WITNESS – John 1: 6-8

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light
John 1:6-8 ESV

6 Ἐγένετο ἄνθρωπος ἀπεσταλμένος παρὰ θεοῦ, ὄνομα αὐτῷ Ἰωάννης· 7 οὗτος ἦλθεν εἰς μαρτυρίαν, ἵνα μαρτυρήσῃ περὶ τοῦ φωτός, ἵνα πάντες πιστεύσωσιν διʼ αὐτοῦ. 8 οὐκ ἦν ἐκεῖνος τὸ φῶς, ἀλλʼ ἵνα μαρτυρήσῃ περὶ τοῦ φωτός. John 1:6-8 SBLGNT

This verse speaks volumes, though many may assume it as a transitory verse from the impactful opening verses of John 1:1-5. Here, John picks up from Luke 1:39 as Mary visit Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist. As then, this moment John the Baptist stand witness to the divinity of Jesus Christ.

As the Gospels open in revealing who Jesus is, John the Baptist reaffirms that testament to the divinity of Jesus. He stands witness to light, the light that will illuminate our souls. The light that will cast out all the shadows of evil and deceit hidden in the deepest recess of our souls.

As much as theology speaks to the light that illuminates the broken world, I strongly believe that John was talking about ourselves. The world is broken because of us as Paul reveals in Romans 8:22 – “For we know that the whole creation has been moaning in the pains of childbirth until now.” The Fall disrupted the foundations of God’s creation.

John the Baptist stands witness to the one person who has come into this world to set all things right. To bring the light into our very souls and reveal the problem affecting this world. John the Baptist knew and stood witness. He knew what was coming and what Jesus would face.

John the Baptist predestined before his birth to pave the way for the coming of our Saviour. The lamb of God through whom all things would be set right. He spoke to all who would listen that the day was coming and was now here that the King of Kings, the Son of God would grace our world.

The gospel of John is written as a witness to what has come and a revelation of what we have not seen, and the foundation through which we are called through Jesus Christ to the promise of the Kingdom for eternity.

Edwin A. Blum, in his book, “John,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, offers an insightful look to the exegetical context of the verses,

” 1:6. In addition to the eternal Word, a man came on the stage of history: his name was John. This John did not author this Gospel but was the great forerunner of Jesus known as John the Baptist. He was sent from God, which was the secret of his importance. Like the Old Testament prophets he was equipped and commissioned by God for special ministry.1:7. The word witness (both as a noun [martyria] and verb [martyreō]) is important in this Gospel (cf. v. 15, 32, 34; 3:11, 26; 5:31–32, 36–37; 18:37; 19:35; etc). John the Baptist was sent for people’s benefit to be an additional pointer to the truth of Jesus, the Revealer of the Father. People in sin are in such darkness that they need someone to tell them what is light. John’s goal was that all men might come to trust in Jesus.”1:8. John the Baptist was great, but he … was not the Light. Some evidence suggests that the movement begun by John the Baptist continued after his death and even after the death and resurrection of Jesus (4:1; cf. Mark 6:29; Luke 5:33). Twenty years after Jesus’ resurrection (cf. Acts 18:25; 19:1–7) Paul found about 12 disciples of John the Baptist in Ephesus. A Mandaean sect still continues south of Baghdad which, though hostile to Christianity, claims an ancestral link to the Baptist.

It is important that we as Christians acknowledge that John the Baptist was the person through whom would proclaim the coming of the Messiah. He was the Master of Ceremonies, so to speak that introduced everyone for what was to come. As Blum notes that even after Christ had ascended, there were already different sects emerging that were proclaiming otherwise.

The opening 8 verses were made to establish the foundation of Christ, and even as ‘man’ continues to deny him then and today, the verses of John makes it clear that there is none other. As John the Baptist stood witness.

Follow me as I journey through the Gospel of John and study the message revealed by God through this Gospel.

God Bless.



Categories: christianity, english, Gospel of John

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