Thoughts of John

What is on my mind.

Bearing Witness of The Light: John 1:6-8

INTRODUCTION

1. In the prologue to his gospel, the apostle John introduces another man named John…

a. A man who was sent from God – Jn 1:6

b. A man who came to bear witness of the Light – Jn 1:7

— This man, of course, was John the Baptist

2. John the apostle makes it clear that this other “John” was not the Light…

a. Not only here in the prologue – Jn 1:8

b. But also immediately following the prologue – cf. Jn 1:19-20

3. John the Baptist’s purpose in bearing witness of the Light…

a. That all might believe – 1Jn 1:7

b. The same reason John the apostle wrote his gospel – cf. Jn 20:30-31

4. John was not the only person to bear witness of the Light…

a. Others did before he came

b. Others have since he came

Even we have a responsibility to bear witness of the Light! Before we consider how, let’s note those who have done so in the past…

I. THE FORERUNNERS OF CHRIST

A. THE OLD TESTAMENT PROPHETS…

1. They foretold the sufferings of Christ, and the glories to  follow – 1Pe 1:10-11

a. E.g., the prophet Isaiah – Isa 7:14; 9:6-7; 53:4-6

b. E.g., the prophet Micah – Mic 5:2

c. It has been estimated that there are more than 300  prophecies concerning Christ

2. Jesus reminded His disciples of this truth

a. To the two disciples on the road to Emmaus – Lk 24:25-27

b. Later to the apostles in Jerusalem – Lk 24:44-47

B. JOHN THE BAPTIST…

1. Foretold by Isaiah – Isa 40:3

2. Identified as such by Matthew, Mark, and Luke – Mt 3:1-3; Mk 1:1-4; Lk 3:1-6

3. John the apostle relates how John the Baptist bore witness of the Light

a. Declaring Jesus to be “The Lamb of God” – Jn 1:29,35-36

b. Declaring Jesus to be “The Son of God” – Jn 1:34

[Both the prophets and John bore witness to Jesus prior to His ministry. During the course of His ministry, there was another One who bore witness of the Light…]

II. THE FATHER OF CHRIST

A. HE BORE WITNESS THROUGH SIGNS…

1. Through the miracles Jesus did – cf. Jn 5:36-37; 10:25,37-38

2. Even as Nicodemus and the man born blind realized – cf. Jn 3:2; 9:32-33

B. HE BORE WITNESS THROUGH HIS VOICE FROM HEAVEN…

1. At the baptism of Jesus – Mt 3:16-17

2. At the mount of transfiguration – Mt 17:5

3. At Jerusalem during the last week – Jn 12:27-30

C. HE BORE WITNESS THROUGH RAISING JESUS FROM THE DEAD…

1. Declaring Jesus to be the Son of God with power – Ro 1:3-4

2. Declaring Jesus to be One will judge the world – Ac 17:30-31

[When the Father raised Jesus from the dead, He was seen by select witnesses who in turn were commanded to add their witness of the Light (Ac 10:40-43).  But not just the apostles; in some ways we can say that witnesses of the Light includes all…]

III. THE FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST

A. THE APOSTLES OF CHRIST…

1. They bore witness through their eyewitness testimony

a. In this they are very special witnesses – cf. Jn 15:27; Ac  1:8; 5:30-32; 13:30-31

b. Providing empirical evidence – cf. 1Jn 1:1-2; 2Pe 1:16-18

2. They bore witness through their lives and death

a. Enduring great hardship for their testimony – cf. 1Co 4:9-13

b. Giving credence to the truthfulness of their testimony!

B. THE DISCIPLES OF CHRIST…

1. Their unity with one another bears witness – Jn 17:20-23

a. Through our unity we bear witness to the fact:

1) Jesus was sent by God

2) God loves the world

b. Should make one think how Jesus feels about congregationa infighting, denominational division, etc.

1) We know how Paul feels – cf. 1Co 1:10-13; 3:3-4

2) We know what conduct is worthy of our calling – cf. Ep 4:1-3

2. Their transformed lives also bears witness

a. As evidence of the influence of Christ in their lives – cf. 2Co 3:18; 4:6

1) Whose truth teaches us how to live in righteousness and holiness – cf. Ep 4:17-24

2) Enabling us to shine as lights in the world as we reflect the glory of His light in our lives – Php 2:12-16

b. Should make one think how we can be of much use if we are not being transformed

1) By failing to renew of our minds – cf. Ro 12:1-2

2) By failing to put on the new man (a Christ-like character) – cf. Col 3:9-17

3. Their proclamation of the Word bears witness

a. Our duty as the elect people of God is to proclaim His praises – 1Pe 2:9-10

1) How He called us into His marvelous light

2) How we obtained His mercy

b. Should make one think of how little use we are if we remain silent

1) By not spreading the gospel – cf. Ac 8:4

2) By not sounding forth the Word – cf. 1Th 1:8

CONCLUSION

1. Those in the past faithfully bore witness of the Light…

a. The forerunners (the prophets and John the Baptist)

b. The followers (the apostles and early disciples)

2. What about us today…?

a. Do we bear witness of the Light by our unity with one another?

b. Do we bear witness of the Light through transformed lives?

c. Do we bear witness of the Light through proclaiming the Word?

The purpose of bearing witness of the Light is so others can believe (Jn1:7).  Do we help or hinder those around us to believe in Jesus? Don’t quench the Father’s efforts, who would have each of us bear witness of the Light!  “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2Co 4:6)

“For you were once darkness, but now [you are] light in the Lord.  Walk as children of light.” (Ep 5:8)

[What did John the Baptist testify concerning Jesus?  What lessons can we learn from his testimony?  We note first of all that John the Baptist proclaimed…]

I. I AM NOT THE CHRIST

A. HIS TESTIMONY ABOUT HIMSELF…

1. He confessed he was not the Christ – Jn 1:19-20

a. Many people wondered if he were the Christ – cf. Lk 3:15

b. John clearly asserts that he was not the Christ

2. He was not literally Elijah as foretold by Malachi – Jn 1:21a

a. Some thought Elijah would return in person, which John denies – cf. Mal 4:5

b. John did fulfill the prophecy, which was figurative

1) As foretold by the angel Gabriel – cf. Lk 1:l7

2) As testified by Jesus – cf. Mt 11:11-15; Mt 17:10-13

3. He was not the Prophet foretold by Moses – Jn 1:21b

a. Moses foretold a Prophet like him would come – cf. Deut 18:15-18

b. Many people were anticipating the arrival of this Prophet – cf. Jn 6:14; 7:40

c. This Prophet was indeed Jesus, not John – cf. Ac 3:22-26

4. He was the one foretold by Isaiah – Jn 1:22-23

a. The voice of one crying in the wilderness – cf. Isa 40:1-3

b. Sent to prepare the way of the Lord – cf. Lk 1:16-17; 2:76-79

B. LESSONS FROM HIS TESTIMONY…

1. John’s example is a powerful one for all Christians, especially ministers

2. As followers of Christ, our task is similar to his role as forerunner

a. To deflect attention away from ourselves, and point people to Christ!

b. Let us never forget, no matter how honored we may be, we are not the Christ!

[As John continues with his testimony, he proclaims concerning Jesus…]

II. HE IS PREFERRED BEFORE ME

A. HIS TESTIMONY ABOUT CHRIST…

1. Given in response to those from the Pharisees – Jn 1:24-25,28

a. Why did he baptize, if not Christ, Elijah, or the Prophet?

b. For he had been baptizing in Bethabara (or Bethany) beyond the Jordan

2. The One coming after him is preferred before him – Jn 1:26-27

a. Even One who was in their midst as he spoke!

b. Whose sandal strap not even John was not worthy to loose!

3. The reason Jesus was preferred before him?

a. “For He was before me” (i.e., because of His preexistence) – cf. Jn 1:15,30

b. “Who is mightier than I” (i.e., because of His power) – cf. Mk 1:7

4. John would later reaffirm Jesus’ preference over himself

a. “He must increase, but I must decrease” – Jn 3:30

b. He is “above all” – Jn 3:31

John 1:6-8, 15, 19-28

How did John the Baptist shine as a light in the world?

A witness will establish the truth. There are seven witnesses in the book of John. Who are they and what  fact do they witness about? John 1.7-8; 5.31-32, 34-39, 8.14, 18; 15.24, 26-27

What is the importance for the time element in 1.15?

In 1:19 the Jewish leaders asked the question of John the Baptist “Who are you?” How would you explain this question?

What is the significance of the “I” phrases from John the Baptist” John 1.23, 26, 27, 30, 31, 34

Further Study:

Contrast the “Word” (Jesus) with the “Voice” (John the Baptist).

Where have we seen the popularity of the person doing the proclaiming overshadow the One who is to be proclaimed?

How can our lives be a witness to the Light?  Are we living as witnesses for the Light?

Does the witness of our life have to eventually cause us to verbally share about Christ?

Who needs to know Christ as Savior?  Are we knocking down all of the barriers that would prevent someone from hearing about the Word?  In other words, are we making straight the way of the Lord or, are our lives becoming stumbling blocks for the witness of Christ?

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October 2, 2009 - Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Christian, Christianity, God, Gospel of John, Jesus, New Testament, Theology

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