Light over darkness John 1:4-28 is the topic that will be discussed today on RIOT Podcast, a Christian Discipleship Podcast.
In last week’s show, we talked about one of the 7 names that John gives to Jesus in his gospel. That name was Jesus as “the Word” and the word was God. We broke down his name into three parts; He was the eternal Word, the creative word, and the incarnate word.
Today, we are going to cover 2 more names that John gives Jesus; the first was “He is the Light of the world” and the second is “He is the Son of God”.
In our reading, John is going to talk about this light. Light and darkness are recurring themes in John’s gospel. And John is going to show us that the coming of Jesus brought into the world the dawning of a new day. Just as the first creation began with, “Let there be light”. So the new creation begins with the entrance of light into the heart of all of those who believe in Jesus.
Read John 1:4-13
The coming of Jesus brought with it conflict as the powers of darkness opposed it. Let’s break down vs 5 “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” The Greek verb “to overcome” means to grasp or to understand. So what this verse is saying is that as Jesus’ light shines into darkness the dark spirit world cannot comprehend what it means.
(Just like people in general, they will not understand what the Lord is saying and doing and as a result, they will oppose Him.)
Whenever Jesus taught a spiritual truth, His listeners interpreted it in a material or physical way. “The light” that Jesus was giving them was unable to penetrate the darkness in their minds.
(Satan strives to keep people in the darkness, because darkness means death and hell, while light means life and heaven.)
In verses 6-8 we see the ministry of John the Baptist. We know that John was sent as a witness to Jesus, He was sent to tell people that “the light” had come into the world. Israel at the time was blind to the Messiah. In Vs 7 the word “witness” used here, is a keyword that John uses a lot. He used the word “witness” as a noun 14 times and as a verb 33 times in his gospel. John wants us, the readers, to know that there were many eyewitnesses to the life and testimony of Jesus, and John the Baptist was one of the most important to do so.
Why do people reject Jesus? Vs 9-11 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.
Why? Because in John 3:19 the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.
But to those who don’t reject the light, receive him. Lastly, in verses 12-13 “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”
Let’s read 1:15-28 and unpack these verses
John the Baptist is one of 6 people in the gospel of John who gave witness that Jesus is God. In John 1:49 it was Nathaniel, In John 6:69 it was Peter, In John 9:35 it was the Blind man, in John 11:27 it’s Martha, in John 20:28 it’s Thomas and the Lord himself in John 5:25.
Ok so let’s break down what John the Baptist had to say about Jesus. Vs 15 He was eternal. John the Baptist was born 6 months before Jesus, so in this statement, he is referring to Jesus’ preexistence, not his birth date. Jesus existed before John the Baptist was ever conceived.
The next way we see how John the Baptist viewed Jesus is in vs 16-17 Jesus was the fullness of grace and truth.
(If God dealt with us only according to truth, none of us would survive, but he deals with us on the basis of grace and truth. Grace without Truth would be deceitful and truth without grace would be condemning.)
In vs 17, John is saying that the Law revealed God’s truth, But in Jesus grace and truth reach their fullness and is now available to all of us.
In vs 18, John is saying that only God knows what God looks like, so in essence, John the Baptist is saying Jesus is revealing God to us. We know in 1 Tim 1:17 God is invisible. But in Col 1:15 Paul tells us what John the Baptist is saying here, that Jesus is the very image of the invisible God. He is the express image of his persons.
In the last verses of this section 19-28, we see the religious leaders interrogating John the Baptist. They wanted to know who he was. Was he the Messiah, Elijah, etc. and John denied all of that? Then, they wanted to know what he was doing. BY What authority did he have to do this? He told them Isaiah 40:3, that he was the fulfillment of a prophecy given; that he was to make straight the way of the Lord. And lastly, they wanted to know why was he baptizing people?
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