Thursday 23 February 2012

Bible Book:

"And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God" (v. 34)

John 1:29-34 Thursday 23 February 2012


One of the issues confronting the early Christians and reflectedhere in John's Gospel concerns the relationship between John theBaptist and Jesus. It is likely that the Gospel was written in asituation where some Christians still saw themselves as followersof John the Baptist, or descendants of those who were. John theBaptist was clearly an important figure in the stories about Jesusand all four Gospels link Jesus closely with John. But what was thelink and where did John fit into the bigger picture? 

John's Gospel portrays John the Baptist as someone who is notimportant in his own right, but as a witness to the one who was farmore important than he was, someone still to come - Jesus. Thewriter establishes this right from the start, lest there be anydoubt, with the explanation that, "He himself was not the light,but he came to testify to the light. The true light, whichenlightens everyone, was coming into the world." (John1:8-9) 

Maybe the story reflects, as do some of Paul's letters (eg 1Corinthians 1:10-17), that there was a danger in the EarlyChurch as there has always been and still is, that people sometimesshow allegiance to particular individuals, ecclesiologies,theologies or parties. This can get in the way of what reallymatters, following Jesus who is the Christ, the light of the world(John 8:129:5). 

John the Baptist is not the person to follow, as he himself makesclear. His role is that of a witness, and a very strong one, toJesus. His testimony couldn't be much stronger than what is quotedin verse 34, "I myself have seen and have testified that this isthe Son of God." 

To Ponder

What things are there about you that get in theway of your witness to the good news about Jesus, the light of theworld?

How can you focus on the things that reallymatter and not distracted by or committed to things that are notvery important?

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