What the true Light is not
Scripture Text: John 1:6-9
As we approach the celebration of Christmas, the birth of our saviour and Lord Jesus Christ, I think it is only fitting to discuss something about him. In the synoptic gospels we will find generally what is the human portrait of the Christ. That is not to say that they are silent about Christ’s deity. But compared to John’s gospel account, they only present to us vignettes of truths about Christ’s divine nature. Matthew begins his gospel with a genealogy tracing Christ’s kingly line. Mark didn’t bother to trace his lineage, instead he starts with Christ’s service, his ministry. Luke does account for us Christ’s genealogy, a human ancestry, pointing to the fact that he is the seed of the woman in Genesis 3, but Luke didn’t begin there. He starts with the birth of a man, John the baptist. But the closest to Jesus, apostle John starts with the very beginning. In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.
Odd interruption in verses 6-8 of John chapter
In a gospel that more specifically deals with the deity of Christ, you wouldn’t expect to have an introduction about a mere man right in the middle while introducing Jesus Christ as the Light. Verses 6-8 is very odd for me. First because it seems abrupt. Second because it’s hard to relate with the rest of the passage. What’s the point of bringing up John the baptist? At first glance it seems anticlimactic. So how does it relate to the preceding and following verses?
1.The contrast between a man and God – verses 6-8 is not a useless interruption. John is describing for us the Light by telling us who John the baptist is not. He is not the Light. Hence by implication, everything that was said about him, a mere man, is not the Light.
- The Light was not a mere man born into the world that was sent from God. He is God, He always is, and he came into the world. In verse 6a, the NET says “a man came”, or literally in greek, “come into being”. John the baptist was just a man, in which there was a time he never was. Yes he is special in the sense that he was sent from God. But nevertheless still a mere man. John is not the Light. In verse 9a however, here’s where the original language did not fail me, it says “Being the true light”. Now that’s a clear way of distinguishing between a mere man and a divine person. The divine always is. He didn’t came into existence. All exist because of Him(John 1:3).
- The Light did not come to testify about anyone else but himself. John was sent to testify about someone other than himself (v.7b). But by contrast in John 8:18 Jesus said “I am the One who testifies about Myself, and the Father who sent Me testifies about Me.”
- The Light is not a mere instrument to enlighten, He is the very source of Light. John was sent so that everyone might believe through him(v. 7c). He is just a means, but Jesus is the source of faith. John can only testify but he cannot make anyone believe his testimony.
2.Our calling as a witnesses to the Light
-God uses means that would testify about the Light
-We are the means by which God would grant faith to others