New American Standard Bible
The Witness John the Baptist
6 A man came, one sent from God, and his name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light.
9 This was the true Light that, coming into the world, enlightens every person. 10 He was in the world, and the world came into being through Him, and yet the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own people did not accept Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of a man, but of God.
God used a human agent to herald the coming of His Son. John the Baptist ministry was prophesied by Isaiah 700 years before John would step onto the scene (Isaiah 40:3). John in his gospel only refers to him as John because there is no other John mentioned in John’s gospel. John refers to himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved. But it is important to see that John the Baptist was sent by God. He was a prophet who proclaimed the coming of God’s kingdom and for the people to prepare their hearts to receive their Messiah. But again the focus is on the deity of Christ. If Christ is indeed the Messiah, He is God Almighty. The Jews had a misunderstanding of Messiah because they simply believed He would be a human agent only, a descendant of David, and a conquering King. But only God could fully become human, live a life without sin, give His life in place of lost humanity, and pay the price that was needed for our freedom.
John the baptist came as a witness to the coming of the Messiah. He came as a witness to the light and to testify about the light. It was through the preaching of John that the hearts of the people were prepared for the coming of Jesus. In this day and age we live in we now look to the second coming of Jesus Christ. What prepares our hearts now for His coming is the proper preaching of God’s word. When God’s word is compromised or failed to be rightly preached it causes people to live in lukewarmness or remain spiritually dead. But when the word is preached under the leading and anointing of the Holy Spirit, a person is confronted with their sin and called to repent. John’s message was a simple one “repent for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand”. John knew that when he saw the Spirit descend and remain that the Messiah would be revealed. It was imminent.
John the Baptist was only a servant of the Most High God. Here in verse nine John makes it clear that John the Baptist was not the light. The light is only Christ. Jesus said I am the light of the world. John the Baptist's role was to testify about the light. We must remember that the purpose of John’s gospel is that those who read it would come to believe that Jesus is truly God Almighty. John’s gospel is focused on the deity of Christ. The testimony of a witness would be key to this and John fulfilled the words prophesied by Isaiah that spoke of the forerunner of the coming Messiah (Isaiah 40:3).
The true light in verse night is Jesus Christ. He is the true light that is coming into the world. The mention of a true light must point to counterfeits or those who presented themselves as true lights. It is only through Christ that a person is made whole. It is only through Christ that a person is set free and their sins are forgiven. We are born into darkness and sin. We walk through this life before knowing Jesus simply groping in the darkness. But when we come to know Christ our eyes are open to the truth. His truth truly illuminates our lives.
The truth of the gospel is open to all people. Regardless of gender, race, or background, the gospel is presented. The Lord knocks on the doors of hearts, but man must respond to the truth of the gospel. When the gospel is presented a person is confronted with their own sinfulness. In this world there is only one answer for the sin of humanity and that is the precious blood of Jesus. To truly be enlightened one must make a decision to make Jesus Lord and Savior. The rejection of Jesus Christ is a decision to remain in darkness and without Christ there truly is no hope.
Jesus came to the world that He created. He walked among those He created. Though everything was made through Him, His own creation did not recognize Him. They rejected the truth of God Almighty and instead chose the darkness and lies of the enemy. Salvation is based on knowing Jesus personally. To know Christ is to be set free from sin and this world. But to reject Christ is to not know Him. Sadly when those who rejected Him stand before Him in judgement, the final words they will hear Him say is “away from me I never knew you”. For Him to know us, we must know Him. He knocks but we must answer and open the door.
Jesus not only created all things, but He created the nation of Israel. Through the covenant established with Abraham, God chose a people and began a covenant relationship. This relationship was passed from Abraham, to Isaac, to Jacob. The very nation that Jesus was in covenant with and the very one He was born into on the earth, rejected Him. He came to His own as their Messiah. The prophets of old spoke of the coming of the Messiah. David was promised that he would always have a descendant to sit upon the throne. They were looking for a human conquering king and they failed to understand that which they were looking for stood before them. Almighty God walked among them and they were blinded by their sin.
The right or power to become a child of God is found by faith in Jesus Christ. Those who receive Christ, regardless of gender, race, or background, have the incredible privilege, honor, and gift to become a child of God. No one born into this world is a child of God. We are all born into sin and darkness because of Adam and Eve and their sin in the garden to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. But those who receive Christ as Lord and Savior have their names written in the Lamb’s book of life, they are sealed by the Holy Spirit, and they become children of the Most High God. Our salvation is a gift alone. There is no place for arrogance or pride. We are saved by grace, we are kept by grace, we are given entrance into God’s kingdom by grace. When we understand this vital truth it removes all fear and condemnation. We understand no matter what we face today that His grace is sufficient for all things.
Our rebirth in Christ is a supernatural rebirth. Upon faith and trust in Christ we are born again through the power and person of the Holy Spirit. It is not by human blood or a father’s will, it is by God Almighty and His hand alone. We are chosen by God, we are drawn by God, we are presented with the gift of salvation, but we must choose to accept. God is the one who initiates salvation and it is man who responds. It is 100 percent based on the sovereignty of God and 100 percent based on the freewill of man. It is a relationship that we will not fully understand on this side of Heaven. But praise be to God who has made a way for us to be saved from the bondage of sin and death. Though we have done nothing to warrant salvation, He looks down upon us and chooses to have mercy upon us.