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John Chapter One


I. Content of the Chapter


I.The Son of God the Savior------Introduction of the Word

A. Relations of the Word with God (1-2)

B. Relations of the Word with all things (3)

C. Relations of the Word with men (4-5)

D. Relations of the Word with the forerunner John the Baptist (6-8)

E. Relations of the Word with the world as well as with the Israelites (9-11)

F. Relations of the Word with believers (12-18)


II.The Testimony of the Son of God the Savior

A.  the Testimony of John the Baptist :

1.  John admitted he was not the Christ (19-25)

2.  Christ is more noble----John was not worthy to unloose His scandal (26-28)

3.  Christ is the Lamb of God----He takes away the sin of the world (29-31)

4.  Christ is the Son of God (32-34)

5.  Christ is the Lamb of God----He walks (35-39)

B.  the Testimony of Andrew---- Christ is the Lamb of God the Messiah (40-42)

C.  the Testimony of Philip---- Christ is the one who was the Old Testament          pointed to (43-45)

D.  the Testimony of Nathanael---- Christ is the Son of God and the King of Israel (46-50)

E.  the Testimony of the Lord Himself---- Christ is the ladder from heaven connecting God and men (51)


II. Verse by Verse commentary


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

YLT: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God;

Meaning of Words: “In the beginning”: the original; “Word”: utterance, language (employed to express one’s thoughts, conceptions and wisdom; “with”: accompany in, toward, before, face to face)

   Literal Meaning: In the beginning was the Word”, the same phrase “in the beginning” is used both in Genesis (1:1) and John (1:1), but the two occurrences carry different meanings; In Genesis, it means the beginning of God’s creation, i.e. the beginning of time; In John, it indicates the past eternity before the beginning of time---- He is the self-existing one.

“Was”, the past imperfect tense, means the continuous existence not limited by time. In other words, “the Word” will exist endlessly for ever.

“The Word (logos)”: “utterance” or “speech” is different from “the transient word (rhema)” we normally use, but means “the abiding word”. Words, voice of one’s mind, are the expression of one’s heart and mind. The “Word” here explains, manifests and represents the being of God (see v.18).

Jesus Christ, “the Word”, existing before the foundation of the world, is the explanation and manifestation of God. He is the one who declares God (see v. 18). The expression “the Word was with God” has at least the following four meanings: (1) It means “the Word”, like God, is a person. (2) It means that “the Word” and God are in the same position without differences as to the degree of excellence. (3) It means that “the Word” and God exist simultaneously. (4) It means that “the Word” and God are face to face, enjoy mutual communion and conceal no secrets toward each other.

Jesus Christ, existing with God the Father, is equal with God (Phil. 2:6) and has entire knowledge of God’s mind.

And the Word was God” shows that the Word and God are one and inseparable. It suggests that God is plural in persons, but one in Godhead.

“Was” indicates that the divinity of “the Word” is inherent instead of later developed.

Observe that the word “God” without article in this verse emphasizes the nature of the noun “God”. The “Word” alone does not compose the whole substance of God, but is entirely identical with God in essence. The “Word” is part of the divine Trinity.

Jesus Christ and God the Father are one (see 10:30). He is God.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1) We must trace back to the very beginning when we try to understand a certain matter.

2) Words are the manifestation and expression of one’s own. A man appears to be mysterious when he keeps silent. Christ, the Word of God, declares and manifests the mysterious God.

3) In the past, God and men were separated without any communion. But now the coming of Christ means the coming of God. When the Word came, God came together, and it was God Himself who came to men.


John. 1:2 “He was in the beginning with God.”

YLT: This one was in the beginning with God;

   The Background: A prevailing heresy at the end of the first century held that Jesus Christ was a common person instead of God, but later became God at a certain time.

   Literal Meaning: “He (emphatic in the original)” implies and emphasizes that He is such a one as described in the first verse.

Verse two is not only a repetition of the first verse but also a confirmation of verse one, pointing out that Jesus Christ was God in the past eternity without beginning and was not suddenly transformed from human to God.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

         The divinity of Christ is everlasting and absolute. From everlasting to everlasting, He was with God, and He was God. No wonder that there is no mention of the genealogy of Jesus in the Gospel of John, for He is “without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life (Heb 7:3).”

John. 1:3 “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”

   YLT: “All things through him did happen, and without him happened not even one thing that hath happened.

Meaning of Words: “All things”: the whole, the worlds; “made”: became; “was made”: began to exist

   Literal Meaning: “All things were made through Him” means ““All things through Him existed” in the original, implying that He “calls those things which do not exist as though they did (Rom 4:17)”.

“And without Him nothing was made that was made” denotes that all creation created by Him was good originally with each one of it being positive and acceptable. But many filthy and disgraceful conditions at present stem from the fall of men and the destruction of sin thereafter.

This verse states clearly that Jesus Christ is not a created one by God. On the contrary, God created all things by Him (see Col1:16-17; Heb1:2). Without Him, there is no creation.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The creation comes into being through “the Word”, without whom there will be nothing existing. That is to say, nothing will exist without Him.

2) God created by the Word instead of by labor. For he spoke, and it was done (see Gen1). It is unnecessary to labor in the new creation. When the words of God ---- Christ---- comes upon men, the old creation is exchanged by the new creation, and that which was not comes into being.

3) The God that we believe is a God who calls the things that be not as being (Rom 4:1, 7 in the original). As long as we receive the words of God through faith, though having nothing at first, we will possess all things; though being poor and weak at first, we will become rich and strong.

4) In this verse, it mentions the creation before life (see v.4), showing us that the creation came into being for the purpose of life, for there should be vessels to receive the life. God creates the heavens for the earth, creates the earth for men, and creates the man that has a spirit within to be filled with God’s divine life.

5) Cullman said: The first revelation that God gives to men is the revelation of His creation.


John. 1:4 “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.”

YLT: In him was life, and the life was the light of men.”

   Literal Meaning: “In Him was life”, “life” here does not mean the natural life of man, but the life of God, which is typified by the tree of life in Genesis chapter two (see Gen 2:9).

 “And the life was the light of men”: the life of God in men will touch the inner part of them, so that they can understand the way of God. This is the enlightenment of life.

This verse testifies that Jesus Christ is the origin of both life and light (see Ps. 36:9).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) In Him (i.e. the Word) was life. Life is the content of the Word, and the Word is the manifestation of life. We can only understand the life in the revelation of God.

2) In Him was life---- He is life (see 11:25; 14:6), so He has come that people may receive life (see 10:10).

3) The Lord Jesus creates all things (see v.3), but the life of God still remains in Himself instead of entering into all things. His life, however, came into us who receive the Lord as our Savior. Hallelujah! We possess a most valuable treasure that all creation has not---- the eternal life of God.

4) The natural life of men is not true life. The true life is divine life, and that is Christ Himself. Before we received Christ, we had but a transient life. In a sense, there was no life in us before we were saved.

5) Life in Christ is everlasting, changeless and abiding. All the human beings need this divine and uncreated life, namely, life in Christ. This life is for men, and men are the receivers of this life.

6) Once the life of God comes into us, it will become “the light of men”. In this light, we perceive the great glory, honor, majesty and riches of the Lord Jesus on the one hand, and see the filth, lowness, insignificance and destitution of us on the other.

7) God, who “gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did”, has two great works: (1) the creation (2) the life. Both the two works are in Christ, and through Christ. Oh! God has none work outside Christ.

8) Light shines out of life. One should obtain life first, and light will follow. No life, no light. If we want to seek the light we should obtain the life and be filled with the life.

9) When we received Christ, He came into us with the divine life. Instantly, we felt the enlightenment upon out heart, and this was the light of life enlightening us inside.

10) The principle of God’s work is always that “there was light (cf: Gen1:3)”. To be men’s life, Christ must firstly be men’s light.

11) The natural light is for the need of the old creation (see Gen 1:3-5, 14-18); and the light of life is for the need of the new creation. It is in light only that we can see the works of God.

12) Without life and light, everything is waste and void; without Christ, our life is vain, dark and deadening.


John. 1:5 “And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”

YLT: “And the light in the darkness did shine, and the darkness did not perceive it.”

   Meaning of Words: comprehend”: possess, seize, obtain, overtake, apprehend;

   Literal Meaning: And the light shines in the darkness,”---- “shines”: light shines continually. Light shines in darkness to reveal the evil and vileness of people in the darkness.

“And the darkness did not comprehend it.”---- “darkness” is the opposite side of “light”. Since light refers to Christ, darkness should refer to the power against Christ, as well as the men and systems under the power.

“Comprehend” has two meanings in this verse: “to deal with through mind” or “to conquer by force”, which indicates that the darkness can neither apprehend the light nor conquer the light.

This verse can be regarded as the summary of the Gospel of John. The further development of this book focuses on the conflict between the light (Jesus Christ) and the darkness (the king of the world).

   Spiritual Meaning: Light typifies kindness, life, joy and salvation while darkness typifies evil, death, sorrow and perdition.

Enlightenment in the Word:

         1) The darkness cannot overcome the light, when the light enlightens us in our heart. Moreover light can disperse darkness.

         2) Light has the ability to disperse darkness, but it is possible to be rejected (not be received) by men. If we fell into the darkness, it proved our false attitude towards the light.

3) If we want to be enlightened, we should: (1) keep awake in His life rather than indulging our spirit in sleeping (see Eph 5:14). (2) turn to the Lord and the veil shall be taken away (see 2Cor 3:16-18).


John. 1: 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

YLT: There came a man -- having been sent from God -- whose name John,

   Meaning of Words: “send”: send out; execute a mission, as an authorized delegate;

   Literal Meaning: There was a man” refers to a man who appeared in the historical stage.

“Sent from God”, “sent” refers to the messengers sent by others with special missions.

“Whose name was John.”---- This book has never mentioned the name of the Apostle John, so the mere name John is an evident reference to John the Baptist. In other three books John is called John the Baptist in order to differentiate from the Apostle John.


John. 1: 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light that all through him might believe.

YLT: This one came for testimony, that he might testify about the Light, that all might believe through him;

Meaning of Words: witness: evidence, testimony;

   Literal Meaning: that all through him might believe”, “through him” means “for the sake of John”. John is the very first one who witnessed to others that Jesus is the Light. Therefore, in broad sense s, all the believers in the New Testament should believe into the Lord Jesus in the guidance of John the Baptist.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

         1) Whoever has been sent from God (v.6) must “bear witness of the Light”, and of the Light only. It means that:

       a) There is only one testimony of God---- His Son, the Christ.                     

       b) To judge whether someone is really from God, we need to see whether he bears witness of Christ only.

         2) John the Baptist instructed others to turn their eyes onto Christ rather than drawing their attention to himself. Faithful servants of Lord always lead men to fix their eyes on Christ.


John. 1: 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

YLT: That one was not the Light, but -- that he might testify about the Light.

   Meaning of Words: John, only a burning and shining light (see5:35), pointed out the light of the world (see 9:5), but John himself is not that light.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

         1) John was only a witness of the light, but men at that time was falsely regarded that John is that light. Today it is still a crisis that many people mistake the witnesses of the Christ for the Christ Himself.

         2) Admittedly, ministers of God should be counted worthy of double honor by believers (see 1Tim5:17), but it is still necessary to take heed of keeping one’s own position, for fear of following the same disastrous way of Satan---- exalting himself above all and esteeming him to be equal with God.


John. 1: 9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.

 YLT: He was the true Light, which doth enlighten every man, coming to the world;

   Literal Translation: He was the true Light, which does enlighten every man, coming to the world.

Meaning of Words: “true”: truthful (opposite to “false”); “light”: illuminate, enlighten, bring to light; the world: kosmos (in the original)

   Literal Meaning: gives light to every man coming into the world”, “the world”: originally means the earth inhabited by human beings, but John often employed this word to refer to the people who had fallen away from God and lived in the power of the Devil (see 7:7; 15:18-19; 17:14). “Gives light to every man” means to illuminate all things, for God makes His sun rise on evil and good (Matt 5:45).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

         1) It clearly can be seen that there are true light and false light. There is truth, and there must be falsehood in the world. In the assemblies, there’re true Christians, true words and true prophets as well as false Christians, false words (heresies) and false prophets. So believers should discern the above-mentioned conditions.

         2) The light illuminates all the people, from which some profit, but some do not, for they react differently to the light (see 8:12).


John. 1: 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.

YLT: In the world he was, and the world through him was made, and the world did not know him:

   Meaning of Words: “know”: not only rational knowledge, but also in the right relationship with others

   Literal Meaning: the world did not know Him.”---- “the world” has the distinct meaning in John’s epistles, i.e. the disordered and corrupted world. “Did not know” means indistinguishable and ignorant. The god of this world has so blinded the minds of men that they can not know the Christ (see 2Cor4:4).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

         1) Men in the world have but a vague knowledge of the true God. They feel God in the darkness only by imagination, lacking absolute assurance, thus mistaking false gods for true God (see Acts17:22-24; Rom1:21-25).

         2) Christians should know the Christ, but many believers have only superficial knowledge about the Lord.


John. 1: 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.

 YLT: To his own things he came, and his own people did not receive him;

   Meaning of Words: “His own (the second one)”: pertaining to self, one's own, private;

   Literal Meaning: “His own (the first one)”, a neuter noun in the original, means “one’s own house”. In broad senses, it refers to the whole world. In narrow senses, it refers to the land of Judea (Palestine).

    “His own (the second one)” is a masculine noun in the original. In broad senses, it means people in the whole world. In narrow senses, it means the Jews (God’s elect).

Enlightenment in the Word:

         1) It is reasonable that Christianity and Christian both belong to the sphere of “His own”. But some “organized Christianities” and “nominal Christians” do not receive Christ. What a sorrow!

         2) The Lord Jesus was put in a manger after His birth, because there was no room for Him in the inn (see Luke2:7). Is there any room for Him in the hearts of His believers today?

3) Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head (Matt 8:20). The world rejected and did not leave Him any room, but we believers should receive Him and leave Him ample room in our hearts (see Eph 3:17).


John. 1: 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:

 YLT: But as many as did receive him to them he gave authority to become sons of God -- to those believing in his name,

   Meaning of Words: gave

   Literal Meaning: But as many as received and believed in His name”---- “believe into” in this verse means receive. “His name” represents Himself (see Amos 5:8, 27; Is. 48:9; Ps. 113:1; John15:21; 17:26; Acts 4:12), so “to believe in His name” means to receive Jesus Christ.

    “To them He gave the right”---- “right” refers to the special grace which is reliable and dependable

   To become children of God: to take part in the life and disposition of God. We are not children of God by nature. Only by receiving Christ, we can obtain the right of children of God.


John. 1: 13 Who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

 YLT: Who -- not of blood nor of a will of flesh, nor of a will of man but -- of God were begotten.

   Meaning of Words: “of”: out of;

   Literal Meaning: not of blood”: “blood”: the physical body (see 3:6)

“Of the will of the flesh”: “the will of the flesh” means the corrupted will in one’s natural life.

“Of the will of man”: “the will of man” means the good will in one’s natural life. Some Bible exegetes believe that “the will of man” means help from men (Gal1:11-12).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

         1) Christians’ life is entirely spiritual, and is absolutely independent of one’s flesh and natural life.

         2) One cannot enter into brightness and goodness through his natural capability, intelligence or competence, unless he has been reborn of God.

3) “Not born of blood”, one cannot be saved through the relationship by consanguinity. We should not say that one must be a natural-born Christian if his parents are Christians.

4) “Not born of the will of the flesh”, one cannot be saved through the will of the flesh. Although confession is needed for one to be saved, confession without real repentance and believing cannot save him.

5) “Not born of the will of the men”, one cannot be saved with the help of the ministers only. Although that we heard the gospel is a kind of help from others, we could not be truly saved without the enlightenment of the Holy Ghost.


John. 1: 14 And the Word became 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.

YLT: And the Word became flesh, and did tabernacle among us, and we beheld his glory, glory as of an only begotten of a father, full of grace and truth.

   Meaning of Words: “dwelt”: tent, reside; “truth”: reality, verity; “beheld”: to look closely at, see, perceive; “glory”: something is worthy of honor and praise.

   The Background: The Gnostics at that time held that the divine God can never be united with evil flesh which is part of the evil substance. According to the doctrines of Gnostics, Docetists denied that Jesus Christ came in flesh (see: 1John 4:2)

   Literal Meaning: the Word became flesh”---- the words of God became the flesh, i.e. God is closed in the life and disposition of man. “The Word” was once abstract, intangible, invisible and untouchable, but now becomes concrete, tangible, visible and touchable in flesh. This is the explanation of that “God has been manifested in flesh (1Tim 3:16)”.

Christ became flesh in likeness of flesh of sin (see Rom 8:3), but had not the character of sin (see 2Cor 5:21).

“Dwelt among us”: “dwelt” means “tent” in the original. As the tent of God, Christ is the dwelling of God on earth. Where he was, there God would be. Christ----the Word became flesh----brings God to men, so His name is “Emmanuel”, which means, God with us (see Matt 1:23).

“Full of grace and truth”: “grace” means to obtain graciousness and gift freely without any cost; “truth” does not mean illusory imagination, but a kind of concrete and real knowledge. “Grace” refers particularly to that God becomes our enjoyment in Christ; and “truth” refers particularly to that God becomes our practical experience in Christ. For in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Col 2:9), and when we obtain Christ we obtain all what He is and what He did.

One will find more than sufficient enjoyment and experience of God in Christ. If someone failed to enjoy or experience God, it was not ascribable to Christ, but to himself.

In the Book of John, “grace” is presented by “love”, especially in the actions of the Lord Jesus; and “truth” is particularly presented by the words of the Lord Jesus.

“And we beheld His glory”---- it refers to the transfiguration of Christ on the Mount (see Matt 17:1-2, 5; Luke 9:32; 2Pet 1:16-18). “Glory” is used to describe and presence of God (see Ex 24:16; 40:34-35).

“The glory as of the only begotten of the Father”: the word “para” in the original has not been translated in “the only begotten of the Father”. “Para” means “of” and “with”, so there are two meanings of “the only begotten of the Father”: (1) the only begotten Son is out of the Father. (2) He is always with the Father.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

         1) The Lord Jesus came on earth to abide with us, and brought us full of grace and truth. We needn’t seek any other grace and truth, for the Lord Himself is grace and truth, and was bestowed to us abundantly.

         2) The description of Christ---- the only begotten of the Father: (His being---- “the Word became flesh”); (2) the content----“full of grace and truth”; (3) the manifestation----“glory”

3) Christ revealed God not by arguments or teachings, but by making Himself our enjoyment and everything, thus leading us to appreciate the fullness of God.

4) God is not a God of teachings, reasoning, customs, laws or gifts, but a God who can be enjoyed. God becomes our enjoyment in Christ.

5) Grace is not to give anything physical or spiritual, but is that God Himself becomes our enjoyment in Christ. Therefore, the more we enjoy Christ, the more we experience His grace.

6) Grace is none other than Christ Himself. He is of the most excellence, and all things besides Him are counted to be filth (Phil 3:8).

7) Christ is truth (see 14:6). Once we obtain Him, we obtain the truth. All things without Christ are vanities (Eccl 1:2). Only Christ is the reality (truth) and verity.

8) If someone feels vanity, he has definitely not been filled with Christ inside. A life full of Christ is a fullest and truest life.


John. 1: 15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, "This was He of whom I said, "He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me."'

 YLT: John doth testify concerning him, and hath cried, saying, `This was he of whom I said, He who after me is coming, hath come before me, for he was before me;'

   Meaning of Words: “preferred before”: in front of; “before (the second one)”: first (of all), foremost

   Literal Meaning: John bore witness of Him”---- “bore witness” is a legislative term.

He who comes after me”---- Jesus was manifested before men after John the Baptist.

“Is preferred before me, for He was before me”---- “before” concerns both time and position. Here John the Baptist admitted that Jesus existed from everlasting in respect of time, and that He is exceedingly honorable and incomparable in respect of position. 


John. 1: 16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.

 YLT: And out of his fullness did we all receive, and grace over-against grace;

   Meaning of Words: “of”: out of; “fullness”: what is put in to fill up, what is filled; “for”: instead, contrast (denoting accumulation and superposition)

   Literal Meaning: we have all received”: the word “we” indicates all the Christians, including those who have not seen Jesus in the body.

“And grace for grace”: does not mean “grace rewarding grace”, but “grace adding to grace”, i.e. “there is abundant grace to meet our every need (2Cor 12:9)”.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

         1) This verse shows the abundant fullness of Jesus. We can not receive from Him only once, but also enjoy the inexhaustible grace of “grace for grace”. 

         2) The more grace of Christ we enjoy, the more the boundless fullness of His grace we will find. No one can enjoy all the grace of Christ completely.

3) The extent that we enjoy the fullness of Christ’s grace depends on our spiritual capacities. If we have immeasurable capacities, God will give us immeasurable grace, so we should supplicate God to enlarge our capacities.

4) Every blessing to us will become the basis of another greater blessing. Every grace that men obtain and enjoy will be more enriched again to us.

5) We should not be granted favor in vain, but give thanks to God (see Luke 17:17-18). One who gives more thanks to God will obtain more grace, i.e. “grace for grace”.


John. 1: 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

YLT: For the law through Moses was given, the grace and the truth through Jesus Christ did come;

   Meaning of Words: “was given”: was bestowed; “came”: became, fulfilled, came to pass, and befell

   Literal Meaning: the law was given through Moses”---- God bestowed “the law” to men through Moses on the Mount of Sinai (see Ex 24:12). “The law” functions as the testimony of God’s righteousness, and sets standard for men according to the being of God.

“But grace and truth came through Jesus Christ”---- “grace and truth”, the provision and revelation of God to us, enable us to enjoy and experience God, thus meeting the demands of God. Only through believing into Jesus Christ, we could obtain grace and truth.

In this verse, we can see three contrasts listed below: (1) the law versus grace and truth; (2) Moses versus Christ; (3) through Moses (which is given, the medium is separable) versus through Jesus Christ (which come from the source, inseparable from the source)

   Enlightenment in the Word:

         1) The law, given for a certain purpose of God, can be separated with Moses who put forth the law. Both grace and truth are in Christ and hence inseparable.

         2) With Jesus Christ, there are grace and truth; without Jesus Christ, there are none grace and truth

       3) The law only witnesses the being of God (see Ex 25:21), but grace and truth witness the full provision of God.

       4) None of us can take part in God though the law, but grace and truth enable us to enjoy God.

       5) Grace and truth are inseparable. If grace is over emphasized, one may run to an extreme; if truth is over emphasized, one may fall into drought.  


John. 1: 18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.

 YLT: God no one hath ever seen; the only begotten Son, who is on the bosom of the Father -- he did declare.

   Meaning of Words: “declare”: explain, tell, and rehearse

   Literal Meaning: No one has seen God at any time.”---- (1) No one has seen the essence of God with his physical eyes. (2) No one has ever known God truly.

The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father”---- “in the bosom of the Father” is “into the bosom of the Father” in the original. “Bosom”, a Hebrew idiom, expresses the intimate relations of men. It indicated that the Son is the closest one to the Father and has an exceedingly honorable position.

“He has declared Him”---- the only begotten Son has declared God through the Word, life, light, grace and truth. The Word is the manifestation of God; life is the gift of God, light is the enlightenment of God; grace is God coming to be enjoyed by men; and truth is God being substantiated to be known by men. From the five aspects, God is thoroughly manifested in His Son.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

         1) “The bosom of the Father” speaks that Christ is the most beloved of the Father. “The only begotten Son” testifies that only the Son can inherit all things of the Father. Whoever unites to the Lord will obtain the right and become the children of God (see v.12). Besides, he shall become the beloved of the Father with the Lord Jesus together and inherit all the fullness of the Father.

         2) We should know God through Jesus Christ. The more that we experience the Lord, the clearer we will know God.


John. 1: 19 Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?"

 YLT: And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent out of Jerusalem priests and Levites, that they might question him, `Who art thou?'

   Literal Meaning: the use of the word “the Jews” appears more than seventy times (5 times in Matthew, 6 times in Mark and 5 times in Luke) in the Book of John, and here is the first time. “The Jews” refers generally to the Jewish nations, but in this book it refers specifically to the Jewish religious leaders who oppose the witnesses of Christ. 


John. 1: 20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, "I am not the Christ."

 YLT: And he confessed and did not deny, and confessed -- `I am not the Christ.'

   Meaning of Words:confessed”: assented, acknowledge,


John. 1: 21 And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not." "Are you the Prophet?" And he answered, "No."

 YLT: And they questioned him, `What then? Elijah art thou?' and he saith, `I am not.' -- `The prophet art thou?' and he answered, `No.'

   Literal Meaning: Are you Elijah?”---- the Jews believed that according to the Old Testament Elijah will come again before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD (Mal 4:5).

He said, I am not.’”---- John the Baptist denied that he was Elijah, but the Lord Jesus testified that John was Elijah from John’s ministry (see John 17:12-13).

“‘Are you the Prophet?’”---- “the Prophet” with the article indicates the prophet had been known by others and it may also indicate the promised prophet like God in the Book of Deuteronomy (18:15).


John. 1: 22 Then they said to him, "Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?"

 YLT: They said then to him, `Who art thou, that we may give an answer to those sending us? What dost thou say concerning thyself?'

   Literal Meaning: that we may give an answer to those who sent us”: the manipulators are Pharisees (v.24) who represent the council.


John. 1: 23 He said: "I am "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: "Make straight the way of the LORD,"' as the prophet Isaiah said."

 YLT: He said, `I a voice of one crying in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the Lord, as said Isaiah the prophet

Literal Meaning:as the prophet Isaiah said”: the Scripture here is quoted from the Book of Isaiah (40:3), with only slightly inconsistencies in wording.

Make straight the way of the LORD---- the mission of John the Baptist is to pave the way for the Lord---- making one’s heart turn to the Lord and paving the way for the Lord who will enter into one’s heart and reign in one’s life. Note that “the way of the LORD” here does not refer to “the paths of righteousness (Ps 23:3)”, in which we will walk after we receive the Lord.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

         1) Voice often disappears instantly. John the Baptist, the messenger of the Lord, left nothing for himself. We should always bear witness of The Lord instead of ourselves.

         2) A ministry of the Lord should do his utmost to bring people into God. He should not focus on his own gain and loss, status, fame and wealth, and should not even attempt to turn others to follow him.

3) “Crying” shows that the burden in John was so heavy that he could not help crying. The real burden is the prerequisite for us to serve the Lord, and then we should endeavor to pour out the burden within.

4) Our hearts were once crooked and rough, and it should be made straight and brought low. Then the Lord will enter without obstructions.


John. 1: 24 Now those who were sent were from the Pharisees. Or And those sent were of the Pharisees””

 YLT: And those sent were of the Pharisees,

   Literal Meaning: there are two different translations of this verse: (1) “Now those who were sent were from the Pharisees.”----The Pharisees were the real manipulators. (2) “And those sent were of the Pharisees”---- The on-the-spot men who asked questions were all Pharisees


John. 1: 25 And they asked him, saying, "Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?""

 YLT: And they questioned him and said to him, `Why, then, dost thou baptize, if thou art not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?'

   Literal Meaning: Why then do you baptize?”----It means that “then, you are not qualified to baptize others.”


John. 1: 26 John answered them, saying, "I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know.

 YLT: John answered them, saying, `I baptize with water, but in midst of you he hath stood whom ye have not known, this one it is who is coming after me, who hath been before me,

   Meaning of Words: “know”: see; perceive (not the same “know” in verse 10)

   Literal Meaning: John meant: “I do not baptize with water causelessly, for I pave the way for the One (the Messiah) whom you are waiting for. He has already been among you, but unfortunately you do not know Him.


John. 1: 27 It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose."

 YLT: Of whom I am not worthy that I may loose the cord of his sandal.'

   The Background: whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose”: the Jews put on sandals without uppers when they go out, and take off the sandals when they enter into their houses. One of the works of the lowest bondmen was to loose the sandal straps, take off and carry the sandals for their hosts and the guests, and then pour water into a basin to wash their feet.

   Literal Meaning: whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose”: John confessed that he was not worthy to be His bondman.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

         1) John the Baptist is the Lord’s forerunner, whose mission is to preach the baptism of repentance (see 26) and to bring men to know Christ. We should also present men before the Lord in this way.

         2) Ministries of the Lord should seek the humble and meek attitude like John the Baptist (“whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose”).


John. 1: 28 These things were done in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

YLT: These things came to pass in Bethabara, beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing,

   Literal Meaning: Bethany, beyond the Jordan”, Bethany here is a place in the eastern part of the Jordan, and is not that Bethany near Jerusalem beside the Mount of Olives (11:18).


John. 1: 29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

 YLT: On the morrow John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, `Lo, the Lamb of God, who is taking away the sin of the world;

   Meaning of Words: takes away”: lift up, take away, carry, lift up;

   Literal Meaning: The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (See Isaiah 53:7-10) ”---- it refers to that Jesus Christ the Passover is sacrificed for us (Ex 12:3) ---- being crucified in the cross and shedding His blood for redemption.

    Enlightenment in the Word:

         1) The Lord Jesus is the Savior of the Jews, and not for the Jews only, but also for the sins of the whole world (1John 2:2).

         2) The Israelite offered sacrifices for their sins, but only covered their sins temporarily. However, God prepare us the Lamb now ---- Jesus Christ, who does once for all having offered up himself (see Heb 7:27). Henceforth, our sins have been completely taken away.


John. 1: 30 This is He of whom I said, "After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.'

 YLT: This is he concerning whom I said, After me doth come a man, who hath come before me, because he was before me:

   Please see the commentary of verse 15.


John. 1: 31 I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water."

   YLT: “And I knew him not, but, that he might be manifested to Israel, because of this I came with the water baptizing”

Meaning of Words: “reveal”: manifestly declare, render apparent;

   Literal Meaning: I did not know Him;”---- John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus were relatives in light of the kindred (see Luke 1:36), so John was most likely to know the Lord. Here John said he did not know Him, indicating that he did not know Jesus was the Messiah (Christ).

“But that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.”---- It tells us that God sent John the Baptist to fulfill two great missions: (1) to preach baptism of repentance for remission of sins (see Mark1:4); (2) to bear witness of the Lord Jesus and reveal Him to Israel.

Enlightenment in the Word:

         1) The baptism of John purposed to reveal Christ to men. The baptism of Christians is not a ritual of becoming a member of Christianity, but an access into the spiritual fellowship of Christ.

         2) The real baptism of repentance will open our minds and bring us more knowledge of Jesus Christ.


John. 1: 32 And John bore witness, saying, "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him.

   YLT: And John testified, saying -- `I have seen the Spirit coming down, as a dove, out of heaven, and it remained on him;

Meaning of Words: “remain”: stay, endure, abide; “upon”: above;

   Spiritual Meaning: the Spirit like a dove”, “dove”, the typification of the Holy Spirit, typifies the gentleness, meekness and singleness of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God descended upon Jesus, indicating that Jesus was the Christ (which means “the anointed”), who was anointed by the Holy Spirit of God.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

         1) The Lord was baptized by the Holy Spirit before the church, so the spiritual realities of the church are all hid in the head firstly. The fullness of Christ is the source of all the spiritual fullness.

         2) We should supplicate the Lord to pour out the Holy Spirit on us richly

 (Titus3:6), then we will obtain spiritual power to bear good witness of the Lord (Acts 1:8; 2:18-21).

3) A man, full of the Holy Spirit, must be gentle to others like the gentleness of a dove, and single as well as sincere to God.

4) The anointed oil represents the ownership of God (Lev8:12, 30). If we want to be possessed by God, we should have the experience of the resurrection from the dead.


John. 1: 33 I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, "Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.'

   YLT: “And I did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water, He said to me, On whomsoever thou mayst see the Spirit coming down, and remaining on him, this is he who is baptizing with the Holy Spirit;”

Literal Meaning: there are two different baptisms in this verse: baptism with water and baptism with the Holy Spirit. The former is to baptize with water in regard to those who have repented, through which their corrupted life and dead works in the past are buried. The latter is to baptize with the Holy Spirit in regard to those who have repented and believed into the Lord, though which they receive the divine life of God, partake in the body of Christ (see 1Cor12:13), and obtain power from on high (see Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8; 2:2-4). 

   Enlightenment in the Word:

         1) John the Baptist, a relative of the Lord (see Luke 1:36), must be familiar with the physical appearance of the Lord, but he said: “I did not know Him.” It is thus clear that we should not know Christ according to flesh (see 2Cor 5:16).

         2) Actually, John did not know the Lord was “the Son of God” until he saw the Holy Spirit descending upon the Lord (see v.39). Therefore: (1) no one can know Christ without the revelation of the Holy Spirit; (2) the Holy Spirit descent for the purpose of manifesting Christ and glorifying Christ (see 16:14).

3) John the Baptist revealed Christ to the Israel by the baptism with water (see v.31), yet God revealed Christ to John by the baptism with the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the true meanings and value are to manifest Christ and witness of Christ no matter the baptism or being filled with the Holy Spirit, or even many of spiritual experiences, etc.


John. 1: 34 And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God."

YLT: And I have seen, and have testified, that this is the Son of God.'

   Enlightenment in the Word:

         1) “Seeing” is a prerequisite for “testifying”. We must have seen in the Holy Spirit and then we can bear witness of the Lord.

         2) If we want to testify to the world that we are children of God, we must render the works of the Holy Spirit be manifested in us.


John. 1: 35 Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples.

 YLT: On the morrow, again, John was standing, and two of his disciples,

   Meaning of Words: “Again, the next day”: the third day (see v.29 “the next day”)


John. 1: 36 And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, "Behold the Lamb of God!"

 YLT: And having looked on Jesus walking, he saith, `Lo, the Lamb of God;

   Meaning of Words: Behold”: see (to gaze with an earnest mood)

   Enlightenment in the Word:

         1) When John the Baptist saw the Lord Jesus the second time, he only said “Behold the Lamb of God!” without mentioning “who takes away the sin of the world” in the first time (v.29). This indicates that one will be increasingly enlightened after he has been saved. When someone saw the Lord for the first time, he thought about the Lord and himself---- the Lord, the Lamb of God, took away his sins. When he beheld the Lord the second time, he saw only the Lord and forgot himself.

         2) If a believer only appreciates the grace of the Lord, he still remains in the primary stage of his spiritual life. But if he draws near to the Lord because of the Lord Himself, he has already progressed.


John. 1: 37 The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.

 YLT: And the two disciples heard him speaking, and they followed Jesus.

   Meaning of Words: follow”: to be in the same way with; to accompany (specially, as a disciple)

   Enlightenment in the Word:

         1) Whoever beholds “the Lamb of God (see v.36)”, he cannot help being drawn to follow Him (see Rev 14:4).

         2) To be a disciple of the Lord, one must follow Him. A Christian who only believes but does not follow the Lord can not be called a true disciple of the Lord.


John. 1: 38 Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, "What do you seek?" They said to Him, "Rabbi" (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), "where are You staying?"

 YLT: And Jesus having turned, and having beheld them following, saith to them, `What seek ye?' and they said to them, `Rabbi, (which is, being interpreted, Teacher,) where remainest thou?'

   Meaning of Words: "Rabbi”: Teacher, my Master;

   Enlightenment in the Word:

         1) The Lord Jesus asked those who followed Him: “What do you seek?” Today, He also asks every follower among us the same question: do you seek the Lord Himself only or something besides Him?

         2) The two disciples presented good answers: “where are You staying?”---- They only wanted to abide with the Lord rather than anything else besides the Lord.


John. 1: 39 He said to them, "Come and see." They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour).

YLT: He saith to them, `Come and see;' they came, and saw where he doth remain, and with him they remained that day and the hour was about the tenth. 

   Literal Meaning: now it was about the tenth hour”: “the tenth hour”, according to the Jewish measure of time (from 6 a.m.) is 4 p.m.; but in light of the Roman measure of time (from 0 a.m.) is 10 a.m. 

     The author of this book is a Jew, but the recipients are the Gentiles, so the book may adopt the Roman measure of time. For example, the Lord Jesus was crucified on the cross in the third time (see Mark15:25), i.e. 9 a.m., but in this book it recorded that He had not been judged to be crucified when it was about the sixth hour (see 19:14). Therefore, it is thus evident that John used the Roman measure of time at least in chapter 19.

Enlightenment in the Word: to abide with the Lord and have fellowship with Him personally are the mysteries of knowing that Jesus is the Christ (see 4:42).


John. 1: 40 One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.

 YLT: Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard from John, and followed him;

   Literal Meaning: One of the two who followed Him”: one of them is Andrew, and it is generally acknowledged by the Bible scholars that the other unnamed one is the author John.


John. 1: 41 He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, "We have found the Messiah" (which is translated, the Christ).

 YLT: This one doth first find his own brother Simon, and saith to him, `We have found the Messiah,' (which is, being interpreted, The Anointed,)

Literal Meaning: He first found his own brother Simon,”---- we can understand this verse from at least three aspects: (1) “First”, as an adverb, means he found his brother firstly, and then found others; (2) “First”, as an adjective, means that the first thing he then did was to find his brother; (3) “First”, also regarded as the comparative degree of an adjective, means Andrew found his brother earlier than the other disciple, from which we can infer that the Apostle John also brought his brother James to the Lord Jesus.

    We have found the Messiah.”---- “Messiah”, a Hebrew word, is translated in Greek as “the Christ”, which means the anointed one who was commissioned by God to fulfill the determinate counsel of God, i.e. the eternal will of God.


John. 1: 42 And he brought him to Jesus. Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, "You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas" (which is translated, A Stone).

 YLT: And he brought him unto Jesus: and having looked upon him, Jesus saith, `Thou art Simon, the son of Jonas, thou shalt be called Cephas,' (which is interpreted, A rock.) 

  Meaning of Words: “Cephas”: stone (Syrian);

   Enlightenment in the Word:

         1) Andrew brought his brother to the Lord the moment he found the Lord Jesus. Although we knew superficially about the Lord once we believed, it was still possible to bring our families and friends to the Lord.

         2) When a believer had truly found the Lord, he would definitely preach the Lord to others, especially their beloved family members.


John. 1: 43 The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, "Follow Me."

 YLT: On the morrow, he willed to go forth to Galilee, and he findeth Philip, and saith to him, `Be following me.'

   Meaning of Words: “want to”: desire, to be disposed (forward), intend;

   Literal Meaning: The following day” is the fourth day (see v.29, 35).


John. 1: 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.

 YLT: And Philip was from Bethsaida, of the city of Andrew and Peter;

  Meaning of Words: Philip was from Bethsaida”, “Bethsaida” lies in the north part of the Sea of Galilee, the eastern part of the Jordan.


John. 1: 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote--Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."

YLT: Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith to him, `Him of whom Moses wrote in the Law, and the prophets, we have found, Jesus the son of Joseph, who from Nazareth;'

   Literal Meaning: Philip found Nathanael”: Philip is often mentioned with Bartholomew together in the first three gospels (Matt 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:14), so some Bible exegetes believe that Nathanael is Bartholomew. Bartholomew means “son of Tolmai

    Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph”, the expression “the son of Joseph” confirms that Jesus was brought forth by the virgin. Joseph was not the Lord’s father physically, but His father legislatively.

Enlightenment in the Word:

         1) To bring others to the Lord individually is an essential duty for believers. Sometimes to talk with others personally is more efficient than to preach before many people.

         2) The testimony by Philip to Nathanael shows that: (1) Christ is the center of the whole Old Testament of Bible. (2) Christ is the hope of all the people in the whole Old Testament of Bible


John. 1: 46 And Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see." 

 YLT: And Nathanael said to him, `Out of Nazareth is any good thing able to be?' Philip said to him, `Come and see.'

   Literal Meaning: Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”---- It carries a negatively ironic meaning.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

         1) "Come and see."---- It is the mystery when you preach gospels. When you announce the gospels to others, it is unnecessary to argue with others if you are despised and misunderstood by others. Instead, you can simply show them the facts in Bible and your personal experiences in the Lord Jesus.

         2) For those doubt and unfaithful men---- "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” the best way is to bear witness of Christ to them, and to bring them to Christ---- "Come and see." Then, the antiquated ideas break up, and the flesh revelation comes in---- “You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” (v.49)


 John. 1: 47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!"

 YLT: Jesus saw Nathanael coming unto him, and he saith concerning him, `Lo, truly an Israelite, in whom guile is not;'

Meaning of Words: indeed”: truly, verily; “deceit”: craft, guile

Literal Meaning:

Enlightenment in the Word:

         1) The Lord is the on who searches reins and hearts (Rev 2:23), so He knows my intentions.

         2) A righteous heart and guileless intention are accepted to The Lord.


John. 1: 48 Nathanael said to Him, "How do You know me?" Jesus answered and said to him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you."

 YLT: Nathanael saith to him, `Whence me dost thou know?' Jesus answered and said to him, `Before Philip's calling thee -- thou being under the fig-tree -- I saw thee.'

The Background: the Jewish rabbis often sit under the fig trees to rest, meditate, learn and teach the disciples.

Enlightenment in the Word:

         1) Remember that even though people do not see us when we are alone, the Lord is still looking upon us.

         2) Our Lord attaches great importance to our intentions and actions in private, especially our prayers and fasts in secret (see Matt6:4, 6, and 18).


John. 1: 49 Nathanael answered and said to Him, "Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!"

 YLT: Nathanael answered and saith to him, `Rabbi, thou art the Son of God, thou art the king of Israel.'

   Literal Meaning: You are the King of Israel!”---- It means you are the Messiah.


John. 1: 50 Jesus answered and said to him, "Because I said to you, "I saw you under the fig tree,' do you believe? You will see greater things than these."

 YLT: Jesus answered and said to him, `Because I said to thee, I saw thee under the fig-tree, thou dost believe; greater things than these thou shalt see;'

   Literal Meaning: You will see greater things than these.”---- It means you will obtain greater proofs to prove that I am the Son of God.


John. 1: 51 And He said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man."

 YLT: And he saith to him, `Verily, verily, I say to you, henceforth ye shall see the heaven opened, and the messengers of God going up and coming down upon the Son of Man.'

   The Background: Jacob dreamed that he beheld a ladder set up on the earth and the top of it reached to the heavens, and beheld angels of God ascending and descending upon it (see Gen 28:12).

   Literal Meaning: "Most assuredly, I say to you,”---- in the original: I verily (amen), verily (amen) say to you.

“The angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man” indicating that the Son of Man is the ladder in Jacob’s dream. Christ is the only way to the heaven and the Father (John14:6), He is the only mediator of God and men (1Tim 2:5).

“The angels of God”: angels are ministering spirits sent out for service on account of those who shall inherit salvation (Heb1:14). Angels mainly minister to the duty of conveying messages between God and believers so as to keep the fellowship between men and God.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

    1) On one hand, the Lord Jesus reached earth---- he lives up to the standard of man and represents man; on the other hand, He reaches the heaven---- he lives up to the standard of God and represents God. Only the Lord Jesus is the perfect God and perfect man. He is both God and man.

    2) God can draw near to men only through the mediator Jesus Christ. Men can come to the Father only through the mediator Jesus Christ as well.

    3) The communication on earth can be interrupted, but the fellowship from the heaven is always easy and smooth.

4) “Ascending” is the first, and descending” is the second. How could a man draw God’s blessing without prayers to God? We should tell Him our need on earth, the provision of the heaven will descend.

5) Christ Himself initiates the union of the heaven and the earth, and is the focus of the fellowship between God and men. He is truly the core of the earth, God and the men.


III. Outlines of the Spiritual Lessons


I. The Surpassing Excellence of the Word

A. From the view of time---- He was “in the beginning” (v.1), before the beginning of time.

  B. From the view of space---- He was “with God” (v.1), beyond the regional extension.

  C. From the view of essence---- He “was God Himself” (v.1).

  D. From the view of content---- He is the “fullness” (v.14)

E. From the view of position---- He is “the only begotten Son in the bosom of the Father (v.18)”, and exceedingly honorable.


II. The Names of Christ

  A. The Word (v.1-2, 14)

  B. The true Light (v.5, 9)

  C. The Lamb of God (v.29, 36) 

  D. The Son of God (v.34, 49)

  E. The Christ (v.41)

  F. The King of Israel (v.49)

  G. The Son of Man (v.51)


III. He came to His own

  A. Who is He?

1. He is the Word (v.1).

2. He is God (v.1).

3. He is the true Light (v.9).

4. He is the only begotten Son in the bosom of the Father (v.18).

  B. What does He do?

     1. He came into the world and lightened every man (v.9).

     2. He gave the right to men to be children of God (v.12).

     3. He came and dwelt among us (v.14).

  C. How should we react to Him?

     1. To receive Him, i.e. to believe into his name (v.12).

     2. To receive Him (v.16)

     3. To bear witness of Him (v.15)


IV. Relations of the Word with the Creation

  A. The origin of the creation---- originated from the fellowship of the Trinity (v.2).

  B. The process of the creation:

     1. Through Him (v.3) ---- the Word is the way and means of the creation

     2. Without Him nothing was made (v.3) ---- the Word took part in the creation personally


V. How to obtain life?

  A. The creation and life (v.3-4)

     1. All things are created to be filled with life

     2. Life was not in the creation, but in Him.

  B. Life and light (v.4)

     1. There was no life in men before, so men were in darkness without light.

     2. When life comes, light comes after.

C. The conflict between light the darkness (v.5-11)

     1. The light shines in darkness, but the people did not apprehend it.

     2. People does not receive the light for they did not comprehend the light

     3. God sent people for witness that all might believe through him.

D. The way to obtain life (v.12-13)

     1. One does not obtain life by blood, or by flesh, or by man’s will.

     2. He should be born of God and obtain the right to be children of God

   3. Only by believing into the Lord’s name and receiving Christ, a man can be born again.

E. The steps of God’s granting us His life (v.14-18)

   1. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, thus declaring God.

   2. Jesus Christ is full of grace and truth.

   3. Grace and truth subsists through Jesus Christ, so men should receive grace and truth through Him.


VI. The exemplification of John the Baptist

  A. He was sent by God (v.6).

  B. His commission was to bear witness of the light (v.7-8).

  C. He did not pretend to be Christ (v.19-20).

  D. He did not pretend to be famous characters either (v.21).

E. He declared his commission (v.22-26)

  F. He testified Christ humbly (v.26-34)

  G. He did not keep followers for himself (v.35-37)


VII. The Building of Life is indicated in This Chapter

  A. “The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (v.14).”---- God’s intention is to build up His dwelling on earth.

  B. “Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world (v.29).”---- Men are the material for God to build His dwelling, so the redemption must be accomplished to take away the sin of men.

  C. “The Holy Spirit descended as a dove from heaven, and abode upon Jesus (v.32).”---- The Holy Spirit played a positive role to bestow God’ life upon those who believed.

  D. “Simon was renamed Cephas (Peter) by Jesus. (v.42)”---- A man will be built into stones (the original meaning of both the names Cephas and Peter) by God’ divine life, and become good material of building.

  E. “Hereafter ye shall see heaven open (v.51)”---- Jacob set a stone up a pillar and poured oil on the top of it in the place where he saw the opening gate of heaven, and he called that place Bethel, i.e. the house of God.


VIII. The Lord Jesus is the Centre of Our Life

  A. Beholding Jesus (v.29, 36) ----He is the one we look upon.

  B. Following Jesus (v.37, 43) ----He is the one we follow.

  C. Abiding with Jesus (v.39) ----He is the one we focus upon.

  D. Preaching Jesus ---- He is the one we preach to others:

     1. Teachers to students (v.35)

     2. Family members to family members (v.41)

     3. One passerby to another passerby (v.43)

     4. Friends to friends (v.45)

  E. Believing into and experiencing Jesus (v.50-51) ---- Who is the center of our spiritual experience.


IX. The Progressive Growth of the Disciples

  A. From hearing the Word to admiring the Word (v.35-37)

  B. From admiring the Word to seeking the Word (v.38)

  C. From seeking the Word to obtaining the Word (v.39)

  D. From obtaining the Word to keeping the Word---- bringing others to the Lord (v.40-46)

  E. From keeping the Word to knowing the Word (v.47-51)


X. The Several Kinds of Disciples Who Came to Draw Near the Lord

  A. John and Andrew---- Who came to seek the Lord themselves (37-39).

  B. Peter---- Who was brought to the Lord by others (40-42).

  C. Philip---- Who was called by the Lord Himself (43-44).

  D. Nathanael---- Who came to see the Lord with doubts in his heart (45-47).


── Caleb HuangChristian Digest Bible Commentary Series

   Translated by Mary Zhou