John 2:12-17 – The Passover Purification



As a faithful Jew “made under the law” (Gal. 4:4), the Lord went to Jerusalem for the Passover (John 2:12,13). There He found many Jews who had purified themselves for the Passover (John 11:55), only to find that their temple needed purifying! (2:14). Religious hucksters had turned God’s “house of prayer” into a den of thieves (Luke 19:45,46). But what were they doing that was so bad?

Well, that phrase “den of thieves” is a quote from Jeremiah 7:11, where the people had become convinced that all they had to do when they sinned was confess their sin and bring a sacrifice (v.9,10). This reminds us of gangster movies, where organized crime leaders were usually members of the religion that teaches that all you need do when you sin is confess your sin on Saturday and partake of the sacrifice of the mass on Sunday. This way of thinking made that church a favorite hangout or den of thieves, just as it did in the Lord’s day.

But the thieves who liked to hang out in the temple weren’t the only thieves. The priests soon saw there was money to be made selling sacrifices to the thieves, and that’s why the priests are called “greedy dogs,” each one out for “his gain” (Isa.56:11) in the context of a mention of God’s “house of prayer” (v.7). You see, they soon began to overcharge people for the sacrifices they had to bring at Passover.

You might be wondering why people didn’t bring their own animals to sacrifice at the temple, but many came from distances too far to bring animals (Deut.14:24). So God allowed them to sell their animals at home (v.25) and buy more when they got to Jerusalem (v.26) to manage their tithe (v.22,23), and offer their sacrifice.

The “changers of money” (John 2:14,15) were needed since Roman coins were not allowed in the temple due to the image of Caesar it bore (Mt.22:20). Caesar was wor-shipped as a god, making the image that was graven on those coins an idol. Of course, they failed to keep an idol known as “covetousness” out of the temple (Col.3:5)!

The Lord never drove anyone into the temple, but showed a side of Himself never seen before or since when He drove those religious hucksters out in righteous indignation. Since we doubt the Lord called ahead to tell them He was coming to evict them, Malachi predicted the Lord would “suddenly” come to the temple (3:1). The prophet also predicted He would “purify the sons of Levi” (v.2,3), i.e., the priests, and that is exactly what He did that day.

Before the Lord left home for Passover, He scoured His house to cleanse it from leaven (Ex.12:15,19), only to find His “Father’s house” filled with the leaven of sin. Is the Father’s house today filled with sin? You tell me! Your body is the Father’s house today (ICor.6:19,20). Since “Christ our passover is sacrificed for us” (ICor.5:7) we should “pure out the old leaven” of sin zealously.

It took great courage and “zeal” (John 2:17) for the Lord to get between these religious hucksters and the source of their income. This zeal was also predicted (Ps.69:9) in a psalm about Christ’s death on the cross. Waters that reach the soul (69:1,2) are deadly. Crucifixion causes dry throat thirst (v.3 cf. John 19:28). The Lord never gave anyone reason to hate Him, but they hated Him anyway (Ps.69:4 cf. John 15:25), a hatred that culminated at Calvary. The Lord knew no sin during His life, but on the Cross bore our sins and made them His own (Ps.69:5). Since He was determin-ed to go to the cross (Luke 9:51), all those counting on Him for salvation would not know the shame of disappointment (Ps.69:6). But the “shame” of the spitting (v.7 cf. Isa.50:6) “covered” His face. Then He became a stranger to Mary’s other children (Ps.69:8) “for”, that is, because of the zeal He showed in the temple in John 2. His brethren disowned Him for endangering their status in Israel that day, but the holiness and righteousness of God were at stake.

But there is a reason Psalm 69:9 refers to John 2 and the cross, for the righteousness of God was at stake at Calvary as well. The only way God could be “just” and the justifier of those that believe in Christ (Rom.3:26) is because the Lord also showed zeal to die for our sins. In response, we need to be just as zealous for God’s holiness in our lives!

John 2:1-12 – A Wedding to Remember



“The third day” (John 2:1) is associated with resurrection in the Bible, for the Lord rose on the third day (ICor.15:3,4) And since the gospel of John is associated with Israel, this wedding is a type of Israel’s resurrection and the marriage of the Lamb to the saved of all ages, the bride of which Israel is a part (Rev.19:7-10). The first Adam got married to fill the earth with people and have dominion over the animals (Gen.1:28,29), the last Adam (ICor.15:45) will get married to fill the earth with His people (believers) and have dominion over the animals in the kingdom (Is.11:6-9)

The wedding in John 2 was actually the third day after the fourth day (John 1:19,29,35,43), making it the 7th day, the day Adam got married. The last Adam will also get married on the 7th day in the millennial kingdom, the 7 thousandth year of human history (cf. IIPe.3:8), the same “day” Hosea said Israel would rise from the dead (6:2). They were supposed to rise 2,000 years after Abraham, but the mystery interrupted God’s prophetic program.

The Lord “and His disciples” were called to the wedding. So far He had six: James, John, Nathanael, Andrew, Simon, Philip) were called to the wedding (Jo.2:2 cf. John 1). They ran out of wine (2:3), and wine” is a symbol of joy in the Bible (Ps.104:15). And yes, the Lord made wine. Arguing that He wouldn’t make wine because some people become drunkards is like arguing He wouldn’t make bread because some become gluttons. Why wouldn’t the Lord make something that makes God glad (Judges 9:13) by making men glad? Wine is also associated with the king-dom (Amos 9:13) when Israel will have her greatest joy.

When they ran out of wine (John 2:3) it was a symbol of how Israel was out of joy. The Lord’s mother was His flesh and blood, a type of Israel (Rom.9:4,5). She must have been one of the women in charge of arranging the wedding, or else she wouldn’t consider this her problem. She thus typifies Israel, who will one day arrange the Lamb’s wedding. Appealing to Him for wine was like Israel appealing to the Lord for the wine of the kingdom.

She must have expected the Lord to do a miracle. She’d never seen Him do a miracle before (cf. 2:11), but had seen or heard about what happened in Mark 1:9-11, and if she didn’t know He was God’s Son before, she knew it now! So after she knows He’s God’s Son, she expects Him to make wine, typifying how after Israel learned He was God’s Son, they expected the wine of the kingdom (John 6:5). The Lord was reluctant to make the wine, since His hour was “not yet come,” as He had not yet died, risen again and ascended to heaven to get the kingdom and bring it back to earth (v.4 cf. Luke 19:11-27).

But while it was not yet time for the kingdom, the Lord made the wine. The “six” stone waterpots (John 2:6) repre-sented the Lord’s six disciples, cold and lifeless since they had not yet believed and been saved (2:11). The waterpots were for “the purifying of the Jews” (2:6), but until they were filled with the water of salvation (cf. Isa. 12:3), they couldn’t help the Lord purify anyone! The Lord didn’t put the wine in the empty winepots (cf. Mt. 9:17) because He couldn’t put the new wine of the Spirit into the old pots of unbelieving Israel. He rather put the new wine of the Spirit of the kingdom in the new disciples (Acts 2:13), who were filled “to the brim” (John 2:7) with the Spirit (Acts 2:4).

When they ran out of wine, they probably told “the governor” or wedding planner (John 2:8), but he was helpless. He was a type of Israel’s priests, the “governors” of the temple (IChron.24:5). When Israel ran out of joy, the priests were helpless to help her. When the servants took the evidence of joy to the priests (John 2:8,9), it was symbolic of how evidence of the joy of the kingdom was brought to the priests in the Lord’s day (Luke 5:13,14; 17:14). The governor “tasted” the wine (John 2:9), a type of how after Israel’s priests had tasted the kingdom, there was no going back (Heb.6:4-6).

Men always give their best first, and save the worst for last (John 2:10), as when the pleasures of sin (Heb.11:25) come before the wages of sin (Rom. 6:23). But God always does the opposite, gives us the worst first (the cross) and saves the best for last (Ps.16:11; 36:8).

John 1:42-51 – The Third Time’s The Charm



Peter had to be called three times! John 1:40-42 describes his first contact with the Lord. The Lord knew his name without having to be introduced, which should have told him that Jesus was Christ (cf. John 4:29). Peter remained unconvinced, however, for the Lord predicted he’d be as stubborn and hard to move as a stone (John 1:42). This stubborn tenacity would later serve him well as an apostle, but meanwhile provided an initial roadblock to his call.

The next day the Lord left for Galilee (1:43 cf. Mt.4:12), where He found Peter and Andrew casting a net into the sea (4:18), and James and John mending their nets (4:21). The Lord called these fishermen to be fishers of men, sort of like when God called a shepherd named David to feed the flock of Israel (Psalm 78:70-72). When Peter “straightway” followed the Lord, it showed that since his first introduction to the Lord, he had been mulling it over, and had now concluded that Jesus was the Christ.

Now it seemed that Peter was following the Lord for good, but the next thing that happened in Galilee (cf. Luke 4:14) was the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law (Luke 4:38-40). Despite witnessing this miracle, Peter returned to fishing (5:1-3). Then the Lord worked yet another miracle, this time showing He knew how to fish better than Peter (5:5-7). This miraculous draught of fish was just the Lord’s little way of paying Peter back for the use of his boat—and convincing proof to Fisherman Peter that He was the Christ

Well, the “stone” of Peter was finally broken, and he decided to follow the Lord. But why did he ask the Lord to depart from him because he was so sinful (v.8)? Partly because he had obeyed imperfectly in letting down only one “net” when the Lord had told him to let down the “nets” (v.4.5). But also because it had taken three calls to convince him to follow the Lord. But now he “forsook all” (v.11)—including his fishing boats—to follow Him.

“Bethsaida” (John 1:43,44) was not the kind of town you’d think would produce apostles (Luke 10:13), but it did! It doesn’t matter if no one else in town believes God, if you will, you can be used of God as greatly as Bethsaidans Phillip, Andrew, Peter and John.

The law and the prophets were all wrote about Christ (John 1:45), and about the end times (Acts 3:21,24). If you will keep this in mind, it will help you as you study the Old Testament. Also worthy of note in Verse 45, the Lord may have been born in Bethlehem, but He grew up in “Nazareth.” Nathanael’s question about Nazareth was an example of prejudice (v.46). When confronted with such prejudice, we should react as did Phillip, by simply saying, “Come and see” whether your prejudices are true.

“Guile” (v.47) means craftiness or deceit. Nathanael’s complete absence of it shows he was already a believer un-der the kingdom program (Psalm 32:1,2 cf. Rom.4:1-8). Such people will someday stand before God without guile (Rev.14:5). The Lord showed more supernatural power in John 1:48, which quickly convinced Nathanael that He was the Christ (v.49,50). He then went on to describe a scene that requires some examination (John 1:51).

Heaven is a real place with walls (Rev.21:12-19) and gates (Rev.21:12,13,15,21,25) that have to be opened (John 1:51) for beings to pass through (Luke 3:21; Acts 10:11; 19:11), including angels (John 1:51). In this vision, the Lord is describing a vision given to Jacob (Gen.28:10-12). But why were these angels going up and down on this ladder? Verse 13 explains, “the Lord stood above it.” These angels were going up to heaven to receive orders from the Lord, and returning to earth to execute them.

But in John 1:51, the Lord is not at the top of the ladder, for the angels are said to be “descending upon the Son of man.” This vision is not a vision of Jacob’s past, but rather of Israel’s future. During the future kingdom of heaven on earth, the Lord’s throne will be located on earth, and angels will go up from it into the heavens to do His bidding. And since Nathanael was a believer in Israel’s God, the Lord here tells him that he will someday see this take place. When he rises in the resurrection, this will come true.

John 1:25-34 – The Baptism of John



We know that water baptism was nothing new since they did not ask John what he was doing (John 1:25). The many Old Testament ceremonial washings of the Jews were baptisms. And we’ve already seen “why” he baptized: to identify Israel as God’s priests to the world (Ex.19:6; 29:4).

The fact that John could describe Christ as One “whom ye know not” (John 1:26) proves he worked no miracles in his youth, despite speculation about this (cf. 2:11).

John was the greatest man ever born (Mt.11:11), and so if he wasn’t fit to untie the Lord’s shoe (John 1:27), neither are you. If you are not saved, you need to trust Christ!

“Bethabara” (John 1:28) means “house of passage,” because Israel had to pass over Jordan to enter the Promised Land. Passing over Jordan symbolized death, passing into the next life. It is significant then that John baptized in Bethabara, for baptism was required for salvation (Mark 1:4; 16:16; Acts 2:38), i.e., you couldn’t pass over into eternal life without it!

If Satan heard John say the Lamb of God would take away the world’s sin (John 1:29), why did he cause Judas to betray Him (Luke 22:3,4). Didn’t he know Isaiah 53 predicted this? Didn’t he hear the Lord’s words in Matthew 20:28? Doesn’t I Corinthians 15:3 say Christ died for our sins “according to the Scriptures”? Yes, but what verse predicted He’d rise again (v.4)? Psalm 16:10. But this verse was spoken by David, so Satan couldn’t have known it was speaking of Christ. And only the types (like Jonah) predicted He’d rise “the third day.” The point? Just as these predictions weren’t clearly understood when they were made, neither was Isaiah 53 (Acts 8:26—34).

Hindsight is 20/20, and so looking back now we know Isaiah 53 spoke of Christ’s death for sinners. But at the time he wrote it, not even Isaiah understood it! I Peter 1:10-12 says that the prophets didn’t always understand what they were writing. What about John in John 1:29? Surely he knew what he was saying! No, for he was a prophet! (Luke 7:28). Surely someone who heard him knew what he was talking about? No, see Luke 18:31-34.

But isn’t Satan smarter than us? Maybe so, but Ezekiel 28:17 says his wisdom was “corrupted” by reason of his “brightness,” or his glory, his pride. The fact that he would never die for anyone’s sins made it so it never even entered his head that Christ might.

John 1:30,31 gives us another reason John baptized people: to make Christ “manifest to Israel.” You see, God had told John that the One on whom the Spirit descended while he was baptizing would be Christ (v.33). Remember we said that baptism in the Bible is not always water, but it is always identification, and John’s baptized identified Christ as Israel’s Messiah. We often hear the Lord was baptized so we should be, but He was baptized to make Him a priest and identify Him as Messiah. Neither of those are good reasons for members of the Body of Christ to be baptized!

When John predicted that the Lord would baptize people “with the Holy Ghost (John 1:33), this is not the same as when the Spirit baptizes us into the Body of Christ (ICor.12:13). The former was fulfilled at Pentecost, the latter is the “one baptism” of today (Eph. 4:5). The former empowered those Hebrew kingdom saints to speak in tongues and heal the sick, the latter places us into Christ.

Did you notice John the Baptist was “sent” to baptize (John 1:33) while our apostle Paul was not (ICor.1:17). This is because there is no need for water baptism today. We get saved without it, and we don’t need to be initiated into the priesthood, or identified as Israel’s Messiah!

If you are not saved, don’t think that just because the Lord died to take away “the sin of the world” (John 1:29) that your sins are taken away. He is also said to be “the propitiation” for “the sins of the whole world” (I John 2:2), but He is only “a propitiation through faith in His blood” (Rom.3:25). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).

John 1:18-24 – The God You Can See



“No man hath seen God at any time” (John 1:18) because no man can see Him and live (Ex.33:20). This could be be-cause the sight of a mere angel made tough Roman soldiers faint (Mt.28:4), and the sight of God might kill a man! The power of His glory may be too much (ITim.6: 16). Or perhaps we haven’t seen Him because He knows we are idolatrous, and so refuses to even let men see a “similitude” of Him (De.4:12) lest we make an image of it (v.15,16).

But what does John mean when he says Christ is “in the bosom of the Father” (John 1:18)? Well, when Israel com-plained to Moses, he asked God why he had to carry them in his bosom (Num.11:4,12). He equates his bosom as a place where “a nursing father” might suckle a baby. (It is not well known that men can breastfeed). This lets us know that in Scripture, the bosom was the place of the most intimate relationship imaginable, and that is what John is telling us Christ has with the Father.

It is interesting that it is John who tells us this, for he leaned on the Lord’s bosom at the last supper (John 13:23). As close as he felt to the Lord that night, to where he could actually hear and feel His heartbeat, that’s how close Christ is to the Father. And if you are saved and in Christ, that’s how close you are to the Father. Also, did you ever wonder why Paradise is also called Abraham’s bosom? In Paradise, men have the same intimacy with the Father, with Abraham and all Bible saints, and with their loved ones.

But getting back to the Lord—do you think someone with that kind of intimacy with God is in a good position to “declare” Him to us? (John 1:18). See John’s point?

One definition of “declare” is “to state with authority,” as when we declare war. But another is “to make known,” as when the border guard asks if you have anything to declare. Combined, John is saying that the Lord makes the Father known in an official and authoritative way.

This explains why while no man hath seen God, Jacob did

(Gen.32:30), as did Manoah (Jud.13:22). They saw Christ! Christ declared the Father in the Old Testament, and even more so in the New Testament. The Greek word for “de-clare” is exegeomai, from which we get exegesis, the ex-pounding of Scripture. Christ is an exposition of the Father.

“Record” (John 1:19) is another official word, as when men say “I’m going on record” or “off the record” or “it’s a matter of public record.” John is using official language because a king is being introduced! Israel will never be able to say they didn’t recognize their King because He wasn’t given a proper introduction.

Since John denied being Christ (John 1:19,20), and Malachi predicted Elijah would come before Christ, they asked John if he were Elijah (v.21). Of course! John showed up right where Elijah disappeared, near the Jordan! When he denied being Elijah, they asked if he were “that prophet,” a reference to Deuteronomy 18:15-19. But this passage speaks of Christ! We know because Moses calls this prophet a prophet “like unto me,” and Moses was a type of Christ in many ways. We also know it speaks of Christ because Peter says so (Acts 3:19-23). But if John already denied being Christ, why did they ask John if he were “that prophet” if that prophet were Christ? Ah, because of the threat of Deuter-onomy 18:19, which Peter interprets as destruction (Acts 3:23). The Jews couldn’t imagine their Messiah would harm them, so they didn’t know “that prophet” was Christ. But when they rejected Him, they left Him no choice. If you’re not saved, don’t make the same mistake! Don’t think that your Savior will not harm you. If you reject Him, you will leave Him no choice.

These messengers weren’t leaving without an answer, though (John 1:22). Nothing happened in Israel without her religious leaders’ approval, and John’s baptism was not an officially sanctioned event! They demanded answers! Not that John was doing anything wrong. His father was a priest (Luke 1), so we know he too was a Levite, and didn’t need their sanction. He got his training from God Himself, in the desert, studying the Word (Luke 1:80). If you’ll just spend time with God’s Word, you too can be used of Him.

John 1:11-13 – Christmas In April



The Lord’s “own” (John 1:11) refers to His own people, Israel (Rom. 9:5). This should quell any animosity toward Jews as “Christ-killers,” for we wouldn’t even have a Christ were it not for the Jews!

Most Christians don’t know that when Christ came to earth, “He came unto His own” (Mt.15:24), not to us Gentiles. That means what He said on earth He didn’t say to you. There is value in studying “all Scripture,” of course (IITim.3:16)—if you remember it is not all written to you!

“His own received Him not” (John 1:11), but what if they had received Him? Who would have died for our sins? Psalm 118 tells us. “Save now” (v.25) is the Hebrew word Hosanna, a verse they quoted on Palm Sunday (Mt.21:9), as well as the next verse (v.26). What Israel should have done is described in Verse 27. They should have tied the Lord to the altar and sacrificed Him in faith. They should have thought of Abraham, who knew the promises were vested in his son, and so figured God would raise him up if he killed him (Heb.11:19). Thinking of him, Israel should have recognized the One in whom the promises were vested, then sacrificed him in faith, knowing God would raise Him. God knew they’d reject and slay Him, of course, and predicted it. But on Judgment Day they’ll be unable to say, “We had to kill Him.” That was not God’s plan!

While the nation didn’t receive Him, some individuals did. To them God gave the power to become His sons, but they will not actually become His sons until the children of Israel “appoint themselves one Head” in the kingdom (Hosea 1:10,11). Thus men who believed on Him became His children, but were not yet sons. What’s the difference?

Well, a child is like a servant (Gal. 4:1,2), in that both get told what to do. Since Mark presents Christ as a servant, he says the Spirit drove the Lord (1:12,13), whereas Luke says the Spirit “led” Him (4:1,2), because Luke presents Him as a man. And in the Bible, that’s what being a son is all about. To this day, bar mitzvahed boys say, “Today, I am a man.” And so while you can drive a child, you have to lead a son. The children of Israel were driven by the law, but in the kingdom they’ll be led by the Spirit

Today we are sons because we are led by the Spirit (Rom. 8:14) as opposed to being driven by the Law (v.15). We received the Spirit when we got saved, but Israel had to wait for Him (John 14:17). He filled and led them at Pente-cost (Acts 2:4), a foretaste of the kingdom. That’s when they became sons of God. I John was written to those sin-less Pentecostal saints (cf. 3:9), and 3:2 says “now are we the sons of God,” indicating before Pentecost they weren’t.

And so we have what Israel must wait for. It’s not that we are more spiritual than they were, we just live in a later age. The 12 apostles were no better than the prophets, but they were more blessed (Mt.13:17). And people in the millennial kingdom will be more blessed than we are!

Those who believed on the Lord “were born” (John 1:13), i.e., born again. They were born “not of blood,”, i.e., not because they were of Jewish blood. “Nor of the will of the flesh” (1:13). What’s that mean? Well, Paul says that keeping the law today (Col. 2:20-22) is “a show in…will worship” (v.23). Keeping the law under grace is not worshipping God, it is worshipping your own will. It is worshipping God the way you want to worship Him, not in the way He wants. It is worshipping God according to your will, and John says men get born again “not of the will of the flesh.” Under grace, you can’t worship God by putting yourself under the Law—that’s will worship. But here in John, they are still under the Law! They still had to be circumcised, bring sacrifices, etc. To not do so would be will worship, the will of the flesh. And no matter what dispensation you are in, you can’t be reborn that way!

Those who believed on the Lord were also born “not of the will of man” (1:13). Our Calvinist friends use this to say that you don’t choose God, He chooses you. But while it is true that men are born by the will of God, James 1:18 says “Of His own will begat He us with the Word of truth.” It is God’s will to save whoever believes His Word.

John 1:6-10 – The Lord’s Bulldozer



It was predicted John the Baptist (John 1:6) would “make straight in the desert a highway for our God” (Isa. 40:3), making him the Lord’s bulldozer! But how did he fulfill Isaiah’s prediction that “every valley should be exalted” (Isa. 40:4)? The men who were humble enough to submit to John’s baptism of repentance were exalted (cf. Lu.14: 11), while the proud mountainous Pharisees who refused to repent were “made low” (Isa.40:4). The “crooked” that John hoped would be “made straight” was Israel (De. 32:5)

Malachi also predicted that John would come and “prepare the way” before the Lord (3:1), and calls him “Elijah” (4:5 ,6). Elijah and John were similar. Elijah was hairy and wore a leather girdle (IIKi.1:8), John wore camel’s hair and a leather girdle (Mt.3:4). Elijah stood up to a wicked king named Ahab, while John stood up to a wicked king named Herod. Elijah called fire down on God’s enemies (IIKi.1:9-12), and John predicted the Lord would baptize His enem-ies with fire (Mt.3:11). Elijah went before a type of Christ named Elisha, and John went before Christ. He was so much like Elijah, men asked if he was Elijah (John 1:21).

Was he? He said he wasn’t (John 1:19-23), but the Lord said he was! (Mt.17:11-13). So what gives? Seems to me a man ought to know if he’s Elijah the prophet or not! But the Lord knew John better than he knew himself. You see, if Israel had received “it” (Mt.11:14), i.e., the kingdom of heaven that John preached (Mt.3:2), John would have been Elijah! But Israel didn’t receive it, so John wasn’t Elijah.

So was Malachi wrong in saying Elijah would come before the Lord (4:5)? No, for John was sent “in the spirit and power of Elijah” (Lu.1:13-17). So Israel has no excuse for rejecting Christ! They can’t say to God on Judgment Day, “We didn’t recognize our Messiah, because You didn’t send Elijah first.” But now since Israel rejected the kingdom, Elijah will now have to come before the Lord’s second coming, as one of the two witnesses (Rev.11:3-12).

What kind of people need someone to “bear witness of the

Light” (John 1:7)? Who doesn’t know what light is? The answer is, blind people! Since Israel was spiritually blind, John “came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light.”

“Believe” (1:7) is a key word in John, appearing 100 times, but every time we are told what they were told to believe, it is never “Christ died for our sins” (ICor.15:3,4), the mes-sage that needs to be believed to be saved today (ICor.15: 1,2). In John, they were required to believe that “Jesus is the Christ” (6:68,69; 8:24; 9:35-38; 11:27; 16:27,30,31; 17:8; 20:31). In this dispensation, that’s a good start! If Jesus wasn’t the Son of God, He was just another man with sins of His own to die for, unable to die for yours! But today you must have “faith in His blood” (Rom.3:25).

Just as every groom has a “friend” who is a “witness” at the wedding, so the Lord had John to “bear witness of that Light” (1:8 cf. 3:27-29). When John calls the Lord “the true Light” (1:9), he was warning that there is a false light coming in the Tribulation. Antichrist will claim to be Israel’s true light, but Tribulation saints will “know Him that is true” (I John 5:20). In that day, they will also be “born of God” by believing “Jesus is the Christ” (IJo.5:1).

Won’t they know that Christ died for our sins? Yes (IJo.2:2), but the gospel of salvation will still be “Jesus is the Christ, since in the middle of the Tribulation, Antichrist will die and rise again (Rev.13:1-3), and claim that he is the Christ who died for our sins! Thus who they believe to be the Christ will determine their eternal destiny. Until then, it is still true today that the Lord Jesus Christ “lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (John 1:9).

When John says that “He was in the world…and the world knew Him not” (John 1:10), he speaks not of the physical world, for the wind and waves knew Him well, and were calm when He rebuked them. The plant world knew Him well, and obeyed Him when He rebuked the fig tree. The animal world knew Him, and many fish rushed to Peter’s net to prove He was God. The angelic world knew Him well; even fallen angels obeyed Him when He cast them out. Only the world of men didn’t know Him. Do you?

Berean Searchlight – October 2015

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John 1:3-5 – Christ the Creator



While science believes that “The Big Bang” created our universe, the Bible says “in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen.1:1), and in John 1:3, we learn Christ was the specific member of the Trinity that created!

While mainly a New Testament revelation, this fact was hinted at in Isaiah 40, a passage that describes John the Baptist (1-8), followed by a description of the Lord as the Good Shepherd (9-11), who is also then described as the Creator (v.12). Further proof that the Lord was the Creator of all is seen in Psalm 102:24-26, a Creation account that is ascribed to “God” (v.24), but a passage that is quoted in Hebrews 1, where the writer identifies the Creator as Christ (v.10-12). Hebrews 1:2 further affirms that God created all things “by His Son.”

“In Him was life” (John 1:4), speaking of Christ after He came to earth, and referring to eternal life. While we too have eternal life in us, we just have it, while the Lord could give it (ICor.15:45). Don’t forget the context speaks of how the Lord created plants, animals and people, breathing physical life into man (Gen.2:7), and in the same way, the Lord gives eternal life to all men who will believe on Him.

But what does it mean when John says that the life that was in the Lord “was the light of men” (John 1:4)? Well, in John 8:12, the Lord said that “he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” But what kind of light does eternal life give, and what kind of darkness were you in before you got it? Well, in John 12:35 the Lord said, “he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth,” and if you don’t have eternal life, you don’t know where you are going after you die.

What’s the solution? In John 12:46, the Lord said, “whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.” If you are not saved, you are in darkness, but you don’t have to abide there! Trust Christ as your Savior right now.

John goes on in our text to say that “the light shineth in

Darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not” (John 1:5). Since some in Israel comprehended Him, we know this is referring to the nation as a whole (cf. v.11). But why didn’t they comprehend His life-giving light? Surely be-cause He was not the kind of Savior they were looking for!

When we think of a Savior, we think of Someone who saved us from our sins, but this is not what Israel thought of. Psalm 106:21 says that God was “their Savior, which had done great things in Egypt.” Verses 7,8 further explain that when God parted the Red Sea for them, “He saved them.” Thus when they thought of God as their Savior, they thought of a physical salvation (cf. Ex.14:13). Even when Israel thought of a man whom God would send to save them, they thought of someone who would save them “out of the hand of their enemies” (Neh.9:26,27).

So when the angels announced the birth of “a Saviour” (Lu. 2:11), they naturally thought of the kind of “salvation” (Luke 1:70) wherein they would be “saved from our enemies” (v.71-74). Now do you see why the darkness of Israel didn’t comprehend or understand His light?

Didn’t the Lord want to save them from their enemies? Yes, but He knew that in order to do so, He would have to first save them from their sins. That’s why He preached “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mt.4:17), just as John had (3:2). And so all Israel came to John “confessing their sins” (Mt.3:5,6). How would this help? Leviticus 26:38-42 stated that they could be saved from their enemies by confessing their sins and getting forgiveness (I Kings 8:33,34).

How was Israel to know all this? By knowing all the Scriptures that pertained to their program. They seemed only familiar with the prophecies that said Christ would save them from their “oppressors” (Isa.19:20). If you are think-ing no one could possibly know all this, Zechariah knew that the way God would save Israel physically was “by the remission of their sins” (Luke 1:77). Like Zechariah, may we determine to know all of the Scripture in Paul’s epistles that pertain to our salvation and program!