.
    5. A man in the flesh cannot and will not please God; he is a depraved rebel.
  3. God’s compassion and mercy are by His own will, not man’s (Rom 9:15-16).
    1. If you ever will good to God, it is He that worked it in you (Phil 2:12-13).
    2. Only God’s will is active (John 3:8; 5:21; Eph 1:5; Jas 1:18; Heb 10:9-10).
  4. What is the will of the flesh that is rejected here as the means of regeneration?
    1. You have two natures – one by first birth and one by spiritual birth (Jn 3:6).
    2. The will of the flesh is all you have before regeneration – the sinful you.
    3. Therefore, this phrase denies any choice or act of will before regeneration!
    4. Until you are born again, this is the only will you have – that of the flesh.
    5. Paul denied that anything you do in the flesh can please God (Rom 8:7-8).

Nor of the will of man.

  1. Becoming a child of God has nothing to do with the will of anyone outside you.
  2. This phrase condemns parental efforts to save infants as in Roman Catholicism.
    1. By far the most popular method of salvation of Christians is infant baptism.
    2. Parents take children to some priest to be baptized to become God’s child.
    3. The parents choose godparents to guarantee the child of God will be taught.
  3. There is nothing a parent can do to assist or cooperate for salvation (Ps 49:6-9).
  4. No other man has any influence on you being born again, except for One Man!
    1. The work of salvation is all found in one man’s obedience (Rom 5:12-19).
    2. There is no place for parents, pastors, priests, or soul winners for eternal life.
    3. In Him was life! He is the Life! He is resurrection and life! He has the keys!

But of God.

  1. Becoming God’s son by being born again is His monergistic, sovereign work.
    1. John called it being born again from Jesus (Jn 3:1-8; I Jn 3:9; 4:7; 5:1-5,18).
    2. James and Peter also refer to it as a birth or begetting (Jas 1:18; I Pet 1:3,23).
    3. Paul used quickening (Ep 2:1-3; Col 2:13), regeneration, renewing (Tit 3:5).
  2. This creative work by God’s power gives each elect person a new spiritual man.
    1. We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ unto good works (Eph 2:10).
    2. This work by God Himself is compared to wind blowing by Jesus (Jn 3:8).
    3. This is the work of Christ Jesus raising dead souls to spiritual life (Jn 5:25).
    4. It is called a quickening of man from his natural state of spiritual death.
  3. Regeneration should never be considered outside the full operation of salvation.
    1. It is the third, or vital, phase of five phases of salvation taught in the Bible.
    2. If God does not quicken a person, they will never receive Christ (I Co 2:14).
    3. If you ever will good to God, it is He that worked it in you (Phil 2:12-13).
    4. God only quickens some, so they are those elected to eternal life (Ac 13:48).
  4. These documents are very important to rightly identify and time the new birth.
    1. Five phases.
    2. Details about being born again.
    3. Regeneration-Conversion.
    4. When was Cornelius Saved?
    5. Calvinism Corrected and more here.
    6. For right order of the Three ‘B’s.
    7. Grammar of regeneration.

14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

And the Word.

  1. After depravity and regeneration (1:10-13), John returned to the Word of God.
  2. John introduced his gospel and his epistle later with the living Word of God.
    1. The first three verses of this gospel are glorious about the Word of God.
    2. The first four verses of his first epistle are glorious about the Word of God.
    3. When identifying a trinity of witnesses in heaven, John used Word (I Jn 5:7).
    4. The Word of God is the name for the divine spirit that is God and with God.
  3. The Word of God is God, was with God as a part of the Trinity, and so forth.
    1. He was the eternal God Himself, for it says that He was in the beginning.
    2. He was with God, for Jehovah is a trinity, and the Word is one of its three.
    3. He was God, for the Word of God is nothing more than a pure divine Spirit.
    4. He was with God in the beginning to prove equally independent existence.
    5. He was the Creator God of all things, and without Him nothing was created.
  4. Note very carefully that it was the Word, and not the Son, that is named here.
    1. The Word and the Son are not the same Being/Person without clarification.
    2. The Word became the Son by His incarnation in human flesh through Mary.
    3. The Son is dependent on both the Word and His human nature for existence.
    4. The Son was not made flesh, because the Son is flesh by His very existence.

Was made flesh.

  1. This is part of the great mystery of godliness – God was manifest in the flesh.
    1. We love this text of scripture.
    2. The Word of God joining human flesh is not a mystery to us by revelation.
    3. Modern translations remove God … lying with he, Christ, who, and which.
    4. Compare modern translations of I Tim 3:16.
    5. For evidence of I Timothy 3:16.
  2. This is an incredible event in all recorded history – Jehovah God became man.
    1. Remember from John 1:10 the Word was in the world and not known by it.
    2. All facts of human history recorded or studied in school pale in comparison.
    3. Why all the fuss about asinine nothing? … The Day the Earth Stood Still.
    4. Jesus Christ is also known as Emmanuel – God with us (Is 7:14; Matt 1:23).
    5. Jesus had a human body indwelt by the fullness of the Godhead (Col 2:8-9).
    6. God is a spirit. Jesus had a body. Jesus Christ is God, but God is not Jesus.
  3. The incarnation of the Word of God with a human body is a precious doctrine.
    1. Incarnate. adj. Clothed or invested with flesh; embodied in flesh; in a human bodily form. From the Latin incarnat-us and incarnare.
    2. Carne in European languages is flesh or meat. Consider the word carnivore.
    3. The word itself is not in the Bible, but the word means what the Bible says.
    4. Theologians use a term hypostatic union to describe our Lord’s two natures.
    5. God is a Spirit (Jn 4:24), but a human body was prepared for Him (He 10:5).
    6. Christ’s deity (Jn 8:58) nor humanity (Heb 4:15) was changed by the union.
    7. He is not fully Jesus Christ, Son of God, without His body (Lu 2:12; 24:39).
  4. We reject any variation of the simple doctrine and facts recorded in the Bible.
    1. Paul gave us the warning that efforts would be made to spoil us (Col 2:8-9).
    2. The Word of God did not have a human body in eternity like some teach.
    3. The flesh body of Jesus was not a phantom body or a ghost-like apparition.
    4. Denial of the human flesh body of Jesus is very wrong (I Jn 4:2-3; II Jn 1:7).
    5. Spirits have no flesh, blood, bone; Jesus had all three (Luk 24:39; Heb 2:14).
  5. Before the Word was flesh in Jesus, God did not have a Son but by covenant.
    1. The Son was not made flesh; the Son did not exist until the Word was flesh.
    2. God works by covenant, choosing His elect in Jesus before the world began.
    3. God did not speak to Israel by His Son until Jesus was born (Heb 1:1-2).
  6. The flesh body prepared for Jesus by God was chosen from David’s family tree.
    1. God promised the Messiah to be a Son of David in many places (Gen 49:10; II Sam 7:12-16; Ps 89:36-37; Is 9:6-7; Jer 23:5-6; 33:15-17; Amos 9:11).
    2. God’s Son was made of the seed of David according to the flesh (Rom 1:3).
    3. Therefore, the Son of God is Son of David (Mat 1:1; Luke 1:32; Rev 22:16).
    4. The Son of David by Joseph/Solomon and Mary/Nathan (Matt 1:7; Lu 3:31).
    5. For more about Son of David.
  7. Jesus had to have a literal and real flesh-bone-blood body to die for us sinners.
    1. Jesus Christ’s flesh body descended from the Jewish fathers (Romans 9:5).
    2. He was made of a woman in her womb in order to have His body (Gal 4:4).
    3.  He took on our nature for the suffering of death in our place (Heb 2:14-18).
    4. A body was prepared for Him, and He willingly offered it (Heb 10:5-10,20).
  8. His body was formed in the womb of a woman like every other man is formed.
    1. Mary conceived and bore a human child like others (Mat 1:18-20; Lu 2:23).
    2. Without a mother, God has no Son … for God made Jesus by her (Gal 4:4).
    3. This way He was made in the likeness of men after being God (Phil 2:5-11).

And dwelt among us.

  1. Dwelt. past tense of dwell. To remain (in a house, country, etc.) as a permanent residence; to have one’s abode; to reside, ‘live’. See Gen 4:16 and Rev 11:10.
    1. Jesus dwelt in Nazareth of Galilee, so Jesus of Nazareth (Matt 2:23; 21:11).
    2. He dwelt in Capernaum, a seaport of Galilee near Nazareth (Matt 4:13-17).
  2. He was among the apostles, for they lived with Him among Jews (I John 1:1-3).
    1. They heard … saw … looked upon … handled … saw … and bore witness.
    2. They were so intimate and personal John leaned on His bosom (John 13:23).
  3. God does not dwell on earth – a footstool (Act 7:48-50; 17:24-25; Is 66:1-2).
  4. Let us never forget that by this Man’s death, God and He dwell in us (Jn 14:23).

And we beheld his glory.

  1. Beheld. past tense of behold. To hold or keep in view, to watch; to regard or contemplate with the eyes; to look upon, look at (implying active volunary exercise of the faculty of vision). See 52 uses in Bible (Gen 12:14; Rev 13:11).
  2. If the Word of God was beheld – seen by human eyes – He was more than God.
    1. God is an invisible spirit that cannot be seen at anytime by any human eyes.
    2. John declared this fact a few verses later that Jesus revealed God (Jn 1:18).
    3. The glory of One of the Trinity would annihilate any man looking on Him.
  3. What glory was beheld? As the text says, the glory of God’s only begotten Son.
    1. John explained about three witnesses of Jesus the Son of God (I John 5:5-6).
    2. At His baptism, God glorified Jesus as His beloved Son (Matthew 3:16-17).
    3. At death, God glorified Jesus as His Son with many events (Matt 27:50-54).
    4. His first miracle, not quite as marvelous as others, glorified Him (John 2:11).
    5. Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead to show the glory of God (John 11:4,40).
    6. These are all visible displays of the glory of Jesus Christ well seen by men.
    7. There was visible and invisible glory during and after Calvary (Jn 13:31-32).
  4. John saw His glorious transfiguration in the mount as the beloved Son of God.
    1. It is recorded in three gospels (Matthew 17:1-9; Mark 9:2-9; Luke 9:28-36).
    2. Luke mentions His glory, but Matthew and Mark do not (Luke 9:31-32).
    3. God the Father honored Him over Moses and Elijah as His beloved Son.
    4. Peter recounts the event with glory and honor as His Son (II Peter 1:16-18).
    5. For more about the transfiguration.
  5. He has much more glory now; John could not bear seeing it (Heb 2:9; Re 1:17).

The glory as of the only begotten of the Father.

  1. What is the only begotten of the Father, so we can rightly appreciate His glory?
    1. The special phrase only begotten occurs six times in the Bible; five for Jesus; one for Isaac (John 1:14,18; 3:16,18; Heb 11:17; I John 4:9).
    2. It simply and only means a son by unique birth to make him one of a kind.
    3. Only. One, without companions or society; solitary, lonely. One of a kind.
    4. Begotten. Past participle of beget. To procreate, to generate: usually said of the father. See Gen 5:4; Numbers 11:12; Judges 8:30; I Cor 4:15; I John 5:1.
    5. Games played with this phrase are Legion and from the same evil source; they are learned in seminary, where men learn to adore Origenistic heresy.
    6. There is nothing helpful about oriental, eastern, or Jewish significance here.
    7. Isaac was only begotten being the only son by God’s promises and by Sarah.
    8. Jesus is the only begotten Son by God’s unique promises and a virgin’s birth.
    9. Jesus of Nazareth, born of Mary, is truly, only, and precisely the Son of God.
  2. Jesus is God’s only begotten Son by His incarnate birth from a virgin’s womb.
    1. He is simply and only the single and solitary Son God fathered in a woman.
    2. His birth by God’s power in a virgin is uniquely different to all other sons.
    3. He was not Son of God before that event, for then He was the Word of God.
    4. Adam is called the son of God, but Jesus is alone as begotten (Luke 3:38).
    5. The angels and elect are called His sons, but not this way (I Jn 3:1; Job 1:6).
    6. God did a new thing by creating a body for Jesus this special way (Je 31:22).
    7. Gabriel told Mary exactly why Jesus was the Son of God (Luke 1:30-35).
    8. God’s Son had to be made of a woman, and this is how (Gal 4:4; Gen 3:15).
    9. Luke presented Jesus as the son of God, but totally different (Luke 3:38)
    10. For the sonship of Jesus.
  3. God also begat Jesus by raising Him from the dead to inherit rule of all things.
    1. The verses corrupted here are mainly Psalm 2:7 and Hebrews 1:5. Get this!
    2. Paul taught that Psalm 2:7 was fulfilled at Christ’s resurrection (Acts 13:33).
    3. Other passages by Paul and others confirm it (Rom 1:4; Rev 1:5; Col 1:18).
    4. Why would God use such confusing language? To confuse the worldly wise!
    5. For only begotten Son.
    6. Confusion.
  4. Jesus is firstborn of every creature: He has the preeminent place (Col 1:15-19).
  5. Jesus is firstfruits of the elect: He rose first for them to follow (I Co 15:20-23).
  6. Consider the glorious aspects of Jesus Christ of Nazareth to glory more in Him.
    1. He had the full Godhead in His flesh body, regardless of skeptics (Co 2:8-9).
    2. The only mediator between God and men is the Man Christ Jesus (I Ti 2:5).
    3. Jesus has our nature to destroy him with the power of death (Heb 2:14-17).
    4. Jesus has our human nature to fully relate to His people (Heb 2:18; 4:15-16).
  7. The gospel calls men to believe Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God (Matt 16:16; John 9:35-38; 20:31; Acts 8:37; 9:20; I John 5:4-5).

Full of grace and truth.

  1. Jesus is an all-sufficient Savior securing for us the unsearchable riches of grace.
    1. God’s grace is by His will, but grace was obtained and given in Jesus Christ.
    2. Where are all God’s spiritual blessings? They are in Christ Jesus (Ep 1:3-6).
    3. Not only is He full of grace, He has given it to us, grace for grace (Jn 1:16).
    4. The immediate comparison to Moses’ Law indicates new covenant religion.
    5. Jesus could have come as angry Judge, but He came to save (I Tim 1:14-16).
    6. Grace is demerited favor – think of how the Word of God might have come.
    7. But He came with healing in His wings … grace pouring from His lips … great grace to save the worst to the uttermost … and grace wherein we stand.
    8. The Rosary and its Hail Mary is blasphemous, for its “full of grace”; Mary had no grace, needing a Savior like all others, and she gives grace to no one.
    9. For His unsearchable riches.
  2. Jesus is the Faithful and True Witness of God for the truth of the new covenant.
    1. Jesus and His predecessor John Baptist introduced reformation of worship.
    2. What began with John ended Moses’ junk in 70 A.D. (Lu 16:16; Heb 9:10).
    3. Jesus introduced the true religion to the woman of Sychar (John 4:20-26).
    4. He told false believers they needed to continue in the truth (John 8:31-32).
    5. The truth Jesus had for men was what He had heard from God (John 8:40).
    6. Jesus explained that men did not believe Him because of truth (Jn 8:45-47).
    7. Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life to the Father (John 14:6).
    8. On trial before Pilate, Jesus claimed His mission was truth (John 18:37-38).
    9. He was a minister to Israel for the truth of God of fulfillment (Rom 15:8).
    10. Think about the Sermon on the Mount and its incredible revelation of truth.
  3. See the comparison in context of Moses; Jesus far excelled Moses (Jn 1:16-17).
    1. Moses may only be a Jewish leader to you, but he was a great hero to Jews.
    2. Paul confirmed John by expanding the contrast with Moses (Hebrews 3:1-6).
    3. Moses’ Law condemned men; Jesus and the gospel justified (Rom 10:1-13).
    4. N.T. ministration is better in glory than Moses’ ministration (II Cor 3:6-18).
    5. Paul called the O.T. rituals of Moses beggarly, bondage, carnal, decayed, elementary, old, rudimentary, unprofitable, weak, worldly, and such like.
    6. The Law entered to condemn; graces reigns by Jesus Christ (Rom 5:20-21).

15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.

John bare witness of him.

  1. In his blunt, condensed prologue, John returns to John the Baptist for one verse.
    1. The verse is here to confirm the glory of the unique Person of God’s Son.
    2. John had declared Jesus’ incarnation; the Baptist had declared Him Messiah.
    3. Lest readers think Jesus weak due to flesh; the Baptist declares Him eternal!
    4. The quotation here, and only its words, not verses 16-18, are by the Baptist.
    5. This is a parenthetical interruption to make use of the Baptist’s testimony.
    6. John our apostle resumes in 16 by picking up from full of grace and truth.
  2. The main ministry of John the Baptist was to introduce God’s Messiah to Israel.
    1. God prophesied of John Baptist 500 years earlier (Is 40:3; Mal 3:1; 4:5-6).
    2. John already presented John the Baptist as a witness, three times (Jn 1:6-8).
    3. John will say shortly, that Jesus should be made manifest to Israel (Jn 1:31).
    4. Even preaching godliness, it was to define real repentance (Luke 3:10-14).
    5. One of John’s favorite declarations, Behold the Lamb of God! (Jn 1:29,36).
    6. Jesus later referred to this inferior witness by John Baptist (John 5:31-38).
  3. Having identified the Baptist as a witness, John now recorded his actual words.
  4. John appealed to John Baptist’s witness and testimony to exalt Jesus as Christ.

And cried, saying.

  1. The prophecy of John is a voice crying in the wilderness (Is 40:3; Mark 1:1-4).
    1. John himself knew and admitted that this prophecy was of him (Jn 1:19-24).
    2. John’s ministry was bold by his zeal; it was public by crying out to all men.
    3. OT prophets cried to show men’s sins; this NT preacher showed the Savior.
  2. There are times and reasons for ministers to lift up their voices (Is 58:1; 56:10).
  3. John leaped for joy in his mother’s womb, quite consistent with his crying out!

This was he of whom I spake.

  1. John Baptist’s witness of Jesus used here by John was in the Lord’s presence.
    1. A full version of this declarative witness of Jesus is coming up (Jn 1:29-34).
    2. Before, John preached, There cometh one after me, but now He was there.
    3. It is hard to define One not present … but powerful to point out the Person!
  2. Now only did John describe One to come, but identified the One when present.
  3. No longer present bodily, ministers should identify Jesus as clearly as possible.

He that cometh after me is preferred before me.

  1. How did Jesus come after John? Six months later by birth and public ministry.
  2. John was special himself … miracle birth, angel, name, Nazarite, baptizer, etc.
  3. John will admit this preferential esteem of Jesus again shortly (John 1:25-30).
    1. First in time is of little value; first in love and labors is better (I Cor 15:10).
    2. This was John’s main message – Paul even quoted it at Antioch (Act 13:25).
    3. See the Baptist’s play on words after and before to grab attention for Christ.
  4. Jesus Christ, the Word of God made flesh by virgin birth, was superior to John.
    1. The first comparison is of dignity; the next comparison is that of eternality.
    2. Therefore, we should see our Lord’s superiority by deity and then humanity.
    3. Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God (Jn 1:14), which is far greater.
    4. God has ordained all preeminence is to be given to His Son (Col 1:15-18).
    5. John was prophet of the Highest, but Jesus Son of the Highest (Lu 1:32,76).
    6. He was minister of new covenant, but Jesus Mediator (He 8:6; 9:15; 12:24).
    7. John was made just as others, but the Word made all things, including John.
    8. John was inferior to the least in the church; Jesus is Head and Corner of it!
    9. John leaped for joy by the Spirit; Jesus had it without measure (John 3:34).
  5. All ministers of the gospel should be as eager to exalt Christ and denigrate self.
    1. It was John’s pleasure to increase his young cousin at his decrease (Jn 3:30).
    2. Paul and Timothy were examples of exalting Christ (Phil 1:20-21; 2:19-22).
    3. Some Paul knew were the opposite of them (Phil 1:15-16; 2:22; 3:18-19).
    4. It is a choice to minimize self and abilities for Christ (I Cor 2:1-5; Gal 6:14).

For he was before me.

  1. This comparison is of eternality; the previous comparison is that of dignity.
  2. Here is plain confirmation of the eternal nature of the Word of God in Christ.
    1. The Word of God is eternal, having been God in the beginning (John 1:1-2).
    2. John will repeat these words, he was before me, in the context (John 1:30).
    3. Jesus was six months younger and after John, but His divine nature eternal.
    4. Similar to this verse is where Jesus claimed to be before Abraham (Jn 8:48).
    5. In His intercessory prayer, He referred to His eternal existence (John 17:5).
    6. Proverbs 8:22 has nothing to do with Jesus Christ, but rather Lady Wisdom.
    7. John was only of yesterday; Jesus from of old, from everlasting (Mic 5:2).
    8. If eternal, as these and other scriptures prove, Jesus is fully God Jehovah.
  3. Compare the “preeminence” passage and its words, before all things (Col 1:17).
  4. One of the great features or traits of Jesus Christ is His eternal nature as God.
    1. We say, Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever (He 13:8).
    2. All created things change, but He remains the same forever (Heb 1:10-12).
    3. When He introduced Himself to John, He was Alpha and First (Rev 1:11).

16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.

And of his fulness have all we received.

  1. Our apostle ended his quotation of the Baptist in 15; now these are his words.
    1. The quotation there, and only its words, not verses 16-18, are by the Baptist.
    2. That was a parenthetical interruption to make use of the Baptist’s testimony.
    3. John our apostle resumes in 16 by picking up from full of grace and truth.
  2. What fullness? Fullness of grace and truth from verse 14 – Christ’s true riches.
    1. Great grace ordained Christ, gifted Him, sent Him, and gave what He gave.
    2. The state of truth was darkness before Jesus came with the full gospel light.
    3. The context must be kept in view, which is Moses’ law versus N.T. grace.
    4. The emphasis by context is dispensational benefits, not legal or vital things.
    5. A new religion was bursting forth in brilliant glory and light by Jesus Christ!
  3. Who received Christ’s fullness? All true believers, which are John’s audience.
    1. We do not need to worry about active or passive voice, since both are here.
    2. Thus far there are two kinds of men – those rejecting and those believing.
    3. Believers are saved from Moses’ judgment to Christ’s salvation (Ro 10:1-5).
    4. Those who pressed into the kingdom to follow Christ escaped Moses’ death.
    5. The emphasis by context is dispensational benefits, not legal or vital things.

And grace for grace.

  1. This is a figure of speech or literary device to describe an abundance of grace.
    1. Recall Abba, Father – the same word in two languages, Aramaic and Greek.
    2. Zerubbabel heard shoutings of grace, grace to finish Jerusalem (Zech 4:7).
    3. Consider the intent and meaning of also adding grace in Romans 5 (2,11,15).
    4. God’s grace in Christ has abounded to us wisdom and prudence (Eph 1:7-8).
    5. There is eternal grace followed by legal, by vital, by practical, and by final.
  2. There is a superabundant overflow of salvation grace shown in Christ’s gospel.

17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

For the law was given by Moses.

  1. Paul proved Christ’s preeminence by comparisons in Hebrews, so John here.
    1. Moses was a great man and instituted Israel’s religion 1500 years earlier.
    2. All that the Jews had … temple worship, sacrifices, ceremonies, scriptures, priests, laws, were from God … but declared by Moses. See below (1:18).
  2. There are three dispensations: John and Jesus introduced three to replace two.
    1. From Adam to Moses covers the patriarchs before a written law (Rom 5:14).
    2. From Moses to Christ is the old testament ordained via Moses (Gal 3:19-20).
    3. From Christ’s first coming to His second coming is the gospel millennium.
  3. The existing dispensation was the old covenant ordained by Moses’ Sinai law.
    1. The covenant God made with Israel was based on God and Moses at Sinai.
    2. Moses was mediator of the old covenant (Ex 20:19-22; De 5:5; Ac 7:37-38).
    3. The old covenant was bondage of ceremonial rituals and only condemnation.
    4. The judgment of the old covenant was severe (Heb 2:2-3; 10:28-31; 12:25).

But grace and truth.

  1. The contrast here by context is dispensational benefits, not legal or vital things.
  2. The arriving dispensation was the new covenant introduced by John and Jesus.
    1. The law and prophets were until John, and then the kingdom (Luke 16:16).
    2. After John, Jesus set up His kingdom (Matt 3:2; 4:17; 8:11; Luke 17:20-21).
    3. Paul declared that the apostolic age was one of religious reform (Heb 9:10).
    4. Jesus Himself declared this to the ignorant woman of Samaria (Jn 4:20-24).
  3. The difference of law and grace is enormous, exalting Jesus and His religion.
    1. Religion is the worship of God, and Jesus revealed a most gracious religion.
    2. Consider the purpose and result of law versus grace (Rom 3:20-24; 5:20-21).
    3. Paul glorified the new testament by several comparisons (II Cor 3:6-18).
    4. Hebrews shows in detail Christ and grace are superior (Heb 8:1-7; 10:1-9).
    5. For more of II Corinthians 3.
    6. For more of Hebrews.

Came by Jesus Christ.

  1. The great leader of the old covenant was Moses; the new covenant has Messiah.
  2. John and apostles had introductory and concluding roles, but Jesus is the key.
    1. He fulfilled the law by His perfect life and applied it by His perfect teaching.
    2. He nailed Moses’ ordinances to His cross and got rid of them (Col 2:14-17).
    3. He opened the way to God forever with nothing left to do (Heb 10:19-22).
    4. Note six things that Messiah was to do in Daniel’s prophecy (Dan 9:24-27).
    5. This point could be developed much further in declaring Christ’s supremacy.
    6. For six things from Daniel.
    7. For unsearchable riches of Christ.

18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

No man hath seen God at any time.

  1. John 1:18 and 1:14 must be kept in view together, for they state the same truth.
    1. Eternal, invisible, and independent Jehovah took on a human nature for us.
    2. These two verses present Jesus the Son of God revealing the invisible God.
    3. The Godman Jesus Christ is God’s chosen representation of Himself to us.
  2. This is not a rabbit trail for God’s invisibility, but rather the Son’s revealer role.
    1. The greatest goal of a man’s life is to see God and His glory by some means.
    2. Jesus Christ is answer to man’s greatest goal – to see and know the true God.
  3. God in essence and nature is an invisible spirit, and no man has or can see Him.
    1. God is a spirit, so He has no material body to view (John 4:24; Luke 24:39).
    2. The axiom of not seeing God is common (John 6:46; I John 4:12; Ex 33:20).
    3. The Bible declares God invisible (I Tim 1:17; 6:16; Col 1:15; Heb 11:27).
  4. Any visual representation of God in the scriptures is assumed for man’s benefit.
    1. God is no more a dove (Jesus’ baptism) than a burning bush (Moses’ sight).
    2. He is no more the man visiting Abraham than the one that wrestled Jacob.
    3. When God revealed His glory to Moses, He declared His moral attributes.

The only begotten Son.

  1. See notes for verse 14, where the only begotten Son is the Word made flesh.
    1. It simply and only means a Son by unique birth to make him one of a kind.
    2. The only begotten Son is Jesus of Nazareth, the Godman possessing a body.
    3. Jesus, the holy thing of Mary, is by incarnation God’s only begotten Son.
    4. Jesus, without His human nature, is Word of God only, not the Son of God.
  2. Absurdities and heresies arise if any other view is taken of the Son of God.
    1. Apostles used, God’s holy child Jesus (Acts 4:27,30). Is God His own child?
    2. Declaration is here, but God did not declare by His Son before (Heb 1:1-2).
    3. Jesus as Son of God is subject to God, thus not equal to Him (I Cor 15:28).
    4. Sons are begotten through women, so who was His eternal mother (Gal 4:4).
  3. For more about Jesus’ Sonship.

Which is in the bosom of the Father.

  1. John wrote this gospel after Christ’s ascension to the right hand of the Father.
    1. We assume this for the reason following to understand the present tense.
    2. John’s gospel contains the full life of Christ leading up to His ascension.
    3. Yet, in His divine nature Jesus was always in heaven with God (Jn 3:13).
  2. The relationship of Jesus Christ to God is one of great intimacy and closeness.
    1. If a bosom relationship is applied to the Word of God and God, it is foolish.
    2. This phrase has nothing to do with God and the Word being tight buddies.
    3. A bosom relationship, personal and intimate, grew between Jesus and John.
    4. One man this close to another is privy to the man’s most intimate secrets.
    5. The man Christ Jesus is God’s well beloved Son and deserves this phrase.
    6. Consider words God declared from heaven at baptism, transfiguration, etc.
    7. Jesus of Nazareth is closer to God than any angel, man, or any creature.
  3. Jesus Christ was very close to God by His divine nature, begetting, and Spirit.
    1. Therefore, as it follows, it was easy for Him to declare God to believers.
    2. Never before, and never since, and never yet, will a man be so close to God.
    3. All hope of intercession, mediation, salvation, and prayers are based on it.

He hath declared him.

  1. Jesus Christ is the revelation, manifestation, image, and declaration of Jehovah.
    1. God has spoken to the fathers by prophets, but now by His Son (Heb 1:1-2).
    2. Declaration includes His words (Jn 3:32-34; 7:16; 8:28; 12:49; 14:10; 17:8).
    3. Declaration is also more than words (Ps 19:1; Jn 5:20,36; 9:4; 10:25,32,38).
  2. The most we can easily know about God is by learning of Jesus Christ His Son.
    1. Jesus told Philip if he had seen Christ He had seen the Father (John 14:7-11).
    2. Jesus is the express image of the Almighty God of Israel (He 1:3; Col 1:15).
    3. Learn all you can of Jesus’ life, doctrine, works, and salvation to know God.
  3. God was unapproachable in the O.T. but for rare exceptions of men or times.
    1. Even Moses, who knew God best, asked to see His glory (Exodus 33:18).
    2. Even in His ordained worship, He was only approached annually by one.
    3. Any representation of God was very obscure e.g. burning bush, Sinai, etc.
  4. No man can come to God the Father but by Jesus Christ revealing Him to him.
    1. There is only one Mediator between God and men for it (Jn 14:6; I Tim 2:5).
    2. Only the Son knows God and those to whom He reveals Him (Matt 11:27).
    3. Natural man cannot grasp either Father or Son without divine help (Jn 6:44).
    4. Denial or rejection of the Son is by connection denial and rejection of God.
    5. You either take them together or you have nothing at all to walk with God.
  5. Consider all the revelation in the New Testament from Matthew to Revelation.
    1. It is either the life of Christ, His direct teaching, or those by His apostles!
    2. There is nothing in the N.T. gospel that did not come from or through Jesus.
    3. What else could you possibly want to know of God and His saving grace?

19 And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?

And this is the record of John.

  1. Only broad strokes and hints of John earlier (John 1:6-8,15), thus a prologue.
  2. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the record written down by eyewitnesses of Christ.
    1. It is a record – it was recorded by eyewitnesses – not on video, but with ink.
    2. It is not the hallucination or speculation of one man or even a group of men.
    3. Luke 1:1-4 states how confident we can and should be of what we believe.
    4. John did not give us his feelings, opinions, thoughts, or personal anything.
  3. Seven writers of the N.T. are Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, James, Jude.
    1. At least five are apostles, with Mark taught by Peter and Luke by Paul.
    2. John wrote when his record could be compared to the other gospel records.
  4. Other religions do not have the same cross-reference of such key witnesses.
    1. Compare this to Joseph Smith’s visions and the Mormon’s four holy books.
    2. Compare this to Ellen Harmon’s visions as the great prophetess of the SDA.
    3. Compare to the origin of Islam by a vision dictated by illiterate Mohamed.
    4. Compare to the origin of the Pantheon of gods in both Greece and Rome.
    5. The gods of Greece and Rome have disappeared but for fairy tales or jokes.
  5. God wrote the Bible.
  6. Josephus speaks of John called Baptist, for the Greek word Baptistes is dipper.
    1. For Josephus about John.
    2. Tested.
    3. Islam’s Koran/Quran acknowledges John the Baptist to be a prophet and the gospel accounts of John and Jesus to be truth and acceptable (Sura 10:94).
  7. John wrote to confirm Jesus Christ for the logic of faith (John 20:30-31).

When the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem.

  1. It was a godly duty of priests and Levites to protect Israel from false prophets.
    1. Moses had stated their duty to inquire after religious rumors (Deu 13:12-18).
    2. He had an immediate impact upon the nation by many converts (Matt 3:5-6).
    3. But these men, as you will find, had no spirit for truth – John rejected them.
    4. They conspire against John and Jesus for the rest of their respective lives.
  2. The Jews, including religious leaders, were incredibly jealous for their offices.
    1. Pilate knew the Jews killed Jesus Christ for envy (Matt 27:18; Mark 15:10).
    2. The Jewish envy would continue against the apostles (Acts 13:45; 17:5).
  3. These priests and Levites and those who sent them should have known John.
    1. He stated exactly who he was, but such light cannot help a blinded Israelite.
    2. They should have known they were at Daniel’s 483rd year (Daniel 9:24-27).
    3. Gabriel gave Daniel a dated prophecy of Messiah that pointed to 26 A.D.
    4. The 70-weeks prophecy of Daniel is a fabulous reading for us Gentiles now.
    5. Daniel’s dated prophecy of Messiah … Daniel 9.

To ask him, Who art thou?

  1. Who cares what a man’s opinion is of himself! Examine his doctrine and fruit.
    1. Jesus soon corrected the foolish notion of testifying of yourself (Jn 5:30-38).
    2. Elihu and Jesus taught against flattering titles (Job 32:21-22; Matt 23:7-12).
    3. Of course, most will only read books written by men with advanced degrees.
    4. Should we head to a diploma mill for advanced degrees for the truth’s sake?
  2. We do not want any attention to anyone’s name at our website for truth’s sake.
    1. Truth does not depend at all on a man’s intelligence, education, or character.
    2. Noble Bereans even searched the scriptures to check out Paul (Acts 17:11).
    3. We must always point everyone to the revelation of God in the scriptures.

20 And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.

And he confessed, and denied not.

  1. John had a perfect opportunity to take a higher role in the kingdom than given.
  2. He was a crying voice in the wilderness, far inferior to the doctors of Jerusalem.
    1. But he was the greatest man born of women, according to Jesus (Mat 11:11).
    2. Jesus admitted that he was wild and strange by his peculiarities (Matt 11:8).
    3. He looked like he was devil possessed in his personal manners (Matt 11:18)
    4. Paul appeared mad to cultured men that had not met Baptists (Acts 26:24).
  3. What did John not deny? He did not deny the truth; he was definitely not Christ.
    1. He declared the truth, and he said nothing to undo his positive declaration.
    2. Positives and negatives are tools for total certainty (Job 5:17; Ps 40:10-12).

But confessed, I am not the Christ.

  1. Language could not be clearer that John denied any sense of being the Christ.
  2. There were men then, men since then, and men today that claim to be Christ.
  3. John knew an underlying suspicion they had that he was the Christ (Luke 3:15).
  4. Though the question here was not about Christ, John answered them anyway.

21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.

And they asked him, What then?

  1. The ignorance! John denied being Christ, but they missed Christ’s messenger.
  2. The Bible had clearly prophesied a messenger, but they did not rightly divide.
    1. They would have known Malachi 3:1 of a messenger announcing the Christ.
    2. But their use of Dispensational literalism caused misinterpretation of 4:5-6.
    3. John will not help them, because they did not deserve his help. See next.
    4. God warned us that prophets used similitudes and signs (Hos 12:10; Re 1:1).
    5. C.I. Scofield and other followers of Jewish fables think Elijah will yet come.

Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not.

  1. Their question here was based on Malachi 4:5-6, for they knew the scriptures.
    1. But their literal hermeneutic ruined any hope of the truth by a similitude.
    2. They expected literal Elijah to return from heaven where he had been taken.
    3. They thought a return from heaven, for he did not die, or some other lie.
    4. Even the apostles mentioned their confusion by this error (Matt 17:10-13).
    5. John came in the spirit and power of Elias, but was not Elias (Luke 1:17).
    6. There is no doubt that John Baptist is the prophesied Elijah (Matt 11:7-15).
    7. For a presentation of the truth.
  2. John did not help them by explaining the metaphor, leaving them in their error.
    1. He left them in blindness, wearing Elijah’s clothes (II Kings 1:8; Zech 13:4).
    2. John was the prophesied Elijah they had in mind, but they were too literal.
    3. God owes the truth to no man after Eden, and He blinds and confuses many.
    4. His judgment was upon Israel for rejecting the prophets (Matt 13:10-17).
    5. Jesus later testified that the Jews did not recognize John (Matthew 17:12).
  3. Elijah the prophet came (John), and the Lord came to His temple (Jesus), and the great and dreadful day of the LORD is now 1,946 years passed (70 A.D.).
    1. We receive the testimony of Jesus over the Jews most gladly (Matt 11:14).
    2. We have hears to hear and eyes to read by God’s great grace (Matt 11:15).
    3. Without His regenerative and converting grace, we would never grasp truth.
  4. God author of confusion.

Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.

  1. The Jews by this question referenced Moses’ prophecy of a coming prophet.
    1. Moses had prophesied Messiah under the name of prophet (Deut 18:15-19).
    2. That. demonstrative adjective. Indicating a person or thing assumed to be known, or to be known to be such as is stated. See the adjective also in 1:25.
    3. Some said Jesus might be an old prophet, but that makes it specific (Lu 9:8).
    4. Some think they repeated their question about Elijah, but that is redundant.
    5. Since Israel did not want God to speak with them directly, God would send a prophet like Moses from among themselves that would speak God’s words.
    6. However, the judgment by this Prophet would be severe on the disobedient.
  2. He had already answered it by denying he was Christ, but they were confused.
    1. The prophet Moses foretold was Jesus Christ (Jn 6:14; 7:40; Acts 3:22-26).
    2. Jesus was a great Prophet in general raised of them (Luke 7:16; Heb 2:17).
    3. Jesus spoke the words given by God (Jn 7:16; 8:26-28; 12:49; 14:10; 15:15).
    4. He had authority to destroy His enemies (Matt 3:7-12; 21:33-41; 22:1-7; Luke 19:41-44; Acts 2:40; I Thess 2:14-15; Heb 2:1-4; 10:26-31; 12:25-29).
    5. Stephen slipped in a reminder of this prophecy preaching to Jews (Ac 7:37).

22 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?

Then said they unto him, Who art thou?

  1. They repeat their initial question (1:19), because he had denied three options.
    1. He had volunteered the fact he was not the Christ, an option they thought.
    2. He had denied their inquiry whether he was literally Elijah the Tishbite.
    3. He had denied their inquiry whether he was the Prophet Moses foretold.
  2. They were obligated to return with some answer to their Pharisee bosses.

That we may give an answer to them that sent us.

  1. They needed to bring some news – and they were denied their three options.
  2. Observe the problem and trouble that arises when we wrongly divide scripture.
    1. Their error was literalism – god of the futurists – regarding Malachi 4:5-6.
    2. Because of misinterpretation, they no longer considered Malachi 3:1 either.

What sayest thou of thyself?

  1. They again asked John to testify himself, though his identity was not obscure.
  2. John and the scope of his ministry was limited and simple – prepare for Christ.

23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.

He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness,

  1. He identified himself as a crying voice in the wilderness by the Bible (Is 40:3).
    1. The scripture was plain enough … preacher … repentance … wilderness.
    2. And John exactly fit the description of a demanding preacher in the desert.
  2. They overlooked that the prophecy John appealed required … two personages!

Make straight the way of the Lord.

  1. See Mark 1:2, where the Greek and English versions are ridiculously corrupted.
    1. Modern versions in any language say, As it is written in Isaiah the prophet.
    2. The problem with this is that the quotation within this verse is from Malachi.
    3. Their true footnotes proudly declare that the quotation is from Malachi 3:1.
    4. The next verse has the quotation from Isaiah 40:3 that John answered here.
  2. John’s ministry was preparatory, with Isaiah’s metaphorical language different.
    1. John here summarized Isaiah by combining the two clauses of Isaiah 40:3.
    2. The wild crier was easily distinguished from the LORD and from our God.
  3. John’s ministry was to announce Jesus, and He is identified as LORD (Is 40:3).

As said the prophet Esaias.

  1. Instead of just an opinion, John gave the scriptural authority for His ministry.
    1. John will shortly explain Jehovah had commissioned him directly (Jn 1:33).
    2. But before that, he appealed to the more sure word of prophecy (Is 40:3).
    3. Compare Peter saying scripture trumped the transfiguration (II Pet 1:16-19).
  2. We must, and we will, have Bible authority for what we do, or we will not do it.
    1. Inspired and preserved scripture is our mandate and mission statement (Ps 119:128; Isaiah 8:20; Acts 17:11; I Thess 5:21; II Tim 3:16-17).
    2. Learn scriptural proofs or where to find them, for our answers must be the certain words of truth proving the logic of faith (Pr 22:17-21; I Pet 3:15).

24 And they which were sent were of the Pharisees.

And they which were sent.

  1. The priests and Levites that asked John were sent to their task by the Pharisees.
  2. They should have known the scriptures, but they were not true worshippers.
  3. Many Pharisees and Sadducees came, but he harshly warned them (Mat 3:7-12).

Were of the Pharisees.

  1. The Pharisees were the most conservative denomination of the Jews (Ac 26:5).
  2. They were a constant thorn in the side of Jesus Christ during His ministry.
  3. They would be a further thorn, even after conversion, to the apostles (Ac 15:5).
  4. It is an equal or worse crime against truth to be conservative rather than liberal.

25 And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?

And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then.

  1. They asked why he was dipping in Jordan, if he was not one of three options.
  2. The character of John’s ministry that best characterized it was water dipping.
  3. The prophesy of Isaiah 40 did not move them, for they emphasized Malachi.

If thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?

  1. They knew three options with prophesied authority for a new ministry in Israel.
  2. The prophesy of Isaiah 40 did not move them, for they emphasized Malachi.

26 John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;

John answered them, saying, I baptize with water.

  1. John admitted dipping in water, since they had focused on that of his ministry.
    1. The Jews by historical precedent expected miraculous signs by prophets.
    2. John made a comparison here with Christ, Who would do much, much more.
  2. John did not have anything more to offer, for he did no miracles (John 10:41).
    1. But all that he preached concerning Jesus Christ was perfectly fulfilled later.
    2. John’s ministry was limited, but many believed his preaching before Christ.
    3. God by prophetic timing and moving of the Spirit brought crowds to John.
  3. A Baptist preacher with authority to baptize is a special gift from God to men.

But there standeth one among you, whom ye know not.

  1. John had already baptized Jesus by the words and tenses following (Jn 1:9-34).
    1. How would John know Jesus was among them unless already identified?
    2. His description of Jesus the following day is of a prior baptism (Jn 1:29-34).
  2. Read clearly that there were two persons the Jews should know, not just John.
    1. John explained that they were missing his position as merely the announcer.
    2. John and Jesus were prophesied together and arrived together close in time and in many respects from miraculous birth to martyr deaths (Mal 3:1-3).
    3. He accurately quoted Isaiah 40:3, but they did not get him and the “LORD.”

27 He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose.

He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me.

  1. The whole universe … the whole Bible … John’s ministry … was about Christ.
    1. The universe is a stage for Jehovah to display His character through Jesus.
    2. The creation of man and both eternal destinies is to display grace and wrath.
    3. The Bible from cover to cover is the testimony of Jesus Christ throughout.
    4. John’s ministry was always preparatory to get Israel ready for the Messiah.
    5. We, far inferior in office and calling, should set Christ first in heart and life.
  2. John Baptist had his priorities perfect – increase Jesus Christ; decrease himself.
    1. Our writer already told us of this public statement by the Baptist (Jn 1:15).
    2. And he will record that John spoke the same words the next day (Jn 1:30).

Whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose.

  1. Foolish denigration, like limp body language, can easily be self-righteous pride.
  2. Let us keep the Baptist’s example of exalting Jesus Christ and denigrating self.
    1. We can exalt Jesus Christ at every turn to give Him His just preeminence.
    2. We can denigrate ourselves like Paul, who wrote that he was … chief of sinners … less than the least of all saints … not meet to be called an apostle.
  3. One of the worst historical travesties in light of the Baptist was a cult that exalted John above Jesus, called Mandaeism.

28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.

These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan.

  1. John wrote what was done in the previous verses, and here tells us where done.
  2. Jerusalem and Judea were west of the Jordan; Bethabara on the east in Reuben.
    1. By God’s choice, John Baptist was not conveniently located in Jerusalem.
    2. Though born in a city of Judah (Luke 1:39), John preached over the Jordan.
    3. A buffer of distance from religious rulers in Jerusalem provided some peace.
    4. It may … most certainly will … take more effort to find a Baptist preacher.
    5. This is not Bethany as some, for Bethany was close by on Jerusalem’s side.

Where John was baptizing.

  1. God led John to baptize at Bethabara, because it had two excellent advantages.
    1. Bethabara, meaning the house of ford or passage, thus at Jordan’s riverside.
    2. Ford. A shallow place in a river or other water, where a man or beast may cross by wading.
    3. If you preach over the Jordan River, where would you? At a ford, surely!
    4. What depth does a Baptist preacher want water? Wading depth (John 3:23)!
    5. Some think Bethaara where Israel passed into Canaan … seeing a sign.
  2. If John was baptizing there, then it was a public witness John made to the Jews.
  3. It was here that our Lord likely traveled from Galilee to be baptized by John.
    1. John had already baptized Jesus due to the following verses (John 1:29-34).
    2. To travel from Nazareth to Bethabara is about 70 miles (same as Jerusalem).
    3. Jesus and His apostles travel to this location again later in John (John 10:40).
    4. Many others traveled there also to hear the Lord and believed (Jn 10:41-42).

29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him.

  1. The next day here is the day after the Jews asked John his identity (Jn 1:19-28).
    1. Our writer is careful about details, so there is a good transition (Jn 1:28-29).
    2. The location is Bethabara – house of the ford – where John easily baptized.
    3. The visit of important inquisitors from Jerusalem might have drawn a crowd.
    4. The priests and Levites that came with questions had spoken of the Christ.
    5. John the Baptist clearly stated that a far superior One was coming after Him.
  2. Now it is time for Jesus to be manifest to Israel, so God arranged perfect timing.
    1. Special visitors from Jerusalem likely raised both the numbers and attention.
    2. The exchange between John and the inquisitors would have piqued interest.
    3. John had denied he was anything more than Isaiah’s crying voice (Jn 1:23).
    4. John had stated that there was One standing among them that was far loftier.
    5. Though the people thought highly of John, he had set the stage for the Lord!
  3. This is after John baptized Jesus, for he said Jesus was among them (John 1:26).
    1. John had already baptized Jesus for He identified Him in this verse as Christ.
    2. John had already baptized Jesus due to the following verses (John 1:29-34).
    3. Jesus likely came to John Baptist at Jordan after His temptation (Matt 4:1; Mk 1:12), for the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness right after baptism.
    4. John knew Jesus, but He had not been formally declared to Israel as follows.
    5. Gill, JFB, and Poole comment that Jesus had been baptized by John before.
  4. The timing, as in all events, is entirely under the sovereign management of God.
    1. Every visit by a dignitary is choreographed in numerous ways for appeal.
    2. Though Jesus did not lift up His voice at all, John and God took care of it!
  5. There are at least three successive days under consideration here (John 1:29,35).

And saith, Behold the Lamb of God.

  1. John will declare this same name for Jesus on the next day as well (John 1:36).
    1. There is not a single occurrence of lamb in the other three gospel accounts.
    2. There is not a single occurrence of lamb in all the epistles of brother Paul.
    3. The eunuch read Is 53:7 in Acts 8:32; Peter used a simile once (I Pet 1:19).
    4. John used Lamb of God as a name and title for Jesus twice here (Jn 1:29,36).
    5. He used Lamb 28 times in Revelation (Re 5:6,8,12,13; 6:1,16; 7:9,10,14,17; 12:11; 13:8,11; 14:1,4,10; 15:3; 17:14; 19:7,9; 21:9,14,22,23,27; 22:1,3).
    6. John loved this name and title, and he saw Jesus as such in heaven (Rev 5:6).
  2. Jesus is not the Lamb of God in several respects that we should rule out first.
    1. Jesus is not the Lamb for any fear, helplessness, or intimidation on His part.
    2. Jesus is not the Lamb for being a follower rather than our Head and Leader.
    3. Jesus is not the Lamb only; He was identified in heaven as a Lion (Rev 5:5).
  3. Jesus is the Lamb of God in several respects we should delight and rejoice in.
    1. He is the Lamb for being the docile, humble sacrifice put to death by others.
    2. He is the Lamb for his meek and quiet submission to a brutal death (Is 53:7).
    3. If God clothed Adam and Eve with lambskin, Jesus fulfilled it (Gen 3:31).
    4. Jesus fulfilled the implied lamb that Abraham and Isaac needed (Ge 22:7-8).
    5. Jesus fulfilled the Passover lamb that delivered Israel, which was an annual family ritual with personal and significant meaning (Ex 12:1-28,43-51).
    6. Jesus fulfilled the morning and evening lamb of Israel (Num 28:3-8); the interruption of these daily sacrifices was very serious (Dan 8:11-12; 12:11).
    7. Jesus fulfilled the Sabbath lambs offered every seven days (Num 28:9-10).
    8. Jesus fulfilled the seven lambs offered to start every month (Num 28:11-15).
    9. Jesus fulfilled the seven lambs offered daily during Passover (Nu 28:16-25).
    10. Jesus fulfilled the seven lambs offered for feast of firstfruits (Nu 28:26-31).
    11. Jesus fulfilled the only Messianic Psalm specifically identifying this replacement of all sacrifices required by Moses (Ps 40:6-8; Heb 10:1-10).
    12. For the Passover lamb.
  4. Let it known that Jesus is not the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
    1. This particular phrase is repeated by pastors and theologians ad nauseum.
    2. He was ordained to be slain before the foundation of the world (I Pet 1:20), but He was not slain then and He has not undergone being slain since then.
    3. If He were slain from the foundation of the world, was He slain back then?
    4. If He were slain from the foundation of the world, is He still being slain?
    5. This phrase is from Revelation 13:8 and results from confusing prepositions.
    6. Compare Revelation 13:8 to Revelation 17:8 to properly assign prepositions.
    7. The phrase from the foundation of the world modifies the verb written there.
    8. God’s elect were written in the book of life from the foundation of the world.
    9. This eternal action of God in election is known (Ep 1:4; II Tim 1:9; Tit 1:2).
    10. The book of life is simply and only called the book of life of the Lamb slain.
    11. It is His book in that He was assigned to die for every person named in it.
    12. Eternal life for the elect in the book of life depends on the Lamb being slain.
    13. When you hear this phrase misapplied, it is ignorance like at Hebrews 4:12.
    14. It is a shame to repeat such jingles without proof because someone else did.
    15. Before the foundation of the world.

Which taketh away the sin.

  1. Those waiting for Jesus in John’s day understood sin much better than you do.
    1. You have no mechanism to consider sin other than the few hours in church.
    2. It is a disadvantage living in the lap of luxury, distraction, and entertainment.
    3. The Jewish sacrificial system reminded them of sin on a constant daily basis.
    4. They offered for sins every year, month, day, every morning and evening.
    5. Their very limited reading material and temple worship exalted Moses’ Law.
    6. They knew the origin of the earth and their genealogy from Adam very well.
    7. The sin in Eden and the horrific consequences were constantly before them.
    8. They knew the Flood: Abraham was a contemporary of Shem for 150 years.
    9. They knew the Tower of Babel, for it occurred just 200 years before Abram.
    10. They knew the destruction and mocking of the nation of Egypt for its sins.
    11. They knew what happened to Nadab and Abihu for slight ministerial sins.
    12. They knew what happened to Korah and others for disrespect to their Moses.
    13. They knew the annihilation of seven nations of Canaan for their many sins.
    14. They knew what happened to Assyria and then Babylon for their many sins.
    15. They knew desolation and scattering was coming (Daniel 9:26-27; 12:7,11).
    16. Romans 5 ought to terrify confidence out of your soul – they knew it better!
  2. Do you grasp the consequences of sin and eternal damnation coming for you?
    1. Review sin and consequences.
    2. You are a sinner by Adam and so many times over they cannot be counted.
    3. Sin does not need to make you feel bad; sin is any action against the Bible.
    4. The results of one sin against God brings the same results as all (Jas 2:10).
    5. Thoughts of foolishness are sin; idle words will take you all the way down.
    6. Dozing in hearing this sermon will bring God’s consuming fire (Heb 12:29).
    7. You are ruined! Any defiled or telling a lie will in no wise enter (Re 21:27).
    8. You will hear the very worst sentence, “Depart from me; I never knew you.”
  3. But … Behold, Jesus of Nazareth came to take away sin, and sins, once for all.
  4. What does it mean to take away the sin from any group of condemned sinners?
    1. It cannot and does not mean Jesus takes away your desire or practice of sin.
    2. It does mean He takes away the legal condemnation by God’s righteous law.
    3. It does mean He became the Substitute on whom all your sins were imputed.
    4. It does mean when He is done God cannot remember your sins (Heb 8:12).
    5. It does mean you as a defiled rebel have full, direct access into His presence.
    6. It does mean He can and will save you to the uttermost in height and length.
    7. It does mean He has removed your sins as far as the east is from the west.
  5. Jesus was made sin for us; we were made the righteousness of God (II Co 5:21).
    1. This transaction is called justification and redemption; it is by imputation.
    2. Delight in facets.
  6. Sin here is a collective noun, including and intending all sins of every kind.
    1. Never forget first Adam’s sin in Eden that can send all men to eternal hell.
    2. Never forget all your sins that are recorded in the books of works of God.
  7. This taking away of sin is the overwhelming and unsearchable riches of Christ.
    1. Messiah came to make an end of sins and reconcile for iniquity (Dan 9:24).
    2. He was manifested, first by John Baptist, to take away your sins (I Jn 3:4-5).
    3. The gospel is that Jesus died for our sins according to scripture (I Cor 15:3).
    4. He gave Himself for our sins to deliver us from this evil world (Gal 1:4).
    5. He gave Himself for us in order to redeem us from all iniquity (Titus 2:14).
    6. The Son of God came to earth to purge your sins away by himself (Heb 1:3).
    7. He took on the nature of mankind, not angels, to reconcile for sins (He 2:17).
    8. Christ was once offered to bear the sin of many for their salvation (He 9:28).
    9. He bore your sins His own self in His own body on the tree (I Peter 3:24).
    10. Jesus Christ suffered for your sins one time to bring us to God (I Pet 3:18).
    11. Herein is love: God sent His Son to be a propitiation for our sins (I Jn 4:10).
    12. He is the propitiation for the sins of all elect Jews and Gentiles (I John 2:2).
    13. Jesus loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood (Rev 1:5).
    14. For His unsearchable riches.

Of the world.

  1. The context just before limits this world to those that have their sin taken away.
    1. Context is our master; we let it define a word rather than a word set context.
    2. This is how all literature is read – context must determine word meanings.
    3. John used world (kosmos) far more than other writers with wide latitude.
  2. Many read this world and impose a doctrine on the Bible it and we cannot bear.
    1. They require it to mean every single human ever conceived with exception.
    2. Such a heresy and travesty creates countless contradictions with scripture.
  3. We interpret a text in two steps … what it cannot mean … what it must mean.
    1. It cannot mean all men without exception, for scripture fully overthrows it.
    2. It must mean the elect portion of the human world that is finally redeemed.
    3. Such a sense does not violate the use of the word world at all by John’s use.
  4. Here are a few examples of contradictions created by forcing a universal sense.
    1. Why do those in the lake of fire have their sins and are sent there for them?
    2. Why will books be opened to reveal sins of men if the sins were taken away?
    3. Did He take away the sin of those He said would die in their sins (Jn 8:21)?
    4. They force world unlimited wide but limit hate to a little less love (Ro 9:13).
    5. For many more questions.
  5. Here are a few examples of John and others’ use of the word world in scripture.
    1. John’s use of world … 12:19 (some men), 14:17 (except apostles), 15:19 (reprobate men), 16:20 (except apostles), 17:14 (except apostles), etc., etc.
    2. Luke used all the world for a very small part of the Roman Empire, which is easily determined by only one factor – the obvious context (Luke 2:1).
    3. Paul used world for the Gentiles as opposed to the Jews (Romans 11:12,15).
    4. What does the whole world mean in both Romans 1:8 and in I John 5:19?
    5. Why do you expand world in Mark 16:15 but shrink the world in Col 1:6?
    6. Rather than enter upon a word study of world here, find some links below.
  6. We know God sent Jesus Christ to take away the sin of the elect world only.
    1. We can compare the world of II Cor 5:19 with II Tim 2:10 to see the elect.
    2. Taking away sin is by Him called giving life, but how many get it (Jn 6:33)?
  7. John the Baptist understood the election of God and intended it by the “world.”
    1. He identified Jews as a generation of vipers under God’s wrath (Matt 3:7).
    2. He denied their false faith in Abraham and ridiculed the idea (Matt 3:9).
    3. He distinguished the wheat from the chaff as elect and non-elect (Matt 3:12).
  8. God has a covenant love for His elect people and Jesus redeemed them only.
    1. Our view of limited atonement.
    2. Owen’s, Death of Christ.
    3. Our limited love of God.
  9. Here are links to studies that have shown the many uses of world in the Bible.
    1. World.
    2. World.
    3. Do your own study and find most of the uses do not mean every single one.
  10. Here is what Waldensians wrote in their Confession of 1655 about salvation:
    1. That God so loved the world, that is to say, those whom he has chosen out of the world, that he gave his own Son to save us by his most perfect obedience (especially that obedience which he manifested in suffering the cursed death of the cross), and also by his victory over the devil, sin, and death.
  11. Why did John use a word that misleads Arminians and makes us rightly divide?
    1. Because God wrote the Bible for the goals of His own glory and our profit.
    2. Author of Confusion.
  12. Leaving this precious verse – do you believe, love, and obey the Lamb of God?

30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.

This is he of whom I said.

  1. John recorded the Baptist speaking of Christ’s preference thrice (Jn 1:15,27,30).
  2. He had told this fact the previous day that Jesus was among them (Jn 1:26-27).
  3. The first use of John’s declaration was a summary in the prologue (John 1:15).
  4. Now look at the grammar and choice of words … Jesus is standing before him!

After me cometh a man which is preferred before me.

  1. Jesus Christ came after John the Baptist both by birth and by ministry timing.
  2. Of course this is true, because the prophecy was of one to come before Christ.
    1. Isaiah wrote, The voice crying, Prepare ye the way of the LORD (Is 40:3).
    2. Malachi wrote, My messenger shall prepare the way before me (Mal 3:1).
    3. Malachi wrote, I will send Elijah before to prepare the people (Mal 4:5-6).
  3. Why not preferred above me? Is it the Spirit’s play on words before and after?
  4. Do not overlook John the Baptist’s true identification of the Messiah as a man.

For he was before me.

  1. The eternal nature of the Son of God in His divine nature was from eternity.
  2. The whole book of John began with, In the beginning was the Word (Jn 1:1).
  3. Jesus will declare shortly that He could ascend where He was before (Jn 6:62).
  4. Jesus will declare shortly that before father Abraham was, I am (John 8:58).
  5. Jesus, in His divine nature, is the eternal God Jehovah without any begetting.

31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.

And I knew him not.

  1. The words are also found in 1:33, and their repetition is intended for emphasis.
  2. John did not have a relationship with his cousin Jesus during their first 30 years.
    1. John the Baptist lived in the deserts until he started his ministry (Luke 1:80).
    2. Jesus grew up in Nazareth, in Galilee, far from John (Lu 2:39-40,51; 4:16).
  3. Jesus and John the Baptist did not have any compact together to deceive Israel.
    1. It only takes a couple liars to create a religion, like the Mormons have done.
    2. The gospels are to convince men of authenticity, thus care for these details.
  4. John recognized Jesus, not as cousin, but as Messiah, for he had baptized Him.
    1. It is totally impossible that John and Jesus did not know of each other at all.
    2. Their exchange in Matthew was before the dove descended (Matt 3:13-17).
    3. Therefore, we understand that there was no bond, friendship, or conspiracy.

But that he should be made manifest to Israel.

  1. John the Baptist’s ministry was to introduce the prophesied Messiah to Israel.
  2. Though Jesus was ordained in eternity, He was manifest in time (I Peter 1:20).
  3. Grace was given in eternity but made manifest when Jesus came (II Ti 1:9-10).
  4. Do those who based their soteriology on John 3:16 ever read John leading to it?
    1. Since belief in Christ is indispensable for eternal life, why only to Israel?
    2. Why was John not engaged in ministry before age 30? How many were lost?
    3. Why did John not roam that part of the world saving Arabs and Egyptians?

Therefore am I come baptizing with water.

  1. He was sent by God, for no man should ever take up an office with being sent.
  2. His ministry of baptism for repentance was to prepare Israel for their Messiah.
  3. His ministry of baptism was to be the vehicle by which He would be revealed.

32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.

And John bare record, saying.

  1. These are the words of our writer, continuing his care for authenticity (Jn 1:19).
  2. All the words around this short insertion are the words of the Baptist himself.
  3. John the Baptist fulfilled important prophecies and was perceived as a prophet.
  4. What did this unusual man of God have to say about Jesus Christ of Nazareth?

I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove.

  1. This event is in the other gospels (Matt 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22).
  2. John the Baptist here recounts what took place when He baptized Jesus earlier.
  3. Notice the verb that only eyewitnesses can employ, I saw. The gospel is certain.
    1. Our legal system, one of the best, will execute the guilty by eyewitnesses.
    2. The following factors are used to legally validate integrity of eyewitnesses.
    3. How well could the eyewitness observe the thing he reported that happened?
    4. When did he report in relation to observation? Soon? Later? Much later?
    5. Did he make statements damaging to self, thus likely not seeking to distort?

And it abode upon him.

  1. The Holy Ghost did not depart from Jesus for the time that John observed Him.
  2. We know from the other accounts that the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness.
  3. God the Father gave the Holy Spirit to His incarnate Son in great abundance.
    1. John will write shortly that Jesus had the Spirit without measure (John 3:34).
    2. God gave the oil of gladness, or Spirit, to Jesus above His fellows (Heb 1:9).
    3. Peter preached to Cornelius about God’s anointing of Jesus (Acts 10:38).
    4. This fulfilled the prophecy of Daniel of 483 years to Messiah (Dan 9:24-25).
    5. This fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy confirmed in Nazareth (Is 61:1; Lu 4:16-21).

33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.

And I knew him not.

  1. See the like expression in 1:31, a repetition that there was no collusion by them.
  2. See the comments there for explanation, and appreciate a clearing of evidence.

But he that sent me to baptize with water.

  1. John had a divine commission, as our apostle wrote in his prologue (Jn 1:6-8).
    1. Even Moses to Israel and Pharaoh, there must be an appointment by God.
    2. John was not ordained by Israel or Jesus, for God sent him directly as stated.
    3. The Pharisees dared not question John’s authority from God (Mat 21:23-27).
    4. No man takes an office to himself, and even Jesus did not do so (Heb 5:4-6).
  2. No Baptist preacher has the right to baptize without being sent by God (Tit 1:5).
    1. Jesus chose apostles and charged them to baptize converts (Matt 28:18-20).
    2. The church and all men were put on notice about apostolic power (Ac 5:13).
    3. They in turn ordained preaching bishops to baptize later converts (II Ti 2:2).
    4. No one else has the right to baptize except Baptist preachers sent by God.
    5. Philip the deacon is not an exception, for he was an evangelist (Acts 21:8).
    6. Ananias is not an exception; he was more than a disciple (Acts 9:10-12,17).
    7. Qualifying is part of it (Matt 3:7-8); without some order, total chaos results.
    8. If you violate this rule, then children may baptize one another in a bathtub.
  3. No baptism is valid without proper authority from Jesus Christ to baptize men.
    1. Should Baptists accept pouring or sprinkling from Rome or daughters? No.
    2. Should Baptists accept Mormons, SDA, etc.? No, they are of recent origin.
    3. Should we accept SBC baptisms by a pastor? Yes, for their legal authority.
  4. For baptismal authority.

The same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him.

  1. Almighty God that appointed John also told him how to identify the Messiah.
  2. Who had ever seen the Spirit of God descending on a man before? John did.
  3. God the Father gave the Holy Spirit to His incarnate Son in great abundance.
    1. John will write shortly that Jesus had the Spirit without measure (John 3:34).
    2. God gave the oil of gladness, or Spirit, to Jesus above His fellows (Heb 1:9).
    3. Peter preached to Cornelius about God’s anointing of Jesus (Acts 10:38).
    4. This fulfilled the prophecy of Daniel of 483 years to Messiah (Dan 9:24-25).
    5. This fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy confirmed in Nazareth (Is 61:1; Lu 4:16-21).

The same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.

  1. John taught that Messiah would baptize men with the Holy Ghost (Mark 1:8).
    1. After resurrection and ascension, Jesus received the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:33).
    2. He poured out that Spirit and inundated the church with Him (Acts 2:17,38).
    3. The baptism of the Holy Ghost is an epoch, not so much an individual event.
    4. The apostles and believers at Pentecost received the Spirit together as group.
    5. Upon baptism, the Holy Spirit is given as a gift, connected then with signs.
  2. He also taught Messiah would baptize the Jews with fire (Mat 3:11; Luke 3:16).
    1. Malachi warned of destructive fire accompanying Christ (Mal 3:1-5; 4:1-6).
    2. John the Baptist had furthered this warning of fire (Matt 3:12; Luke 3:17).
    3. More about baptism with fire.

34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.

And I saw, and bare record.

  1. God told the Baptist exactly what to look for, and John saw that phenomenon.
  2. This visual observance and witness is comparable to Elisha’s (II Kings 2:9-12).
  3. John bare record in 1:32 also, but there the note was inserted by the writer John.
  4. Notice the verb that only eyewitnesses can employ, I saw. The gospel is certain.
    1. Our legal system, one of the best, will execute the guilty by eyewitnesses.
    2. The following factors are used to legally validate integrity of eyewitnesses.
    3. How well could the eyewitness observe the thing he reported that happened?
    4. When did he report in relation to observation? Soon? Later? Much later?
    5. Did he make statements damaging to self, thus likely not seeking to distort?

That this is the Son of God.

  1. Baptists know the Son of God, because most did not suck at Rome’s breasts.
  2. John the Baptist identified the Word made flesh as the Son of God (John 1:14).
  3. Prophecy was fulfilled in the Man before John (II Sam 7:12-16; Is 7:14; 9:6).
  4. The writer is careful to provide impartial evidence – testimony of the Baptist.
    1. His purpose is to prove Jesus the Son of God for faith (Jn 20:31; I Jn 5:13).
    2. Not only did John the Baptist declare this but also Jesus as the Lamb of God.
  5. For more of Christ’s sonship.
  6. For slides of Christ’s sonship.

35 Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;

Again the next day after John stood.

  1. This is the third of three successive days in John’s detailed account of Christ.
    1. Again opening this verse compares John seeing Jesus and announcing Him.
    2. The after identifies a third day distinct and after the day just noted (Jn 1:29).
    3. John baptized Jesus at least 40 days before the second day above (1:29-34).
    4. These days show a transition from John’s ministry to that of Jesus Christ.
  2. It is important this writer provide impartial evidence – testimony of the Baptist.
    1. His purpose is to prove Jesus the Son of God for faith (Jn 20:31; I Jn 5:13).
    2. Not only did John the Baptist declare this but also Jesus as the Lamb of God.

And two of his disciples.

  1. John had his own disciples, those who followed beyond their baptism (Jn 3:25).
    1. Disciple. One who follows or attends upon another for the purpose of learning from him; a pupil or scholar.
    2. Jesus called the twelve, apostles, but at other times, disciples (Matt 10:1-2).
    3. We do not have any evidence that these baptized, but that only John did so.
    4. Therefore, they will shortly get jealous for the Baptist’s sake (John 3:25-35).
    5. The authority or privilege to baptize is very carefully given in God’s plan.
  2. We know that one of these is Andrew by what follows in context (John 1:40).
  3. The other could be John himself, writer of this book, for he often hid himself.
    1. He avoided identifying the disciple Jesus loved (John 13:23; 20:2; 21:7,20).
    2. This statement only occurs in John; he did not avoid listing others (Jn 11:5).

36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!

And looking upon Jesus as he walked.

  1. When a regenerate man has the Spirit, His preferred view is of Christ (Jn 3:29).
  2. Jesus is in no hurry to get to the wilderness for temptation, for that event is past.
  3. John and Jesus spent very little time together, but a transition took place here.
  4. John was the greatest man born of women, but he watched Jesus as he walked.

He saith, Behold the Lamb of God!

  1. Every faithful minister and Christian will be bold to point out the Lord Christ.
  2. The punctuation shows John’s declaration more emphatic than it was earlier.
  3. This cost him two of his disciples, but you can know he was thrilled at the loss.
  4. See the comments above for John 1:29 to fully consider the Lamb of God.

37 And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.

And the two disciples heard him speak.

  1. The two disciples of John the Baptist heard him exalt and praise Jesus Christ.
    1. This was the goal of John’s speech, to turn men away from him to Christ.
    2. These two disciples of John needed no more evidence like signs or wonders.
  2. You are reading a witness’s testimony of historical facts for Christ’s ministry.
  3. John was inspired directly; you hear Baptist preachers with inspired scripture.
    1. By any inspiration, receive preaching with all readiness of mind (Ac 17:11).
    2. Heed the parable of the sower and glass of the gospel (Lu 8:18; Jas 1:21-25).

And they followed Jesus.

  1. Consider their choice. Follow the voice of a crier or the Lamb of God? Easy!
  2. Two of John’s apostles understood the Lord was greater than His messenger.
  3. They had heard John identify Jesus and His ministry much greater than his own.
    1. Jesus was preferred before John in both dignity and eternity (Jn 1:15,27,30).
    2. Jesus would baptize with the Holy Ghost; John only baptized with water.
  4. Following Christ here is not apostleship, for that comes later in another place.

38 Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?

Then Jesus turned, and saw them following.

  1. You will never follow the Lord without Him knowing before your first move.
    1. David confessed that God knew his thoughts while in his mouth (Ps 139:4).
    2. The Word of God – the Jesus before us – discerns your intents (Heb 4:12).
    3. He will wait in the practical phase for your movement and then turn to help.
    4. In fact, it is only by God’s grace you ever will to turn or do turn (Phil 2:13).
  2. We often emphasize His ability to discern His enemies, but He discerns us, too.
  3. God looked on our race to see if any followed, but He found none (Ps 14:1-3).
  4. If Jesus the Lord looked at you today, would He see a loving, zealous follower?

And saith unto them, What seek ye?

  1. Notice the Lord Christ’s personal manners with two that want to follow Him.
    1. He negatively asks them a question, putting them on the spot, to test zeal.
    2. He positively asks them a question, saving them the shame of asking Him.
  2. Jesus knew full well why they followed, but He sought to draw out their faith.
  3. Same as with His personal enemies, He fully knew every detail of their lives.

They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,).

  1. Rabbi. A title of respect (in use since the first century B.C.) given by the Jews to doctors of the law.
    1. Jesus deserved the title unofficially; He could handle the law (Lu 2:42-27).
    2. Nathanael will use it again shortly in confessing Jesus Christ (John 1:49).
    3. It is used five times in this gospel, and used twice in warning in Matthew.
    4. Jesus warned disciples against using it in public of others (Matt 23:7-12).
    5. Paul used an inspired title for Peter the apostle, beloved brother (II Pet 3:15).
    6. Elihu taught very early that flattering titles were wrong (Job 32:21-22).
  2. We are to call no man on earth Rabbi, spiritually, except for Jesus (Matt 23:8).
  3. We know this translation of terms by reading our English Bibles (Matt 23:8).
  4. This title of honor and respect for religious learning is what Nicodemus used.

Where dwellest thou?

  1. They were willing to follow Jesus, so they needed to know where He resided.
    1. They did not want to lose track of Him, in case He left Bethabara quickly.
    2. This was a simple question – they did not seek to inspect His living quarters.
  2. They had little to no idea that they would wander Israel with him for 3.5 years.
  3. In other settings, Jesus laid the truth out to test for discipleship (Luke 9:57-62).

39 He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.

He saith unto them, Come and see.

  1. As graciously as it could be done, our Lord invited Andrew and John home.
  2. What they saw would test their commitment to discipleship, for it was desert.
  3. There is nothing to hide as we show sincere seekers what we are all about.

They came and saw where he dwelt.

  1. His dwelling was certainly temporary, and it was located in the wilderness.
  2. His dwelling was likely simple, due to the place and His manner (Matt 8:20).
  3. Any place with Jesus Christ as companion and friend is a palace without peer.
  4. We sing, And prisons would palaces prove, If Jesus would dwell with me there.

And abode with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour.

  1. They spent the night in His lodging – our Lord showing His own hospitality.
  2. Being 4:00 in the afternoon, it was too late to get back to Galilee or Jerusalem.

40 One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.

One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew.

  1. Reference here is to the opening of this third of four successive days (Jn 1:35).
  2. These two men – one Andrew; the other likely John – had been following John.
  3. After hearing the Baptist identify Jesus as the Son of God, they followed Christ.
  4. Andrew is barely known in comparison to his famous brother, but here he is.
    1. Andrew. A Greek name meaning manliness; one of Jesus’ twelve apostles.
    2. He was a brother, younger or older, of Simon Peter, of Bethsaida (Jn 1:44).
    3. Bethsaida was a city close to the Sea of Galilee; they were fishermen.
    4. Andrew and Peter lived together, and Jesus visited their home (Mark 1:29).
    5. Here in Judea, with John the Baptist, Andrew and Peter believed on Christ.
    6. These brothers were a distance from Galilee following the Baptist preacher.
    7. They were formally called as apostles later (Matt 4:18-20; Mark 1:16-18).
    8. He is found second and fourth in lists of the apostles (Matt 10:2; Acts 1:13).
    9. He was close to the lofty triumvirate of Peter, James, and John (Mark 13:3).
    10. John will record it was Andrew that brought the lad with the lunch (Jn 6:8).
    11. He, with Philip, informed Jesus of Greeks desiring to see Him (John 12:22).
    12. The Bible tells us nothing further of him; an epistle by his name is spurious.
    13. It is only tradition that says Andrew was crucified on an X cross in Achaia.
    14. It is tradition that mariners with his bones taught at St. Andrews in Scotland.
    15. Andrew is identified by John as Simon Peter’s brother, for all knew Peter!

Simon Peter’s brother.

  1. Andrew is identified by John as Simon Peter’s brother, for all knew of Peter!
  2. For more about Simon Peter.

41 He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.

He first findeth his own brother Simon.

  1. This manly man, Andrew, did not sit on the glorious truth of John and Jesus.
    1. Consider, he was a disciple of John the Baptist and heard him identify Jesus.
    2. Away from home to be baptized in the wilderness, this man 30+ loved truth.
    3. This combination was important to anyone that knew and believed the O.T.
    4. He had all the confirmation, evidence, and proof he needed of God’s Christ.
  2. The first thing he did, that afternoon, was to locate his Christ-seeking brother.
    1. The next day is not until verse 43, so we place this event in that afternoon.
    2. God creates family relations by His purpose, so we start evangelism there.
    3. Election tends to run in families, so we have hope in the effort (Acts 2:39).
    4. If you have siblings, this is one of the first places to start in winning family.
  3. Examine yourself? Has the knowledge of Christ Jesus the Lord so affected you?
    1. The gospel is such glorious news that those truly Christ’s want to share it.
    2. Paul had a deep and great passion for souls of countrymen (Ro 9:1-5; 10:1).
    3. See Aquila and Priscilla and a woman of Sychar (Ac 18:24-28; Jn 4:28-30).
    4. Have you eagerly and enthusiastically shared the truth with your family?
    5. Yes, it is true that Jesus promised a sword in families, but not in all, as here.
    6. He that winneth souls is wise, and he that does not must ask if he is saved.
    7. For love of only one soul.
    8. Evangelism of one soul.
    9. Proverbs 11:30.
    10. Small-pill evangelism.
    11. Are we against saving souls?

And saith unto him, We have found the Messias.

  1. The first and foremost subject of conversation should be God’s truth of Christ.
    1. In an election year, nearly all conversations are about men and women that have not done anything for you, do not know you, and cannot help you.
    2. For those that dislike politics, they talk about athletes and DWTS. Folly!
    3. Consider how great Jesus is and what great things He has done and will do!
  2. The plural pronoun we here can easily be John, a partner of Peter (Luke 5:10).
  3. We can also easily be Andrew and Peter, for they were in Judea for the purpose, and the next verse continues with Andrew as the primary testifier of Christ.
  4. Messias. The Greek transliterated Hebrew word Messiah, for the Anointed One.
    1. It is found in prophecy in Daniel 9:24-25 and confirmed by John 1:41; 4:25.
    2. Notice the definite article the identifying this anointed One as one of a kind.
    3. The foretold Son was the Anointed One (Ps 45:7; 89:20; Is 61:1; Dan 9:24).
  5. The glorious news of the gospel is a Person … a Man … a Him … Jesus Christ.
    1. Peter, like all Jews, believed in God Jehovah, the one Creator God already.
    2. By progressive revelation and manifestation, Jesus came in fullness of time.
    3. The gospel, thus real evangelism, must put Christ first (I Cor 2:2; Gal 6:14).
  6. Check out evangelism … Pentecost … Samaria … eunuch … Cornelius … etc.
    1. Even at Pentecost, the preaching was not about the Spirit, but about Christ.
    2. Philip in Samaria and to the Ethiopian eunuch preached about Jesus Christ.
    3. Peter wasted no time telling Cornelius and his household about the Lord.

Which is, being interpreted, the Christ.

  1. Christ. The Greek translated Hebrew word Messiah, for the Anointed One.
  2. The word is formally a title of Jesus of Nazareth, the Anointed Messiah of God.
  3. However, the title became part of His name and used in combination 247 times.
  4. Can you keep Jesus … Christ … Lord … distinguished for maximum meaning?

42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.

And he brought him to Jesus.

  1. Andrew brought Simon Peter his brother to Jesus Christ as the Messiah of God.
  2. When we use expressions like leading a person to Christ, this is what we mean.
    1. We do not intend by such words that we got a new name in the book of life.
    2. Peter was born again before meeting Jesus, or he would have been fishing.
  3. We believe Jesus was where He dwelth (1:39), for the next day is not until 1:43.

And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona.

  1. His original name was Simon (Simeon) son of Jonas (Jonah) or Simon Barjona.
  2. While not conclusive, Jesus might have stated his name before Andrew did.

Thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.

  1. Jesus gave Simon Peter a new name to carry a specific meaning about him.
  2. Jesus surnamed him Cephas (Syriac) and Peter (Greek), both meaning a stone.
  3. Rome has wrested this name and our Lord’s use of rock in Matthew 16:16-18.
    1. They love to think that the church is built upon Peter as their first pope.
    2. The testimony of Peter, of Jesus as Christ and Son of God, is our foundation.

43 The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.

The day following.

  1. The origin of our religion is written in great detail to convince the elect to faith.
  2. Note many details in a day-by-day account with individual converts identified.
  3. This is fourth of five days in sequence (Jn 1:19,29,35,43; 2:1,12). Love details!
  4. The day before is the conversion of Andrew, John, Peter to Christ (Jn 1:35-42).

Jesus would go forth into Galilee.

  1. With His work done in Judea, at Jordan with the Baptist, Jesus headed to home.
  2. Jesus grew up in Nazareth, a city of Galilee near the Sea of Galilee (Mat 21:11).
  3. Other towns in the area were Capernaum, Cana, Chorazin, Magdala, Bethsaida.
  4. There is a prophecy of the Messiah visiting this area (Is 9:1-2; Matt 4:12-16).

And findeth Philip.

  1. Jesus can and will find every one of His sheep, and you should bless Him for it.
  2. J. Baptist led Andrew to Christ; Andrew led Peter to Jesus; Jesus found Philip.
  3. Jesus is the Lamb of God, but He is also the Good, Great, and Chief Shepherd.
  4. Philip. A Greek name meaning lover of horses. One of Christ’s twelve apostles.
  5. He was from Bethsaida, the same hometown of Andrew and Peter (John 1:44).

And saith unto him, Follow me.

  1. This was not Philip’s formal calling or ordination as an apostle; it came later.
  2. The call has been issued to you as well, through our apostle (I Co 11:1; Ep 5:2).
  3. We follow as His disciples, as example, as friends, as servants, as ambassadors.

44 Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.

Now Philip was of Bethsaida.

  1. It does not say Jesus traveled to Bethsaida, but rather that Philip was of there.
  2. This town was in Galilee (Jn 12:21), the area surrounding the Sea of Galilee.
    1. It means house of fish or nets, obvious for a seashore town of fishermen.
    2. The precise location of the town has been lost, with several sites suggested.
  3. Jesus later condemned it for great sins, but He had His elect there (Matt 11:21).

The city of Andrew and Peter.

  1. At least five apostles from the area … James, John, Andrew, Peter, and Philip.
  2. James and John were Peter’s partners; they lived near each other (Lu 5:10-11).

45 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.

Philip findeth Nathanael.

  1. The friendship or family relationship between these two is not disclosed to us.
  2. The relationship is irrelevant, but the pursuit of another’s soul is very righteous.
  3. Consider foolish and vain things you would call everyone you know to tell.
    1. $25k in your car, a pill guaranteed to lose a pound a day, a diner giving free food for a month, the mayor coming to your house for supper, an investment idea for 10% guaranteed, a free flight anywhere for you and a friend, etc.
    2. If you have a special friend, you take them with you to introduce to others.
    3. Lovers of social media share every bit of worthless trivia they can think of.
    4. Even Christians text, tweet, or post all sort of nonsense no one cares about.
  4. Now consider some fabulous facts about God and the gospel you yawn about.
    1. If Jehovah is only half what He shows and says, He trumps all else forever.
    2. If Jesus of Nazareth is Jehovah in the flesh and coming again, it trumps all.
    3. If the Bible is half true in what it claims, living for anything else is insanity.
    4. The body of truth in a Bible trumps all human learning in all fields of study.
    5. To assure one of eternal life and show him how to live this life is fabulous.
    6. To share the joy of fellowship with Jesus by His Spirit should motivate you.
  5. Paul was obsessed to save as many elect Israelites as he could (Ro 9:1-5; 10:1).
    1. He endured all things to get the message of salvation to them (II Tim 2:10).
    2. Like Paul, Aquila and Priscilla quickly pursued Apollos (Acts 18:24-28).
    3. Cornelius gathered family, friends, and servants together (Acts 10:24-27).
  6. Who have you found to share the truth of the gospel of God and Christ with?
    1. Are you like Andrew or Philip here with their immediate pursuit of others?
    2. Remember how Solomon wrote that the righteous win souls (Prov 11:30).
    3. If the angels of heaven rejoice over one repenting soul, what about you?
    4. Jesus sent the Gadarene to tell his friends what great things God had done.
    5. Consider woman of Samaria, thief on cross, the eunuch, Ruth, spouses, etc.
    6. Think six degrees of separation; annual replicating covers earth in 33 years.
    7. The sermon, For Love of a Soul.
    8. Proverbs 11:30 commentary.
    9. One Soul at a Time.

And saith unto him, We have found him.

  1. The glorious news of the gospel is a Person … a Man … a Him … Jesus Christ.
    1. Peter, like all Jews, believed in God Jehovah, the one Creator God already.
    2. By progressive revelation and manifestation, Jesus came in fullness of time.
    3. The gospel, thus real evangelism, must put Christ first (I Cor 2:2; Gal 6:14).
  2. Check out evangelism … Pentecost … Samaria … eunuch … Cornelius … etc.
    1. Even at Pentecost, the preaching was not about the Spirit, but about Christ.
    2. Philip in Samaria and to the Ethiopian eunuch preached about Jesus Christ.
    3. Peter wasted no time telling Cornelius and his household about the Lord.
  3. Can you detect any enthusiasm by Philip for the great news he had to share?
  4. His words are not wrong, but Jesus found Philip (Gal 4:9; Phil 3:12; I Jn 4:19).

Of whom Moses in the law.

  1. The appeal to any man, with preparatory teaching if necessary, is to the Bible.
    1. Preparatory teaching is necessary for those that grew up without the Bible.
    2. Avoid all appeals to convictions, feelings, tradition, history, and such like.
    3. We establish the existence of God, then His revelation, before Jesus Christ.
    4. The Bible is divine.
  2. Did Moses in the law teach about Jesus Christ, so Philip could appeal to it?
    1. Philip was prudent and went after a point of truth Nathanael could not deny.
    2. As in verse 21, the Jews knew about the prophet like Moses (De 18:15-19).
    3. Moses also wrote early about the Seed of the woman as Saviour (Gen 3:15).
    4. Moses also wrote early of the Seed of Abraham as Saviour (Gen 22:15-18).
    5. Moses also wrote the prophecy of Jacob about Judah’s Shiloh (Gen 49:10).
    6. Moses also recorded Balaam’s Star and Scepter of Israel (Num 24:17-19).

And the prophets, did write.

  1. David was a prophet, and he wrote a number of Messianic Psalms about Jesus.
  2. For about fifteen Messianic Psalms (also see here).
  3. Isaiah prophesied of Israel’s Messiah (Is 7:14; 9:6-7; 11:1-5,10; 53:1-12; etc.).
  4. Jeremiah prophesied of David their King (Jer 23:5-8; 30:9; 33:14-22; etc.).
  5. Ezekiel also prophesied of this David as King (Ezek 34:23-24; 37:24-28; etc.).
  6. Daniel foretold of the Son of man and the Messiah (Daniel 7:13-14; 9:24-27).
  7. Hosea also got into the prophecy of a future David as king (Hosea 3:4-5;11:1).
  8. Micah gave the specific location of Bethlehem for the Lord’s birth (Micah 5:2).
  9. Haggai told of the Desire of all Nations blessing the second temple (Hag 2:6-9).
  10. Zechariah gave several prophecies of Christ (Zech 3:8-9; 6:12-13; 9:9; etc.).
  11. Malachi closed the Old Testament foretelling John and Jesus (Mal 3:1-3; 4:1-6).

Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.

  1. His given name with two identifiers to distinguish Him from any other Joshuas.
  2. Nathanael, likely from that region to know Philip, might have known of Jesus.
  3. Why did Matthew write what he did in 2:23, though not found in any prophet?
  4. Paul was accused, truly, as a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes (Ac 24:5).
  5. The right information, learned in turn, was Jesus of Bethlehem and Son of God.

46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.

And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?

  1. Questions are in fact good, but they should be based on learning, not prejudice.
    1. Bereans are exalted for ready minds and demand for scripture (Acts 17:11).
    2. It is a command to prove all things and only hold fast the truth (I Thes 5:21).
    3. Questions by curiosity or ignorance can be foolish and unlearned questions.
  2. Jews thought Jesus came from Bethlehem, not Nazareth of Galilee (Jn 7:41-42).
    1. Both are true: He was born in Bethlehem but raised in Nazareth (Matt 2:23).
    2. They knew there was no written prophecy of Messiah of Galilee (John 7:52).
    3. God led Joseph from Galilee for the birth and then back (Lu 2:4; Matt 2:23).
    4. Rightly dividing God’s word could have saved some from their ignorance.
    5. There is a difference between that written or spoken by prophets (Matt 2:23).
  3. The Galileans were despised as backwoods rednecks, with some justification.
  4. They foolishly despised small things and base things (Zeh 4:10; I Cor 1:26-29).
  5. Let us always do anything to free Christ and His gospel from unfair prejudice.

Philip saith unto him, Come and see.

  1. Philip did not care to quibble of Jewish confusion; he had heard John Baptist.
  2. Honest and sincere men hear before judging (Pr 18:13; Ac 17:11; I Thes 5:21).
  3. A little knowledge to believe a thing, more to teach it, much more to defend it.
  4. If or when you do not know an answer, go to the source for one (Prov 15:28).
  5. God gave pastors and teachers to help you with answers (Acts 8:31; Mal 2:7).
  6. Do not cheat hearers by saying, Go and check it out; say rather, Come and see.

47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!

Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him.

  1. Jesus saw the friend that Philip brought to meet Him, but they had not spoken.
  2. With only visual observation, Jesus made a lofty summary of unseen character.
  3. Jesus is the Word of God: all things are naked and open to Him (Heb 4:12-14).

And saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed.

  1. Rather than rebuke Nathanael for ignorance, Jesus praised him for character.
    1. We should be more ready to find agreement than to find fault with believers.
    2. There is nothing wrong, but rather it is wisdom, to admit another’s grace.
  2. There were two kinds of Israelites – elect-sincere and reprobate-hypocrites.
    1. Paul dealt with this distinction at length to condemn Jews (Rom 2:28-29).
    2. Paul dealt with this distinction at length for the gospel (Rom 9:1-8,25-29).
  3. Indeed. In actual fact, in reality, in truth; really, truly, assuredly, positively.
    1. Most churches have widows, but few have widows indeed (I Tim 5:1-16).
    2. There are disciples, but only some continue as disciples indeed (Jn 8:31).
    3. Jesus and the apostles might have known indeed, but we cannot always tell.
  4. Not all of Israel is Israel, but rather imposters like Ishmael (Gal 6:16; 4:21-31).

In whom is no guile.

  1. This man had no deceit or hypocrisy in him, quite different from most Israelites.
    1. John Baptist had exposed the Pharisees that came to his baptism (Matt 3:7-12).
    2. Jesus had to deal with hypocrisy of Jewish leaders throughout His ministry.
  2. The grace of God should move us get rid of all guile to truly grow (I Pet 2:1-3).
    1. Guile. Insidious cunning, deceit, treachery (Ex 21:14; Ps 55:11; II Co 12:16).
    2. How much guile is allowed in a Christian? None at all; all is to be laid aside.
    3. Christians should seek to live like the 144,000 … no guile (Revelation 14:5).
    4. Jesus is a great example in the issue and obtained blessings (I Pet2:22; 3:10).
    5. Godly men are entirely transparent with nothing harmful ever hid from view.
    6. It is better to be naïve, gullible, innocent, honest to a fault, or defrauded.
  3. There is foolishness, forgetfulness, and faults that are not guile or wickedness.
  4. Examine yourself to remove all rebellion, scorn, or hypocrisy from your heart.
  5. Any agenda or wicked thought in your heart about any person is sinful guile.

48 Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.

Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me?

  1. Jesus had made a rather definitive and personal statement in the previous verse.
  2. Nathanael knew they had not met previously, so he asked how He knew him.
  3. Nathanael knew this illustrious person Philip claimed had opened with praise.
  4. Rather than agree with Jesus about himself, Nathanael redirected to knowledge.

Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee.

  1. What an answer! Before Philip told you of me, I already knew thee very well.
    1. Before we are found of men or hear them, God already knows us intimately.
    2. Isaiah declared God knew Cyrus and named him in his ignorance (Is 45:4).
  2. Jesus could have gone much further and told of His eternal knowledge of Him.
    1. We know that He has known us from before the foundation of the world.
    2. He knows details of you that you do not even know e.g. hairs of your head.
  3. The key in our faith is not our knowledge of God, but rather His of us (Gal 4:9).

When thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.

  1. Jesus pulled a certain detail from the landscape to prove He was not guessing.
  2. Sorcery and witchcraft, psychics to fortune cookies, guess and use generalities.
  3. Does He know details about you? How about the number of hairs on your head?
  4. No thought of evil or good escapes Him (Proverbs 15:3; Psalm 139:1-16; 56:8).

49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.

Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi.

  1. Nathanael responded with strong faith at omniscience after Philip’s testimony.
    1. Jesus encouraged men to believe on Him for His works (John 5:36; 14:11).
    2. Jesus gave power to His apostles to confirm them (Mark 16:17-20; Ac 1:8).
    3. Recall how strongly Saul of Tarsus responded to his first meeting with Jesus.
    4. Doubts and questions gone, Nathanael gives a glorious testimony of Christ.
  2. Rabbi. A title of respect (in use since the first century B.C.) given by the Jews to doctors of the law.
    1. Jesus deserved the title unofficially; He could handle the law (Lu 2:42-27).
    2. Andrew and his companion had used it of Jesus the previous day (Jn 1:38).
    3. It is used five times in this gospel, and used twice in warning in Matthew.
    4. Jesus warned disciples against using it in public of others (Matt 23:7-12).
    5. The inspired title of Peter used by Paul was beloved brother (II Pet 3:15).
    6. Elihu taught very early that flattering titles were wrong (Job 32:21-22).

Thou art the Son of God.

  1. Note the specific testimonies that the apostle John has recorded of Jesus Christ.
    1. John introduced the Son of God (Jn 1:14,18); John Baptist stated it (Jn 1:34).
    2. His goal is beyond history; he compiled proof for faith (Jn 20:31; I Jn 5:13).
  2. Throughout the New Testament this fact of the gospel is of great importance.
    1. The apostles confessed it later when He calmed a great storm (Mark 14:33).
    2. Jesus will commend Peter for a revelation from heaven (Matthew 16:15-17).
    3. Believing Jesus is Son of God is the basic axiom of the gospel (Acts 8:37).
    4. John summarized a result of regeneration as believing this fact (I Jn 5:4-5).
  3. By revelation, like Peter, or by scripture such as Psalm 2:7, Nathanael testified.

Thou art the King of Israel.

  1. This goes beyond just the Son of God by His miraculous incarnation in Mary.
  2. Jesus is also the fulfillment of David’s Son that would reign on David’s throne.
    1. The prophets foretold it (Psalm 2:6; 110:1; Isaiah 9:6-7; Jer 23:5-6; Ezek 37:21-25; Hosea 3:5; Micah 5:2; Zech 6:12-13; 9:9).
    2. Gabriel announced to Mary that Jesus would be David’s king (Lu 1:32-33).
    3. Wise men looked for this king causing a stir in Jerusalem (Matthew 2:1-6).
    4. This prophecy was also fulfilled at His entrance in Jerusalem (Jn 12:13-15).
    5. Pilate put the religious fact in three languages on the cross (John 19:19-22).
  3. We do not disconnect His kingdom from the anointed Messiah (Daniel 9:24).
  4. Jerusalem’s council had Jesus rebuild the house/kingdom of David (Ac 15:18).

50 Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.

Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou?

  1. Jesus used divine omniscience, but the water to wine is His first public miracle.
  2. Jesus commended Nathanael for believing in Him for such a very small miracle.
  3. Later, Jesus commended you for believing without seeing His marks (Jn 20:29).
  4. Let us identify in ourselves and in others the basis for their faith or it is no faith.
  5. We should not need much to believe on Him if our hearts are opened by Him.

Thou shalt see greater things than these.

  1. Nathanael certainly saw many miracles greater than Jesus’ divine omniscience.
  2. One divine attribute presumes and/or requires the full divine authority/power.
  3. John will use hyperbole to say the world could not contain the books (Jn 21:25).
  4. Believers should be encouraged at the greater things yet to come for their faith.
  5. The greater use you make of what He reveals, He will reveal more (John 7:17).

51 And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.

And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you.

  1. Here is the first occurrence of Jesus Christ saying, Verily, verily; I say unto you.
    1. There are 25 occurrences in the gospel of John; no others in the whole Bible.
    2. The word verily occurs 49 other times by itself in the N.T. (63 in the Bible).
  2. Verily. adv. In truth or verity; as a matter of truth or fact; in deed, fact, or reality; really, truly. Placed in front of a sentence or statement as an emphatic asseveration of its truth or accuracy.
  3. John recorded facts to prove Jesus the Christ to believers (Jn 20:31; I Jn 5:13).
    1. He is a stickler for doctrinal integrity as our Introduction shows repeatedly.
    2. He is the only writer to use the term antichrist for Christological heresies.

Hereafter ye shall see heaven open.

  1. We do not assume it literally, but rather metaphorically of divine involvement.
  2. Malachi promised a thing similar for giving, but we see it a symbol (Mal 3:10).
  3. The little token of omniscience to Nathanael was only the beginning of power.
  4. Knowing Nathanael was so small, His first miracle is not until the next chapter.

And the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.

  1. Jesus had angelic help before His conception and all the way to His ascension.
    1. Gabriel appeared to both parents and Zacharias for two miracle conceptions.
    2. The birth of Jesus was announced to some shepherds with very great fanfare.
    3. They strengthened the Lord Jesus after His temptation and in Gethsemane.
    4. A great chorus of angels welcomed the risen Lord to heaven (Rev 5:11-12).
  2. Involvement of angels is part of the confirming aspect of His earthly ministry.
    1. The great mystery of godliness includes being seen of angels (I Tim 3:16).
    2. When God caused His birth, He told the angels to worship Him (Heb 1:6).
    3. Though humiliated on earth, he was promoted far over them (I Peter 3:22).
    4. The word of Jesus is true in general, in specific, and like Jacob (Gen 28:12).
  3. Notice that Jesus refers to Himself as the Son of man in humility to Nathanael.
    1. Do not think Son of man only means humanity or Son of God only divinity.
    2. The holy thing born of Mary, the human infant, was Son of God (Lu 1:35).
    3. The Son of man talking to Nicodemus was at that time in heaven (Jn 3:13).
    4. Avoid any extreme to minimize or neglect either of His two perfect natures.
  4. Jesus and angels.
  5. Great mystery of godliness.
  6. Much more about the elect angels