Monday, October 19, 2015

Gospel of John 1:9-11 - Blurred Vision?

[Jesus]“was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own [place], and His own [people] did not receive Him” (Gospel of John 1:9-11)

Jesus is the true Light who gives light. Light here is used in a metaphorical sense for understanding. Just as the light of a lamp allows us to find our way in the dark, so God has given us the ability to understand things.  The expression, “now I see the light!” means, “now I understand!” Jesus, the true Light, gives this ability to all men.

But why is John making this point?

Jesus came into this world “to His own [place] and His own [people]” in fulfilment of prophecy.

     "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
     Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
     Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
     The One to be Ruler in Israel,
     Whose goings forth are from of old,
     From everlasting.”

                                                                         (Micah 5:2)

The nation of Israel knew of this prophecy and many others like it. They had been waiting for their “Ruler” for hundreds of years!  Jesus came in fulfilment of these prophecies and even highlighted Bible passages in reference to Himself (Luke 4:21), but the nation refused to acknowledge Him. They rejected Him and would “not receive Him.” They had the ability to see but refused to accept what was obvious. They could have known Him if they wanted to but they choose darkness.

What about you? Have you acknowledged Jesus? Is it because you cannot see who He is ? or because you don’t want to? You can know what the Bible says about the salvation that is in Jesus alone. God has given the ability to understand.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Gospel Of John 1:6-8

“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light" (Gospel Of John 1:6-8)

John, was Jesus’ first cousin. His mother Elisabeth was Mary’s sister (Matt 1:11-17). He grew to great prominence in Israel and was acknowledged as a prophet and great man of God whose ministry was to point men to Christ (the “Light”), and in this he excelled. This was his burden and his passion. It is he who uttered the words “behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). A man of true piety who considered Himself  unworthy to loosen the strap of Jesus’ sandal (John 1:28).  His words, “He must increase and I must decrease” reveal the purity of his heart.

But John was decidedly unpopular with the religious establishment of the day. He confronted their hypocrisy labelling them “snakes” and calling upon them to repent (Matt 3:7). Some did, but the majority refused. They professed godliness but possessed corrupt hearts. They talked much about God but it wasn’t genuine. It wasn’t sincere. John had little time for them and was quick to expose their corrupt ways. Jesus would likewise call them “hypocrites” and “whitewashed tombs” (Matt 23:27).  John’s uncompromising stands would eventually cost him his life (Mark 6:14-29). Though despised by many for telling the truth he was nevertheless highly esteemed in Christ’s eyes (Matt 11:11).

John did not point to men or women, no matter how godly. He pointed to Christ, alone. He exalted Christ, alone. How embarrassed Mary, or any godly man and woman of bygone days would be to find themselves exalted in place of Christ. Would Mary have desired this? Never! She, and they, would echo John’s words, “He must increase and I must decrease.”