John 1

The Son of God became the Son of Man that the sons of men through Him might become the sons of God. The next thing to finding Him as the Lamb of God is to find another and introduce that one to Him.

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 The same was in the beginning with God.

3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

6 ¶ There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

15 ¶ John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.

16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.

17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

19 ¶ And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?

20 And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.

21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.

22 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?

23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.

24 And they which were sent were of the Pharisees.

25 And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?

26 John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;

27 He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose.

28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.

29 ¶ The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.

31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.

32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.

33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.

34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.

35 ¶ Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;

36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!

37 And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.

38 Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?

39 He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.

40 One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.

41 He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.

42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.

43 ¶ The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.

44 Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.

45 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.

46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.

47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!

48 Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.

49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.

50 Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.

51 And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.

John 1:1-13 – ​The Light for the New Year’s Path

   The titles of our Lord are set forth in royal fashion. As speech reveals the hidden thoughts of men, so does our Lord utter the unseen God. God spake and it was done. His words preceded the act of creation, but Christ was the Word or utterance of God. He who created time preceded time, and that which is before time is eternal and divine. Christ is the organ or medium by which God goes forth in creation, providence, and redemption. The life of God was stored in the human nature of Jesus, when the Word became flesh, that it might more readily pass into us. True life is always light, as the minute infusoria of the ocean are phosphorescent. When we receive Christ’s life, we shine.
   Men are still sent from God, as John was, to bear witness to Jesus; but there is also a witness to Him in the breast of man. We call it conscience, or the inner light. The blinded world knew Him not. Indeed, John 9 is a parable of mankind’s condition, II Corinthians 4:4. Believing and receiving are the same thing. Let Christ in, and you have instantly the right to call yourself a child of God, Galatians 3:26. Only God can impart to us the germ of that life, which we share with the Son Himself, James 1:18. —Through the Bible Day by Day

John 1:4 – ​A great fable sometimes encloses a great truth. It is an old story of the Empress Helena, how she went to the Holy Land to find the cross. Excavations were made, and they found three crosses; but how were they to know which was the true one? So they took a corpse, and put it upon one and another; and, as soon as the corpse touched the Saviour’s cross, it started into life. Now, you are demonstrating the divinity of Christianity, and that is how you test it, – it makes these dead men live. (Coley)

​John 1:13 – A sculptor may take a piece of rough marble, and work from it the figure of a Madonna; but it is still nothing but marble, and lifeless. A carver may take a piece of wood, and work out of it a scene of conviviality; but it is still wood, and insensible. A watch-cleaner may take a watch, the mainspring of which is broken: he may clean every wheel, cog, pin, hand, the face, and the cases; but, the mainspring not rectified, it will be as useless for going and time-telling as before. A painter may decorate the outside of a pesthouse with the most beautiful colors; but, if he produce no change within, it is still a pesthouse. A poor man may clothe himself in the garb of a monarch; but he is still a poor man. A leper may cover all his spots with his garment; but he is still a leper. So the sinner may reform in all the externals of his life, so that he shall attain to the moral finery of Saul of Tarsus, or Nicodemus, a master in Israel, but, except he be born again FROM ABOVE, he cannot see the kindgom of God. (Bate)

John 1:14-28 – ​The Voice of Promise

   Was made, John 1:14. Evidently Jesus had existed before this; and evidently there was a process of self-limitation. Dwelt. As the Shechinah light was veiled by the curtain of the Tabernacle, so the divine essence in Jesus was veiled by His humanity, though it shone out at the Transfiguration. He was full of grace, the unmerited love of God; full of truth, coming to bear witness to it; full of glory, that of the only begotten Son. There are many sons, but only one Son. 
   What a beautiful testimony John the Baptist gave! He was not the Christ, not Elijah (except in spirit), not the expected prophet, but just a voice, announcing the Christ and dying away. He was content to decrease before the greater whom he had been taught to expect and was sent to herald. There is a sense in which the preacher of repentance must always precede the Christ. There must be a putting away of known sin, previous to the recognition of the Lamb of God. But how great must Christ be, when so noble a man as the Baptist felt unworthy to unloose His sandals! —Through the Bible Day by Day

John 1:17 – The Law begins with commands and ends with blessings; but the blessings are fruit upon lofty branches, which fallen man can never reach: he cannot and will not climb the tree. The Gospel, on the contrary, begins with promises, and promises give birth to precepts. The Law demands justice; the Gospel delights in mercy through satisfied justice. Moses blesses the law-doer; Jesus pardons the guilty and saves the lost.

John 1:29-34 – ​Witness Borne to the Son of God

   John’s description of Christ gave answer to Isaac’s inquiry, Genesis 22:7. Let us not narrow the extent of the gospel. By the grace of God Jesus tasted death for every man, I John 2:2. Though they knew it not, the Messiah had stood on those banks, had mingled with those crowds, had descended into those waters, and was standing among them at that moment. But their eyes were blinded. The new era had already dawned.
   The general reader of the story of our Lord’s baptism probably supposes that the sign of the descending dove and the sound of the Father’s voice were apprehended by all the crowd. This, however, was not the case. John had been previously informed that some day one, indicated by those signs, would come to His baptism. John was the porter of the door of the fold, and it was necessary to certify the true Shepherd when He appeared, John 10:3. To our Lord this was the beginning of His ministry. The heavenly powers were opened to Him, which He was in turn to open to all who believe and cooperate with Him for the regeneration of the world. —Through the Bible Day by Day

John 1:35-42 – ​How Jesus Wins Followers

   On this third day John again looked eagerly and wistfully on Jesus as He walked. He spoke of Him again as God’s Lamb, and there was a significance in His words that was instantly detected by the two disciples—probably John and Andrew—who stood beside him. He intended to transfer their allegiance from himself to the Lord. Henceforth they were to behold Him. So, at least, they understood it. We are told that they followed Jesus. As the preacher watched their retreating figures and realized that His work was done, he had no feeling of jealousy or regret. He was the bridegroom’s friend, and rejoiced greatly to hear His voice, John 3:29. Notice how our Lord develops men. He invites them to His familiar friendship–Come and see, and He looks deep down into their hearts, detecting capacities and possibilities that were hidden even from themselves, but which He helps them to realize: Thou shalt be called Cephas, a “stone.” —Through the Bible Day by Day

John 1:43-51 – ​The Doubter Becomes a Disciple

   The Apostles were attracted to the Master in different ways. Some came to Him through preaching, as when John proclaimed His rank and sacrifice. Others were brought through human relationships. The record does not say how many Andrew brought to Jesus, but we are told that he at least brought his own brother. Others were brought by the Master’s direct personal influence–he findeth Philip. Still others were brought by the call and ties of friendship, following on a long course of previous preparation. Philip had often crossed the hills that separated the Lake from Cana, where Nathanael dwelt, and the two would earnestly discuss the signs of the time: the desperate straits of their country, the preaching of the Baptist, and the Messiah’s advent. The guileless Israelite would sit beneath his favorite fig-tree, pondering over the things which Moses and the prophets had written. It was not difficult to win such a man, when Philip broke in on him with the news of their discovery.
   Jesus is always showing us greater things, John 1:50. He leads His disciples onward and upward, for He is Himself the ladder of ascent to God. —Through the Bible Day by Day

John 1:50—Thou shalt see greater things than these.

   God’s dealings with us are always on an ascending scale. If we see clearly the lowest rung in the heavenly ladder, we behold, the vail of mist will part, and we shall see the next above it, and then the next, and, in due order, the next; and so the steps that slope away through darkness up to God will always be beckoning to greater and yet greater things.
   Have you known Christ as the Word? He is more; both Spirit and Life.
   Has He become flesh? You shall behold Him glorified with the glory He had before the worlds. Have you known Him as Alpha, before all? He is also Omega.
   Have you met John? You shall meet One so much greater, that the latchet of his shoes the Baptist shall deem himself unworthy to unloose.
   Do you know the baptism by water? You shall be baptized by fire.
   Have you beheld the Lamb on the Cross? You shall behold Him in the midst of the throne.
   Have you seen the Spirit descend as a dove on one head? You shall see Him come as a fire upon an unnumbered multitude.
   Have you followed the Christ to the slight booth in the Jordan Valley? You shall enter with Him into mansions of eternal glory.
   Do you acknowledge Him as King of Israel? You shall hear the acclamations that salute Him as King of the worlds.
   Live up to all you know, and you shall know more. Be all you can, and you shall become more. Do all that your two talents permit, and you will find yourself ruler over four cities. —Our Daily Homily