Followers of John the Baptist
Many continued to follow John the Baptist even in the days of the early church:
Acts 18:25 – Apollos was trained in the teaching of John the Baptist
Acts 19:1-7 – Some where baptizing in John the Baptists name
as far a way as
Luke 3:15 some wondered if the Baptist was the Christ
From these verses it would appear that at least in the general location of the writing of this letter and at a date as late as
this letter (85 AD) there was still a strong following of John the Baptist.
Contrasting John and Jesus
The word “came” is the same word translated “made” three times in verse 3.
This word is in contrast with the verb “was” used to describe the Word.
Jesus “was” in the beginning. John “came” into existence.
The next contrast is John is described as a man.
Jesus has been described as “the Word.”
John was sent by God
John’s mission was of divine origin
John the apostle has just put John the Baptist in his place.
He was not on the same level as Jesus, but he was great because of the mission God sent him on.
Sent From God
“Sent” is the word apestalmenoV it is the perfect tense of the word “apostellw” (apostellw).
The word means “to send, to commission, to send as an authoritative personal representative.”
The Perfect Tense stresses the fact the results of this “sending” continue to exist.
outoV HE hlqen CAME eiV FOR marturian A WITNESS ina THAT marturhsh HE MIGHT WITNESS peri CONCERNING tou THE fwtoV LIGHT ina THAT panteV ALL pisteuswsin MIGHT BELIEVE di THROUGH autou HIM.
“Witness” is from the word marturew (“martyreo”, we get our word “martyr” from this) and means “witness, to be a witness”
The effectiveness of this witness will be discussed in 1:19-51
John’s Purpose and Goal
Goal: That all men might believe
Aorist Tense of pisteuswsin
“Might Believe” is in the aorist tense which stresses the point in time of believing.
It is not perfect tense which would indicate a continuous action.
The aorist is stressing that John’s ministry was to bring people to a point of decision.
The synoptic gospels remember John as the one who baptized.
In John there are repeated references to the Baptist as being a witness to Jesus:
1:7; 1:8; 1:15; 1:19; 1:32; 1:34; 3:26; 5:33
John the Baptist came into the world to be a witness to Jesus.
The Seven Witnesses
In the gospel of John there are 7 witnesses
1) The Father 5:31-32, 34, 37; 8:18
2) Christ 8:14, 18; 3:11, 32; 8:37
3) The Holy Spirit 15:26; 16:14
4) Jesus’ Works 5:36; 19:25; 14:11; 15:24
5) Scripture 5:39; 5:45-46
6) John the Baptist 1:7; 1:8; 1:15; 1:19; 1:32; 1:34; 3:26; 5:33
7) Human witnesses:
a. Disciples 15:27; 19:35; 21:24
b. Samaritan woman 4:39
c. Multitude 12:17
The Seven Witnesses of John 5:31-46
a. Deuteronomy 18:15-22
i. The Prophet was coming
ii. Prophets had to have evidence
iii. No evidence proves they where false
There Must Be Evidence to Verify the Truth
It is important to have credible witnesses to the truth.
God and John are not going to ask you to believe something without verifying its truthfulness.
To have faith (confidence) in something there must be some evidence or proof of facts.
Again, faith is not blind faith.
Bible teaching itself should be logical and make sense in the world we live.
ouk hn WAS NOT ekeinoV HE to THE fwV LIGHT all BUT ina THAT marturhsh HE MIGHT WITNESS peri CONCERNING tou THE fwtoV LIGHT
The writer repeats himself but for the point of saying that John the Baptist is only a witness to one greater than himself.
John was a lamp not the light. Jesus was the light.
The greatness and influence of John the Baptist led some people to exaggerate ideas about him.