In the previous lesson, we studied the first 14 verses of the Gospel of John and learned that the Lord Jesus is the Word who became flesh. He is the Son of God, the Only Begotten of the Father and is God. We learned that all things seen and unseen were created through Him. The apostle John, the disciple who spent 3 years with the Lord Jesus, characterizes Him in this way.
Today we will study the following 14 verses. We will meet John the Baptist, another John, whom God has chosen for one purpose in life: to prepare the way for the Lord Jesus. A personality that has caused confusion among religious leaders since then.
John testified about Him and called out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who is coming after me has proved to be my superior, because He existed before me.’” For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time; God the only Son, who is in the arms of the Father, He has explained Him. This is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites to him from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” And he confessed and did not deny; and this is what he confessed: “I am not the Christ.” And so they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” And he said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” Then they said to him, “Who are you? Tell us, so that we may give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” He said, “I am the voice of one calling out in the wilderness, ‘Make the way of the Lord straight,’ as Isaiah the prophet said. And the messengers had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, and said to him, “Why then are you baptizing, if you are not the [i]Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” John answered them, saying, “I baptize in water, but among you stands One whom you do not know. It is He who comes after me, of whom I am not worthy even to untie the strap of His sandal.” These things took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing people. (John 1:15-28 NASB)
All of John the Baptist’s work was focused on promoting the person of Jesus among the people of Israel. By the expression “He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me” John the Baptist pointed to the divine nature of the Lord Jesus. John, who was 6 months older than the Lord Jesus, presents Him as the One who existed before He was born. A powerful statement that, I am sure, was out of place in the minds and hearts of the Jews. The Jews perceived Jesus as a man, the son of the carpenter Joseph, who had grown up in their midst and who at that point was 30 years old.
“The law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
Moses was an Old Testament prophet and leader of the people of Israel, by whom God gave the Jews the 10 commandments and other laws regarding worship. But Moses was only a mortal man, in contrast to the immortal Lord Jesus. Moses was the bearer of the Word of God, but the Lord Jesus was the Word of God Himself. Grace means an undeserved gift. None of us deserved the Creator Himself to come down to us and save us from sin. Jesus Christ not only brought the truth, but He Himself said in John 14:6:
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life;
Many people seek truth in other religions, but the TRUTH is the Lord Jesus. If we know Him, we are on the right path.
No one has seen God at any time; God the only Son, who is in the arms of the Father, He has explained Him. (John 1:18 NASB)
The Lord Jesus made known the love of God the Father to all mankind.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NASB)
Let us pray: “Our Father in heaven, thank you for showing me your love for me by sending the Lord Jesus into this world. The whole Gospel of John speaks of His person and work. Grace and Truth came through Him. Help me to believe in Your Son so that I may not die in my sins, but have eternal life. Amen!”
Translated by Didina Vicliuc