Daily Word

Witness of the Light | John 1:6-8

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

John 1:6-8 (ESV)

Prophecy resumed

In our last study, Malachi, we had the last prophet of the OT. God went silent. Now He resumes His message, and now it’s to the world. “John was a prophet in the tradition of the Old Testament prophets who bore witness to the light (Exod. 3:10-15; Isa. 6:8; Jer. 1:4; cf. John 3:17).” (planobiblechapel.org) Of course, Jesus, Himself, was a prophet, even the greatest.

Jesus is Man

“The evangelist in the first four verses stated that ‘the Word’ was divine; he now proceeds to state the proof that he was a man, and was the Messiah. The first evidence [produced] is the testimony of John the Baptist.” (Barnes’ commentary)


John the Baptist was a witness to the Light. Witness is repeated three times here to emphasize this. A witness is key to every court case. Witnesses authenticate the facts and circumstances of the case. They testify to what they know, saw or heard. 

John was this witness. This is clear in verses 19-34 and in the other gospel accounts – like of Jesus’ baptism. John proclaimed what he knew about Jesus, the Light, and called people to repent (Matthew 3:2). “The reason the writer referred to John the Baptist in his prologue seems obvious. As the Word came to bring light to all of humanity, so God sent John the Baptist to illuminate the identity of the Light to individual people.” (planobiblechapel.org)

We are called to be witnesses to the Light, to Jesus. Do we need to make people believe? Do we convince them? Impossible! That’s the Spirit’s work, not ours. We witness and pray He will do the rest.

Not Messiah

John the Baptist was well received by the Jews of his day. So much so that he could have accepted their claim he was Messiah and the praise that came with it. The fact that he rejected it, “shows the value of John’s testimony, that he was willing to lay all his honours at the feet of Jesus, and to acknowledge that he was unworthy to perform for him the office of the humblest servant, Mt 3:11.” (Barnes’ commentary)

Since there were some who continued to follow John the Baptist even after his death, “it was important for [] John the Gospel writer to make it clear that John the Baptist was not that Light, but that He pointed towards and bore witness of that Light.” (enduringword.com)

The witness. Image from http://images.wisegeek.com/ *

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