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John Chapter One


John 1

The first chapter asserts what He was before all things, and the different characters in which He is a blessing to man, being made flesh. He is, and He is the expression of, the whole mind that subsists in God, the Logos. In the beginning He was. If we go back as far as is possible to the mind of men, how far soever beyond all that has had a beginning, He is. This is the most perfect idea we can form historically, if I may use such an expression, of the existence of God or of eternity. "In the beginning was the Word." Was there nothing beside Him? Impossible! Of what would He have been the Word? "The Word was with God." That is to say, a personal existence is ascribed to Him. But, lest it may be thought that He was something which eternity implies but which the Holy Ghost comes to reveal, it is said that He "was God." In His existence eternal-in His nature divine-in His Person distinct, He might have been spoken of as an emanation in time, as though His personality were of time, although eternal in His nature: the Spirit therefore adds, "In the beginning he was with God." It is the revelation of the eternal Logos before all creation. This Gospel therefore really begins before Genesis. The Book of Genesis gives us the history of the world in time: John gives us that of the Word, who existed in eternity before the world was; who-when man can speak of beginning-was; and, consequently, did not begin to exist. The language of the Gospel is as plain as possible, and, like the sword of paradise, turns every way, in opposition to the thoughts and reasonings of man, to defend the divinity and personality of the Son of God.

By Him also were all things created. There are things which had a beginning; they all had their origin from Him: "All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made." Precise, positive, and absolute distinction between all that has been made and Jesus. If anything has been made, it is not the Word; for all that has been made was made by that Word.

But there is another thing, besides the supreme act of creating all things (an act that characterises the Word)-there is that which was in Him. All creation was made by Him; but it does not exist in Him. But in Him was life. In this He was in relation with an especial part of creation-a part which was the object of the thoughts and intentions of God. This "life was the light of men," revealed itself as a testimony to the divine nature, in immediate connection with them, as it did not with respect to any others at all. [1] But, in fact, this light shone in the midst of that which was in its own nature [2] contrary to it, and evil beyond any natural image, for where light comes, darkness is no longer: but here the light came, and the darkness had no perception of it-remained darkness, which therefore neither comprehended nor received it. These are the relations of the Word with creation and with man, seen abstractedly in His nature. The Spirit pursues this subject, giving us details, historically, of the latter part.

We may remark here-and the point is of importance-how the Spirit passes from the divine and eternal nature of the Word who was before all things, to the manifestation, in this world, of the Word made flesh in the Person of Jesus. All the ways of God, the dispensations, His government of the world, are passed over in silence. In beholding Jesus on the earth we are in immediate connection with Him as existing before the world was. Only He is introduced by John, and that which is found in the world is recognised as created. John is come to bear witness of the Light. The true Light was that which, coming into the world, shone for all men, and not for the Jews only. He is come into the world; and the world, in darkness and blind, has not known Him. He is come unto His own, and His own (the Jews) have not received Him. But there were some who received Him. Of them two things are said: they have received authority to become the children [3] of God, to take their place as such; and, secondly, they are, in fact, born of God. Natural descent, and the will of man, went for nothing here.

Thus we have seen the Word, in His nature, abstractedly (v. 1-3); and, as life, the manifestation of divine light in man, with the consequences of that manifestation (v. 4, 5); and how He was received where it was so (v. 10-13). This general part, in regard to His nature, ends here. The Spirit carries on the history of what the Lord is, manifested as man on earth. So that, as it were, we begin again here (v. 14) with Jesus on the earth-what the Word became, not what He was. As light in the world, there was the unanswered claim of what He was on man. Not knowing Him, or rejecting Him where He was dispensationally in relationship was the only difference. Grace in life-giving power then comes in to lead men to receive Him. The world did not know its Creator come into it as light, His own rejected their Lord. Those who were born not of man's will but of God received Him. Thus we have not what the Word was (en), but what He became (egeneto).

The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us in the fulness of grace and truth. This is the great fact, the source of all blessing to us; [4] that which is the full expression of God, adapted, by taking man's own nature, to all that is in man, to meet every human need, and all the capacity of the new nature in man to enjoy the expression of all in which God is suited to him. It is more than light, which is pure and shews all things; it is the expression of what God is, and God in grace, and as a source of blessing. And note, God could not be to angels what He is to man-grace, patience, mercy, love, as shewn to sinners. And all this He is, as well as the blessedness of God, to the new man. The glory in which Christ was seen, thus manifested (by those who had eyes to see), was that of an only Son with His Father, the one concentrating object of His delight as Father.

These are the two parts of this great truth. The Word, who was with God and who was God, was made flesh; and He who was beheld on the earth had the glory of an only Son with the Father.

Two things are the result. Grace (what greater grace? It is love itself that is revealed, and towards sinners) and truth, that are not declared, but come, in Jesus Christ The true relation of all things with God is shewn, and their departure from it. This is the groundwork of truth. Everything takes its true place, its true character, in every respect; and the centre to which all refers is God. What God is, what perfect man, what sinful man, what the world, what its prince, Christ's presence brings all out. Grace then and truth are come. The second thing is, that the only Son in the bosom of the Father reveals God, and reveals Him consequently as known by Himself in that position. And this is largely connected with the character and revelation of grace in John: first, fulness, with which we are in communication, and from which we have all received; then relationship.

But there are yet other important instructions in these verses. The Person of Jesus, the Word made flesh, dwelling among us, was full of grace and truth. Of this fulness we have all received: not truth upon truth (truth is simple, and puts everything exactly in its place, morally and in its nature); but we have received that which we needed-grace upon grace, the favour of God abundantly, divine blessings (the fruit of His love) heaped one upon another. Truth shines-everything is perfectly manifested; grace is given.

The connection of this manifestation of the grace of God in the Word made flesh (in which perfect truth also displays itself) with other testimonies of God is then taught us. John bore witness to Him; the service of Moses had quite another character. John preceded Him in his service on earth; but Jesus must be preferred before him; for (humble as He might be) God above all, blessed for ever, He was before John, although coming after him. Moses gave the law, perfect in its place-requiring from man, on God's part, that which man ought to be. Then God was hidden, and God sent out a law shewing what man ought to be; but now God has revealed Himself by Christ, and the truth (as to everything) and grace are come. The law was neither the truth, full and entire, [5] in every respect, as in Jesus, nor grace; it was no transcript of God, but a perfect rule for man. Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ, not by Moses. Nothing can be more essentially important than this statement. Law requires from man what he ought to be before God, and, if he fulfils it, it is his righteousness. Truth in Christ shews what man is (not ought to be), and what God is, and, as inseparable from grace, does not require but brings to man what he needs. If thou knewest the gift of God, says the Saviour to the Samaritan woman. So at the end of the wilderness journey Balaam has to say: "according to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, What hath God wrought?" The verb "came" is in the singular after grace and truth. Christ is both at once; indeed, if grace were not there He would not be the truth as to God. To require from man what he ought to be was righteous requirement. But to give grace and glory, to give His Son was another thing in every respect; only sanctioning the law as perfect in its place.

We have thus the character and the position of the Word made flesh-that which Jesus was here below, the Word made flesh; His glory as seen by faith, that of an only Son with His Father. He was full of grace and truth. He revealed God as He knew Him, as the only-begotten Son in the bosom of the Father. It was not only the character of His glory here below; it is what He was (what He had been, what He ever is) in the Father's own bosom in the Godhead: and it is thus that He declared Him. He was before John the Baptist, although coming after him; and He brought, in His own Person, that which was in its nature entirely different from the law given by Moses.

Here then is the Lord manifested on earth. His relations with men follow, the positions He took, the characters He assumed, according to the purposes of God, and the testimony of His word among men. First of all, John the Baptist gives place to Him. It will be remarked that he bears testimony in each of the parts [6] into which this chapter is divided-verse 6, [7] in the effect of the abstract revelation of the nature of the Word; as light verse 15, with regard to His manifestation in the flesh; verse 19, the glory of His Person, although coming after John; verse 29, respecting His work and the result; and verse 36, the testimony for the time being, in order that He might be followed, as having come to seek the Jewish remnant.

After the abstract revelation of the nature of the Word, and that of His manifestation in the flesh, the testimony actually borne in the world is given. Verses 19-28 form a kind of introduction, in which, on the inquiry of the scribes and Pharisees, John gives account of himself, and takes occasion to speak of the difference between himself and the Lord. So that, whatever the characters may be that Christ takes in connection with His work, the glory of His Person is ever first in view. The witness is occupied naturally, so to speak, with this, before bearing his formal testimony to the office which he fulfilled. John is neither Elias nor that prophet (that is, the one of whom Moses spoke) nor the Christ. He is the voice mentioned by Isaiah, who was to prepare the way of the Lord before Him. It is not precisely before the Messiah, although He was that; neither is it Elias before the day of Jehovah, but the voice in the wilderness before the Lord (Jehovah) Himself. Jehovah was coming. It is this consequently of which he speaks. John baptised indeed unto repentance; but there was already One, unknown, among them, who, coming after him, was yet his superior, whose shoe's latchet he was not worthy to unloose.

We have next the direct testimony of John, when he sees Jesus coming to him. He points Him out, not as the Messiah, but according to the whole extent of His work as enjoyed by us in the everlasting salvation He has accomplished, and the full result of the glorious work by which it was accomplished. He is the Lamb of God, one whom God alone could furnish, and was for God, and according to His mind, who takes away the sin (not the sins) of the world. That is to say, He restores (not all the wicked, but) the foundations of the world's relations with God. Since the fall, it is indeed sin-whatever may be His dealings [8] -that God had to consider in His relations with the world. The result of Christ's work shall be, that this will no longer be the case; His work shall be the eternal basis of these relations in the new heavens and the new earth, sin being entirely put aside as such. We know this by faith before the public result in the world.

Although a Lamb for the sacrifice, He is preferred before John the Baptist, for He was before him. The Lamb to be slain was Jehovah Himself.

In the administration of the ways of God, this testimony was to be borne in Israel, although its subject was the Lamb whose sacrifice reached to the sin of the world, and the Lord, Jehovah. John had not known Him personally; but He was the one and only object of his mission.

But this was not all. He had made Himself man, and as man had received the fulness of the Holy Ghost, who had descended upon Him and abode upon Him; and the man thus pointed out, and sealed on the part of the Father, was Himself to baptise with the Holy Ghost. At the same time He was pointed out by the descent of the Holy Ghost in another character, to which John therefore bears testimony. Thus subsisting and seen and sealed on the earth, He was the Son of God. John recognises Him and proclaims Him as such.

Then comes what may be called the direct exercise and effect of his ministry at that time. But it is always the Lamb of whom he speaks; for that was the object, the design of God, and it is that which we have in this Gospel, although Israel is recognised in its place; for the nation held that place from God.

Upon this the disciples of John [9] follow Christ to His abode. The effect of John's testimony is to attach the remnant to Jesus, the centre of their gathering. Jesus does not refuse it, and they accompany Him. Nevertheless this remnant-how far soever the testimony of John might extend-do not, in fact, go beyond the recognition of Jesus as the Messiah. This was the case, historically; [10] it but Jesus knew them thoroughly, and declares the character of Simon as soon as he comes to Him, and gives him his appropriate name. This was an act of authority which proclaimed Him the head and centre of the whole system. God can bestow names; He knows all things. He gave this right to Adam, who exercised it according to God with regard to all that was put under him as well as in the case of his wife. Great kings, who claim this power, have done the same. Eve sought to do it, but she was mistaken; although God can give an understanding heart which, under His influence, speaks aright in this respect. Now Christ does so here, with authority and with all knowledge, the moment the case presents itself.

Verse 43. [11] We have next the immediate testimony of Christ Himself and of His followers. In the first place, on repairing to the scene of His earthly pilgrimage, according to the prophets, He calls others to follow Him. Nathanael, who begins by rejecting one who came from Nazareth, sets before us, I doubt not, the remnant of the last days (the testimony to which the gospel of grace belongs came first, verses 29-34). We see him at first rejecting the despised of the people, and under the fig-tree, which represents the nation of Israel; as the fig-tree which was to bear no more fruit, represents Israel under the old covenant. But Nathanael is the figure of a remnant, seen and known by the Lord, in connection with Israel. The Lord who thus manifested Himself to his heart and conscience is confessed as Son of God and King of Israel. This is formally the faith of the spared remnant of Israel in the last days according to Psalm 2. But those who thus received Jesus when He was on earth should see yet greater things than those which had convinced them. Moreover thenceforth [12] they should see the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man. He who by His birth had taken His place among the children of men would, by that title, be the object of service to the most excellent of God's creatures. The expression is emphatic. The angels of God Himself should be in the service of the Son of man. So that the remnant of Israel without guile acknowledges Him to be the Son of God and King of Israel; and the Lord declares Himself also to be the Son of man-in humiliation indeed, but the object of service to the angels of God. Thus we have the Person and the titles of Jesus, from His eternal and divine existence as the Word, to His millennial place as King of Israel and Son of man; [13] which He already was as born into this world, but which will be realised when He returns in His glory.

Before going farther, let us review some points in this chapter. The Lord is revealed as the Word-as God and with God-as light-as life: secondly, as the Word made flesh, having the glory of an only Son with His Father-as such He is full of grace and truth come by Him, of His fulness we have all received, and He has declared the Father (compare chap. 14)-the Lamb of God-the One on whom the Holy Ghost could descend, and who baptised with the Holy Ghost-the Son of God: [14] thirdly, His work what He does, Lamb of God taking away sin, and Son of God and King of Israel. This closes the revelation of His Person and work. Then verses 35-42 John's ministry, but where Jesus, as He alone could, becomes the gathering centre. Verse 43, Christ's ministry, in which He calls to follow Him, which, with verses 38, 39, give His double character as the one attractive point in the world; with this His entire humiliation, but owned through a divine testimony reaching the remnant as according to Psalm 2, but the taking His title of Son of man according to Psalm 8-the Son of man: we may say, all His personal titles. His relationship to the assembly is not here, nor His function as Priest; but that which belongs to His Person, and the connection of man with God in this world. Thus, besides His divine nature, it is all that He was and will be in this world: His heavenly place and its consequences to faith are taught elsewhere, and barely alluded to, when necessary, in this Gospel.

Observe that, in preaching Christ, in a way to a certain degree complete, the heart of the hearer may truly believe and attach itself to Him, though investing Him with a character which the condition of soul cannot yet go beyond, and while ignorant of the fulness in which He has been revealed. Indeed where it is real, the testimony, however exalted in character, meets the heart where it is. John says, "Behold the Lamb of God!" "We have found the Messiah," say the disciples who followed Jesus on John's testimony.

Note also, that the expression of what was in John's heart had greater effect than a more formal, more doctrinal testimony. He beheld Jesus, and exclaims, "Behold the Lamb of God!" The disciples heard him, and followed Jesus. It was, no doubt, his proper testimony on God's part, Jesus being there; but it was not a doctrinal explanation like that of the preceding verses.

The two testimonies to Christ that were to be borne in this world, both gathering to Him as centre, had been borne; that of John, and that of Jesus taking His place in Galilee with the remnant-the two days of God's dealings with Israel here below. [15]


[1] The form of expression in Greek is very strong, as identifying completely the life with the light of men, as co-extensive propositions.

[2] It is not here my object to develop the manner in which the word meets the errors of the human mind; but, in fact, as it reveals truth on God's part, it also replies, in a remarkable way, to all the mistaken thoughts of man. With respect to the Lord's Person, the first verses of the chapter bear witness to it. Here the error, which made of the principle of darkness a second god in equal conflict with the good Creator, is refuted by the simple testimony that the life was the light, and the darkness a moral condition, without power, and negative, in the midst of which this life was manifested in light. If we have the truth itself, we have no need to be acquainted with error. The voice of the Good Shepherd known, we are sure that none other is of Him. But, in fact, the possession of the truth, as revealed in the scripture, is an answer to all the errors into which man has fallen, innumerable as they are.

[3] Sons in Paul's writings is the place Christians have in connection with God into which Christ has brought them by redemption, that is, His own relative place with God according to His counsels. Children is that they are of the Father's family. (Both are found in Romans 8:14-16, and the force of both may there be seen. We cry Father, so are children, but by the Spirit we take up the place of grown up sons with Christ before God.) Up to the end of verse 13, we have abstractedly what Christ intrinsically was and from eternity, and what man was-darkness. This first to the end of verse 5. Then God's dealings John's place and service; then the Light came, came into the world He had made, and it did not know Him, to His own, the Jews, and they would not have Him. But there were those, born of God, who had authority to take the place of children, a new race.

[4] It is indeed the source of all blessing; but the condition of man was such, that without His death no one would have had any part in the blessing. Unless the corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

[5] Indeed it told what man ought to be, not what man or anything actually was, and this is properly truth.

[6] It will be observed that the chapter is thus divided: 1-18 (this part is subdivided into 1-5, 6-13, 14-18), 19-28, 29-34 (sub-divided into 29-31, 32-34), 35 to the end. These last verses are subdivided into 35-42, and 42 to the end. That is, first, what Christ is abstractedly and intrinsically-John's testimony to Him as light; when come, what He is personally in the world-John, only forerunner of Jehovah, witness of Christ's excellency; the work of Christ (Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, He baptises with the Holy Ghost, and is Son of God); John gathers to Him; He gathers to Himself. This goes on till the upright remnant of Israel own Him Son of God, King of Israel; then He takes the larger character of Son of Man. All the personal characters of Christ, so to speak, are found here and His work, but not His relative characters, not Christ, not Priest, not Head of the assembly His body; but Word, Son of God, Lamb of God, Baptiser with the Holy Ghost; and, according to Psalm 2, Son of God, King of Israel; and Son of man, according to Psalm 8, whom the angels serve; God withal, life, and the light of men.

[7] The strictly abstract statement ends in verse 5, and goes by itself. The reception of Christ as come into the world as light introduces John. We are no longer in what is strictly abstract; though not developing the object-what the Word became-it is historical as to the reception of the light, and thus shews what man was, and what he is by grace as born of God, in respect of the object.

[8] As the flood, law, grace. There was a paradise of innocence, then a world of sin, by-and-by a kingdom of righteousness, finally a world (new heavens and new earth) wherein dwelleth righteousness. But it is everlasting righteousness, and founded on that work of the Lamb of God which can never lose its value. It is an immutable state of things. The church or assembly is something above and apart from all this, though revealed in it.

[9] Note, it is not on his public testimony, but on the expression of his heart addressed to no one, which they heard.

[10] A principle of the deepest interest to us, as the effect of grace. In receiving Jesus we receive all that He is; notwithstanding that at the moment we may only perceive in Him that which is the least exalted part of His glory.

[11] These verses 38 and 43 take in the two characters in which we have to do with Christ. He receives them and they abide with Him, and He calls upon them to follow Him. We have no world where we can abide, no centre in it which gathers round itself those rightly disposed by grace. No prophet, no servant of God could. Christ is the one centre of gathering in the world. Then following supposes that we are not in God's rest. In Eden no following was called for. In heaven there will be none. It is perfect joy and rest where we are. In Christ we have a divine object, giving us a clear path through a world in which we cannot rest with God, for sin is there.

[12] Not "hereafter. Many authorities leave the word out

[13] Except what concerns the assembly and Israel. Here, He is not High Priest, He is not Head of the body, He is not revealed as the Christ. John does not give what shews man in heaven, but God in man on earth-not what is heavenly as gone up, but what is divine here. Israel is looked on all through as rejected. The disciples own Him as the Christ, but He is not so proclaimed.

[14] Here He is seen as the Son of God in this world; in verse 14, He is in the glory of an only Son with His Father; and verse 18, He is so in the bosom of His Father.

[15] Remark here, that Jesus accepts the place of that centre round which souls are to be gathered-a very important principle. None else could hold this place. It was a divine one. The world was all wrong, without God, and a new gathering out of it was to be made round Him. Next, He furnishes the path in which man was to walk-"Follow me." Adam in paradise needed no path. Christ gives a divinely ordered one, in a world where of itself there could not be a right one, for its whole condition was the fruit of sin. Thirdly, He reveals man in His Person as the glorious Head over all, whom the highest creatures serve.

── John DarbySynopsis of John


John 1

Chapter Contents

The Divinity of Christ. (1-5) His Divine and human nature. (6-14) John the Baptist's testimony to Christ. (15-18) John's public testimony concerning Christ. (19-28) Other testimonies of John concerning Christ. (29-36) Andrew and another disciple follow Jesus. (37-42) Philip and Nathanael called. (43-51)

Commentary on John 1:1-5

(Read John 1:1-5)

The plainest reason why the Son of God is called the Word, seems to be, that as our words explain our minds to others, so was the Son of God sent in order to reveal his Father's mind to the world. What the evangelist says of Christ proves that he is God. He asserts, His existence in the beginning; His coexistence with the Father. The Word was with God. All things were made by him, and not as an instrument. Without him was not any thing made that was made, from the highest angel to the meanest worm. This shows how well qualified he was for the work of our redemption and salvation. The light of reason, as well as the life of sense, is derived from him, and depends upon him. This eternal Word, this true Light shines, but the darkness comprehends it not. Let us pray without ceasing, that our eyes may be opened to behold this Light, that we may walk in it; and thus be made wise unto salvation, by faith in Jesus Christ.

Commentary on John 1:6-14

(Read John 1:6-14)

John the Baptist came to bear witness concerning Jesus. Nothing more fully shows the darkness of men's minds, than that when the Light had appeared, there needed a witness to call attention to it. Christ was the true Light; that great Light which deserves to be called so. By his Spirit and grace he enlightens all that are enlightened to salvation; and those that are not enlightened by him, perish in darkness. Christ was in the world when he took our nature upon him, and dwelt among us. The Son of the Highest was here in this lower world. He was in the world, but not of it. He came to save a lost world, because it was a world of his own making. Yet the world knew him not. When he comes as a Judge, the world shall know him. Many say that they are Christ's own, yet do not receive him, because they will not part with their sins, nor have him to reign over them. All the children of God are born again. This new birth is through the word of God as the means, 1 Peter 1:23, and by the Spirit of God as the Author. By his Divine presence Christ always was in the world. But now that the fulness of time was come, he was, after another manner, God manifested in the flesh. But observe the beams of his Divine glory, which darted through this veil of flesh. Men discover their weaknesses to those most familiar with them, but it was not so with Christ; those most intimate with him saw most of his glory. Although he was in the form of a servant, as to outward circumstances, yet, in respect of graces, his form was like the Son of God His Divine glory appeared in the holiness of his doctrine, and in his miracles. He was full of grace, fully acceptable to his Father, therefore qualified to plead for us; and full of truth, fully aware of the things he was to reveal.

Commentary on John 1:15-18

(Read John 1:15-18)

As to the order of time and entrance on his work, Christ came after John, but in every other way he was before him. The expression clearly shows that Jesus had existence before he appeared on earth as man. All fulness dwells in him, from which alone fallen sinners have, and shall receive, by faith, all that renders them wise, strong, holy, useful, and happy. Our receivings by Christ are all summed up in this one word, grace; we have received "even grace," a gift so great, so rich, so invaluable; the good will of God towards us, and the good work of God in us. The law of God is holy, just, and good; and we should make the proper use of it. But we cannot derive from it pardon, righteousness, or strength. It teaches us to adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour, but it cannot supply the place of that doctrine. As no mercy comes from God to sinners but through Jesus Christ, no man can come to the Father but by him; no man can know God, except as he is made known in the only begotten and beloved Son.

Commentary on John 1:19-28

(Read John 1:19-28)

John disowns himself to be the Christ, who was now expected and waited for. He came in the spirit and power of Elias, but he was not the person of Elias. John was not that Prophet whom Moses said the Lord would raise up to them of their brethren, like unto him. He was not such a prophet as they expected, who would rescue them from the Romans. He gave such an account of himself, as might excite and awaken them to hearken to him. He baptized the people with water as a profession of repentance, and as an outward sign of the spiritual blessings to be conferred on them by the Messiah, who was in the midst of them, though they knew him not, and to whom he was unworthy to render the meanest service.

Commentary on John 1:29-36

(Read John 1:29-36)

John saw Jesus coming to him, and pointed him out as the Lamb of God. The paschal lamb, in the shedding and sprinkling of its blood, the roasting and eating of its flesh, and all the other circumstances of the ordinance, represented the salvation of sinners by faith in Christ. And the lambs sacrificed every morning and evening, can only refer to Christ slain as a sacrifice to redeem us to God by his blood. John came as a preacher of repentance, yet he told his followers that they were to look for the pardon of their sins to Jesus only, and to his death. It agrees with God's glory to pardon all who depend on the atoning sacrifice of Christ. He takes away the sin of the world; purchases pardon for all that repent and believe the gospel. This encourages our faith; if Christ takes away the sin of the world, then why not my sin? He bore sin for us, and so bears it from us. God could have taken away sin, by taking away the sinner, as he took away the sin of the old world; but here is a way of doing away sin, yet sparing the sinner, by making his Son sin, that is, a sin-offering, for us. See Jesus taking away sin, and let that cause hatred of sin, and resolutions against it. Let us not hold that fast, which the Lamb of God came to take away. To confirm his testimony concerning Christ, John declares the appearance at his baptism, in which God himself bore witness to him. He saw and bare record that he is the Son of God. This is the end and object of John's testimony, that Jesus was the promised Messiah. John took every opportunity that offered to lead people to Christ.

Commentary on John 1:37-42

(Read John 1:37-42)

The strongest and most prevailing argument with an awakened soul to follow Christ, is, that it is he only who takes away sin. Whatever communion there is between our souls and Christ, it is he who begins the discourse. He asked, What seek ye? The question Jesus put to them, we should all put to ourselves when we begin to follow Him, What do we design and desire? In following Christ, do we seek the favour of God and eternal life? He invites them to come without delay. Now is the accepted time, 2 Corinthians 6:2. It is good for us to be where Christ is, wherever it be. We ought to labour for the spiritual welfare of those related to us, and seek to bring them to Him. Those who come to Christ, must come with a fixed resolution to be firm and constant to him, like a stone, solid and stedfast; and it is by his grace that they are so.

Commentary on John 1:43-51

(Read John 1:43-51)

See the nature of true Christianity, it is following Jesus; devoting ourselves to him, and treading in his steps. Observe the objection Nathanael made. All who desire to profit by the word of God, must beware of prejudices against places, or denominations of men. They should examine for themselves, and they will sometimes find good where they looked for none. Many people are kept from the ways of religion by the unreasonable prejudices they conceive. The best way to remove false notions of religion, is to make trial of it. In Nathanael there was no guile. His profession was not hypocritical. He was not a dissembler, nor dishonest; he was a sound character, a really upright, godly man. Christ knows what men are indeed. Does He know us? Let us desire to know him. Let us seek and pray to be Israelites indeed, in whom is no guile; truly Christians, approved of Christ himself. Some things weak, imperfect, and sinful, are found in all, but hypocrisy belongs not to a believer's character. Jesus witnessed what passed when Nathanael was under the fig-tree. Probably he was then in fervent prayer, seeking direction as to the Hope and Consolation of Israel, where no human eye observed him. This showed him that our Lord knew the secrets of his heart. Through Christ we commune with, and benefit by the holy angels; and things in heaven and things on earth are reconciled and united together.

── Matthew HenryConcise Commentary on John


John 1

Verse 1

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

In the beginning — (Referring to Genesis 1:1, and Proverbs 8:23.) When all things began to be made by the Word: in the beginning of heaven and earth, and this whole frame of created beings, the Word existed, without any beginning. He was when all things began to be, whatsoever had a beginning.

The Word — So termed Psalms 33:6, and frequently by the seventy, and in the Chaldee paraphrase. So that St. John did not borrow this expression from Philo, or any heathen writer. He was not yet named Jesus, or Christ. He is the Word whom the Father begat or spoke from eternity; by whom the Father speaking, maketh all things; who speaketh the Father to us. We have, in John 1:18, both a real description of the Word, and the reason why he is so called. He is the only begotten Son of the Father, who is in the bosom of the Father, and hath declared him. And the Word was with God - Therefore distinct from God the Father. The word rendered with, denotes a perpetual tendency as it were of the Son to the Father, in unity of essence. He was with God alone; because nothing beside God had then any being.

And the Word was God — Supreme, eternal, independent. There was no creature, in respect of which he could be styled God in a relative sense. Therefore he is styled so in the absolute sense. The Godhead of the Messiah being clearly revealed in the Old Testament, ( Jeremiah 23:7; Hosea 1:6; Psalms 23:1,) the other evangelists aim at this, to prove that Jesus, a true man, was the Messiah. But when, at length, some from hence began to doubt of his Godhead, then St. John expressly asserted it, and wrote in this book as it were a supplement to the Gospels, as in the Revelation to the prophets.

Verse 2

[2] The same was in the beginning with God.

The same was in the beginning with God — This verse repeats and contracts into one the three points mentioned before. As if he had said, This Word, who was God, was in the beginning, and was with God.

Verse 3

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

All things beside God were made, and all things which were made, were made by the Word. In John 1:1,2 is described the state of things before the creation: John 1:3, In the creation: John 1:4, In the time of man's innocency: John 1:5, In the time of man's corruption.

Verse 4

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

In him was life — He was the foundation of life to every living thing, as well as of being to all that is.

And the life was the light of men — He who is essential life, and the giver of life to all that liveth, was also the light of men; the fountain of wisdom, holiness, and happiness, to man in his original state.

Verse 5

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

And the light shineth in darkness — Shines even on fallen man; but the darkness - Dark, sinful man, perceiveth it not.

Verse 6

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

There was a man — The evangelist now proceeds to him who testified of the light, which he had spoken of in the five preceding verses.

Verse 7

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

The same came for (that is, in order to give) a testimony - The evangelist, with the most strong and tender affection, interweaves his own testimony with that of John, by noble digressions, wherein he explains the office of the Baptist; partly premises and partly subjoins a farther explication to his short sentences. What St. Matthew, Mark, and Luke term the Gospel, in respect of the promise going before, St. John usually terms the testimony, intimating the certain knowledge of the relator; to testify of the light - Of Christ.

Verse 9

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

Who lighteth every man — By what is vulgarly termed natural conscience, pointing out at least the general lines of good and evil. And this light, if man did not hinder, would shine more and more to the perfect day.

Verse 10

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

He was in the world — Even from the creation.

Verse 11

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

He came — In the fulness of time, to his own - Country, city, temple: And his own - People, received him not.

Verse 12

[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:

But as many as received him — Jews or Gentiles; that believe on his name - That is, on him. The moment they believe, they are sons; and because they are sons, God sendeth forth the Spirit of his Son into their hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

Verse 13

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

Who were born — Who became the sons of God, not of blood - Not by descent from Abraham, nor by the will of the flesh - By natural generation, nor by the will of man - Adopting them, but of God - By his Spirit.

Verse 14

[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.

Flesh sometimes signifies corrupt nature; sometimes the body; sometimes, as here, the whole man.

We beheld his glory — We his apostles, particularly Peter, James, and John, Luke 9:32.

Grace and truth — We are all by nature liars and children of wrath, to whom both grace and truth are unknown. But we are made partakers of them, when we are accepted through the Beloved. The whole verse might be paraphrased thus: And in order to raise us to this dignity and happiness, the eternal Word, by a most amazing condescension, was made flesh, united himself to our miserable nature, with all its innocent infirmities. And he did not make us a transient visit, but tabernacled among us on earth, displaying his glory in a more eminent manner, than even of old in the tabernacle of Moses. And we who are now recording these things beheld his glory with so strict an attention, that we can testify, it was in every respect such a glory as became the only begotten of the Father. For it shone forth not only in his transfiguration, and in his continual miracles, but in all his tempers, ministrations, and conduct through the whole series of his life. In all he appeared full of grace and truth: he was himself most benevolent and upright; made those ample discoveries of pardon to sinners, which the Mosaic dispensation could not do: and really exhibited the most substantial blessings, whereas that was but a shadow of good things to come.

Verse 15

[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.

John cried — With joy and confidence; This is he of whom I said - John had said this before our Lord's baptism, although he then knew him not in person: he knew him first at his baptism, and afterward cried, This is he of whom I said. etc.

He is preferred before me — in his office: for he was before me - in his nature.

Verse 16

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

And — Here the apostle confirms the Baptist's words: as if he had said, He is indeed preferred before thee: so we have experienced: We all - That believe: have received - All that we enjoy out of his fulness: and in the particular, grace upon grace - One blessing upon another, immeasurable grace and love.

Verse 17

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

The law — Working wrath and containing shadows: was given - No philosopher, poet, or orator, ever chose his words so accurately as St. John. The law, saith he, was given by Moses: grace was by Jesus Christ. Observe the reason for placing each word thus: The law of Moses was not his own. The grace of Christ was. His grace was opposite to the wrath, his truth to the shadowy ceremonies of the law.

Jesus — St. John having once mentioned the incarnation { John 1:14,) no more uses that name, the Word, in all his book.

Verse 18

[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.

No man hath seen God — With bodily eyes: yet believers see him with the eye of faith.

Who is in the bosom of the Father — The expression denotes the highest unity, and the most intimate knowledge.

Verse 19

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

The Jews — Probably the great council sent.

Verse 20

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

I am not the Christ — For many supposed he was.

Verse 21

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

Art thou Elijah? — He was not that Elijah (the Tishbite) of whom they spoke.

Art thou the prophet — Of whom Moses speaks, Deuteronomy 18:15.

Verse 23

[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.

He said — I am that forerunner of Christ of whom Isaiah speaks.

I am the voice — As if he had said, Far from being Christ, or even Elijah, I am nothing but a voice: a sound that so soon as it has expressed the thought of which it is the sign, dies into air, and is known no more. Isaiah 40:3.

Verse 24

[24] And they which were sent were of the Pharisees.

They who were sent were of the Pharisees — Who were peculiarly tenacious of old customs, and jealous of any innovation (except those brought in by their own scribes) unless the innovator had unquestionable proofs of Divine authority.

Verse 25

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

They asked him, Why baptizest thou then? — Without any commission from the sanhedrim? And not only heathens (who were always baptized before they were admitted to circumcision) but Jews also?

Verse 26

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

John answered, I baptize — To prepare for the Messiah; and indeed to show that Jews, as well as Gentiles, must be proselytes to Christ, and that these as well as those stand in need of being washed from their sins.

Verse 28

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

Where John was baptizing — That is, used to baptize.

Verse 29

[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.

He seeth Jesus coming and saith, Behold the Lamb — Innocent; to be offered up; prophesied of by Isaiah, Isaiah 53:7, typified by the paschal lamb, and by the daily sacrifice: The Lamb of God - Whom God gave, approves, accepts of; who taketh away - Atoneth for; the sin - That is, all the sins: of the world - Of all mankind. Sin and the world are of equal extent.

Verse 31

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

I knew him not — Till he came to be baptized. How surprising is this; considering how nearly they were related, and how remarkable the conception and birth of both had been. But there was a peculiar providence visible in our Saviour's living, from his infancy to his baptism, at Nazareth: John all the time living the life of a hermit in the deserts of Judea, Luke 1:80, ninety or more miles from Nazareth: hereby that acquaintance was prevented which might have made John's testimony of Christ suspected.

Verse 34

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

I saw it — That is, the Spirit so descending and abiding on him.

And testified — From that time.

Verse 37

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

They followed Jesus — They walked after him, but had not the courage to speak to him.

Verse 41

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

He first findeth his own brother Simon — Probably both of them sought him: Which is, being interpreted, the Christ - This the evangelist adds, as likewise those words in John 1:38, that is, being interpreted, Master.

Verse 42

[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.

Jesus said, Thou art Simon, the son of Jonah — As none had told our Lord these names, this could not but strike Peter.

Cephas, which is Peter — Moaning the same in Syriac which Peter does in Greek, namely, a rock.

Verse 45

[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.

Jesus of Nazareth — So Philip thought, not knowing he was born in Bethlehem. Nathanael was probably the same with Bartholomew, that is, the son of Tholomew. St. Matthew joins Bartholomew with Philip, Matthew 10:3, and St. John places Nathanael in the midst of the apostles, immediately after Thomas, John 21:2, just as Bartholomew is placed, Acts 1:13.

Verse 46

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

Can any good thing come out of Nazareth? — How cautiously should we guard against popular prejudices? When these had once possessed so honest a heart as that of Nathanael, they led him to suspect the blessed Jesus himself for an impostor, because he had been brought up at Nazareth. But his integrity prevailed over that foolish bias, and laid him open to the force of evidence, which a candid inquirer will always be glad to admit, even when it brings the most unexpected discoveries.

Can any good thing — That is, have we ground from Scripture to expect the Messiah, or any eminent prophet from Nazareth? Philip saith, Come and see - The same answer which he had received himself from our Lord the day before.

Verse 48

[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.

Under the fig tree I saw thee — Perhaps at prayer.

Verse 49

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

Nathanael answered — Happy are they that are ready to believe, swift to receive the truth and grace of God.

Thou art the Son of God — So he acknowledges now more than he had heard from Philip: The Son of God, the king of Israel - A confession both of the person and office of Christ.

Verse 51

[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.

Hereafter ye shall see — All of these, as well as thou, who believe on me now in my state of humiliation, shall hereafter see me come in my glory, and all the angels of God with me. This seems the most natural sense of the words, though they may also refer to his ascension.

── John WesleyExplanatory Notes on John


Chapter 1. Baptism and Calling Disciples

Set up the Tabernacle
Dwell Among Men

I. The Word Becomes Flesh

  1. Begin with God
  2. Work with God
  3. Oneness with God

II. Testimony of John the Baptist

  1. Grace and Truth
  2. Voice Crying in the Wilderness
  3. Get People for the Lord

III. Testimony of Disciples

  1. Peter Converts to the Lord
  2. Philip Follows Jesus
  3. Nathaniel, a True Israelite
── Chih-Hsin ChangAn Outline of The New Testament


The Pre-existence Of Christ (1:1-5)
1. The gospel of John was written for a simple purpose...
   a. To produce faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God - Jn 20:
   b. To share the "life" that comes through such faith - Jn 20:31b
2. To encourage us to have faith in Jesus Christ...
   a. John begins his gospel with a prologue - Jn 1:1-18
   b. In which he makes several claims as to who Jesus was
      1) He refers to Jesus in this prologue as "the Word"
      2) That he refers to Jesus is evident from verses 14-18
3. The very first claim pertains to the pre-existence of Christ...
   a. That He existed in the beginning, long before being born of Mary
      - cf. Jn 1:1-2
   b. That His work in the beginning has great significance for us - cf.
      Jn 1:3-5
[John is not alone in proclaiming "The Pre-Existence Of Christ."
Elsewhere in the Scriptures we find...]
      1. Micah prophesied of the pre-existence of the Messiah to come
         - Mic 5:2
      2. Isaiah spoke of the King to come as "Everlasting Father" - Isa
      3. Zechariah recorded the Messiah's own promise to come - Zech 2:
      1. In His claim to have existed in Abraham's day - Jn 8:56-58
      2. In His prayer shortly before His arrest and crucifixion - Jn
      3. In the revelation He gave to John - Re 22:13
      1. By John in his gospel, and also his epistle - Jn 1:1-4; 1 Jn 2:
      2. By Paul in his epistles
         a. To the church in Corinth - 1 Co 10:1-4; 2 Co 8:9
         b. To the church in Philippi - Ph 2:5-8
         c. To the church in Colosse - Co 1:16-17
      1. All things were created by Jesus - Jn 1:3; He 1:2-3
      2. Necessitating His existence before creation - Co 1:16-17
      3. Implying His own eternal power and divine nature - Ro 1:20
[These are remarkable claims concerning Jesus, even blasphemous if not
true.  Yet if true (and John's gospel is design to prove that it is),
   A. HE IS DEITY...!
      1. Especially when we consider the nature of His pre-existence
         a. His going forths were "from everlasting" - cf. Mic 5:2
         b. He was the eternal "I Am" - Jn 8:58; cf. Exo 3:13-14
      2. As made clear in John's prologue - Jn 1:1-2
         a. He was "with" God (implying a personal communion with God)
         b. He "was" God (explicitly stating His deity)
      -- Thus He is worthy of our love and adoration - cf. Jn 20:28
   B. HE IS LIFE...!
      1. By virtue of being the Creator and the Sustainer of life
         a. All things were made by Him - Co 1:16
         b. All things are held together (NASV, NRSV) by Him - Co 1:17
      2. Again, as John makes clear in his prologue - Jn 1:3-4
         a. Without Him, nothing was made
         b. In Him was life itself
      -- Thus He gives us hope for our own resurrection! - cf. Jn 5:21;
   C. HE IS LIGHT...!
      1. We live in a world of darkness...
         a. Where people spend their lives stumbling in ignorance
         b. Alienated from the life of God because of their ignorance
            - cf. Ep 4:17-19
      2. As the Creator and Sustainer of life itself...
         a. Jesus is uniquely qualified to bring light into the world
            - Jn 1:4
         b. He calls for us to believe that we might become "sons of
            light" - Jn 12:35-36
      -- Thus Jesus offers us the "light of life" - Jn 8:12
1. Sadly, many resist the life and light Jesus offers...
   a. Some tried to destroy Him, but did not succeed - cf. Jn 1:5 (NRSV)
   b. Many try to avoid Him, knowing that it will mean changes to their
      lifestyle - cf. Jn 3:19-20
2. But for those willing to come to Jesus...
   a. He offers us hope and guidance in this life - cf. Mic 5:4-5a
   b. He is capable of fulfilling His promises - cf. Mt 11:28-30
For He is no mere man, whose existence began when born by Mary, but
"whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting." - Mic 5:2


Bearing Witness Of The Light (1:6-8)
1. In the prologue to his gospel, the apostle John introduces another
   man named John...
   a. A man who was sent from God - Jn 1:6
   b. A man who came to bear witness of the Light - Jn 1:7
   -- This man, of course, was John the Baptist
2. John the apostle makes it clear that this other "John" was not the
   a. Not only here in the prologue - Jn 1:8
   b. But also immediately following the prologue - cf. Jn 1:19-20
3. John the Baptist's purpose in bearing witness of the Light...
   a. That all might believe - 1 Jn 1:7
   b. The same reason John the apostle wrote his gospel - cf. Jn 20:
4. John was not the only person to bear witness of the Light...
   a. Others did before he came
   b. Others have since he came
[Indeed, even we have a responsibility to bear witness of the Light! 
Before we consider how, let's note those who have done so in the
      1. They foretold the sufferings of Christ, and the glories to
         follow - 1 Pe 1:10-11
         a. E.g., the prophet Isaiah - Isa 7:14; 9:6-7; 53:4-6
         b. E.g., the prophet Micah - Mic 5:2
         c. It has been estimated that there are more than 300
            prophecies concerning Christ
      2. Jesus reminded His disciples of this truth
         a. To the two disciples on the road to Emmaus - Lk 24:25-27
         b. Later to the apostles in Jerusalem - Lk 24:44-47
      1. Foretold by Isaiah - Isa 40:3
      2. Identified as such by Matthew, Mark, and Luke - Mt 3:1-3; Mk 1:
         1-4; Lk 3:1-6
      3. John the apostle relates how John the Baptist bore witness of
         the Light
         a. Declaring Jesus to be "The Lamb of God" - Jn 1:29,35-36
         b. Declaring Jesus to be "The Son of God" - Jn 1:34
[Both the prophets and John bore witness to Jesus prior to His ministry. 
During the course of His ministry, there was another One who bore
witness of the Light...]
      1. Through the miracles Jesus did - cf. Jn 5:36-37; 10:25,37-38
      2. Even as Nicodemus and the man born blind realized - cf. Jn 3:2;
      1. At the baptism of Jesus - Mt 3:16-17
      2. At the mount of transfiguration - Mt 17:5
      3. At Jerusalem during the last week - Jn 12:27-30
      1. Declaring Jesus to be the Son of God with power - Ro 1:3-4
      2. Declaring Jesus to be One will judge the world - Ac 17:30-31
[When the Father raised Jesus from the dead, He was seen by select
witnesses who in turn were commanded to add their witness of the Light
(Ac 10:40-43).  But not just the apostles; in some ways we can say that
witnesses of the Light includes all...]
      1. They bore witness through their eyewitness testimony
         a. In this they are very special witnesses - cf. Jn 15:27; Ac
            1:8; 5:30-32; 13:30-31
         b. Providing empirical evidence - cf. 1 Jn 1:1-2; 2 Pe 1:16-18
      2. They bore witness through their lives and death
         a. Enduring great hardship for their testimony - cf. 1 Co 4:
         b. Giving credence to the truthfulness of their testimony!
      1. Their unity with one another bears witness - Jn 17:20-23
         a. Through our unity we bear witness to the fact:
            1) Jesus was sent by God
            2) God loves the world
         b. Should make one think how Jesus feels about congregational
            infighting, denominational division, etc.
            1) We know how Paul feels - cf. 1 Co 1:10-13; 3:3-4
            2) We know what conduct is worthy of our calling - cf. Ep 4:
      2. Their transformed lives also bears witness
         a. As evidence of the influence of Christ in their lives - cf.
            2 Co 3:18; 4:6
            1) Whose truth teaches us how to live in righteousness and
               holiness - cf. Ep 4:17-24
            2) Enabling us to shine as lights in the world as we reflect
               the glory of His light in our lives - Ph 2:12-16  
         b. Should make one think how we can be of much use if we are
            not being transformed
            1) By failing to renew of our minds - cf. Ro 12:1-2
            2) By failing to put on the new man (a Christ-like
               character) - cf. Co 3:9-17
      3. Their proclamation of the Word bears witness
         a. Our duty as the elect people of God is to proclaim His
            praises - 1 Pe 2:9-10
            1) How He called us into His marvelous light
            2) How we obtained His mercy
         b. Should make one think of how little use we are if we remain
            1) By not spreading the gospel - cf. Ac 8:4
            2) By not sounding forth the Word - cf. 1 Th 1:8
1. Those in the past faithfully bore witness of the Light...
   a. The forerunners (the prophets and John the Baptist)
   b. The followers (the apostles and early disciples)
2. What about us today...?
   a. Do we bear witness of the Light by our unity with one another?
   b. Do we bear witness of the Light through transformed lives?
   c. Do we bear witness of the Light through proclaiming the Word?
The purpose of bearing witness of the Light is so others can believe (Jn
1:7).  Do we help or hinder those around us to believe in Jesus? 
Don't quench the Father's efforts, who would have each of us bear
witness of the Light!
   "For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness,
   who has shone in our hearts to [give] the light of the knowledge
   of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." (2 Co 4:6)
   "For you were once darkness, but now [you are] light in the Lord.
   Walk as children of light." (Ep 5:8)


Receiving The Light (1:9-13)
1. In the prologue to his gospel, John introduces Jesus as "the
   a. That shines in darkness - Jn 1:5
   b. To whom John bore witness - Jn 1:6-8
   c. Who gives light to every man - Jn 1:9
2. Yet John declares what becomes evident later in his gospel...
   a. Not everyone was willing to receive the light, i.e., Jesus
   b. Even His own people as a whole rejected Him
   c. But for those who did receive Him, they were truly blessed!
3. The same remains true today...
   a. Many people do not receive Jesus
   b. Missing out on the wonderful blessings He offers!
[Why do people not receive Christ?  How can we be sure to receive Him,
and the blessings He offers as "The Light"?  Let's take a closer look at
the text for our study...]
      1. The world in general - Jn 1:9-10
         a. Even though He gives light to every man! - cf. Jn 1:4; 8:12;
         b. Even though the world was made through Him! - cf. Jn 1:3
      2. His own people in particular - Jn 1:11
         a. He had come into His own land, Palestine - cf. Jer 2:7
         b. He had come to His own people, Israel - cf. Deu 7:6
      1. They did not know Him - Jn 1:10
         a. Even His own brothers at first, though they did after His
            resurrection - Jn 7:5; Ac 1:14
         b. Familiarity often breeds contempt:  "A prophet has no honor
            in his own country..." - Jn 4:44
      2. Other reasons provided by John in his gospel
         a. Some loved darkness more than light - Jn 3:19-20; 5:42-43
         b. Some were afraid of what others thought - Jn 7:13; 9:22
         c. Some were misinformed of the facts - Jn 7:40-43
         d. Some were hardened by their traditions  - Jn 9:13-16
         e. Some loved the praise of men - Jn 12:42-43
[For similar reasons today, many people do not receive Jesus.  Yet some
      1. The right to become children of God - Jn 1:12
         a. The word "right" signifies both authority and ability (JFB)
         b. Receiving Christ gives us the authority and ability to
            become sons of God
         c. Which is wonderful manifestation of God's love - cf. 1 Jn
         d. Making us heirs of God and joints heirs with Christ - cf. Ro
      2. The privilege of being born of God - Jn 1:13
         a. Not of blood - i.e., by virtue of physical descent
         b. Not of flesh - i.e., by virtue of the lusts of the flesh
         c. Not of the will of man - i.e., by virtue of power in a man's
            will alone
         d. But of God - i.e., a rebirth possible only by the Spirit of
            God - cf. Jn 3:5; Ti 3:5
      1. To receive Christ, we must believe in His name - Jn 1:12b
         a. Which is to say we must believe in Him
         b. The name of a person is often put for the person himself
            (Barnes) - cf. Jn 2:23
      2. Believing in Him gives us power "to become" a child of God
         a. Faith in Jesus alone does not "make" one a child of God
         b. Many believed in Jesus, but did not become His disciples
            1) Only by abiding in His doctrine did they become His
               disciples - Jn 8:30-32
            2) Some believed, but were unwilling to confess Him - Jn 12:
      3. When faith moves us to obey Christ, then we become children of
         a. Faith makes us children of God when we put Christ on in
            baptism - Ga 3:26-27
            1) We become children of God through faith, yes - but how?
            2) By putting Christ on when we are baptized into Christ!
         b. Jesus becomes the author of our salvation when we obey Him 
            - He 5:9
            1) Such as obeying His command to be baptized - Mk 16:16
            2) Thereby born again of both water and the Spirit - Jn 3:5;
               Ti 3:5
      4. Sadly, many misapply John's words in Jn 1:12
         a. Teaching that one becomes a child of God simply by receiving
            Christ in faith
            1) By saying "the sinner's prayer" (which is nowhere taught
               in the Scriptures)
            2) Often appealing to Re 3:20-21 (which is addressed to
               erring Christians, not lost sinners)
         b. Yet receiving Christ in faith gives one "power to become",
            not "makes one become"
            1) We must appropriate that power through the obedience of
            2) Such as confessing our faith, repenting of our sins - Ro
               10:9,10; Ac 17:31
            3) Culminating our obedience by putting on (receiving)
               Christ in baptism - Ga 3:27
1. Jesus is the "True Light" who gives light to every man...
   a. Bringing grace and truth to those in sin and error
   a. Providing the way of salvation through His blood
2. How sad that there are many in the world...
   a. Who do not know Him
   b. Who have not received Him
   -- Who spend their lives stumbling in the darkness
3. But if you are willing to believe in His name...
   a. You have the right to become a child of God!
   b. You can be born of God!
   -- Provided your faith is an obedient faith, willing to abide in the
      doctrine of Christ
Let the Word of God, and in particular John's gospel (cf. Jn 20:30-31),
point you in the direction of the Light, that you might be saved and
have life in His name!


They Beheld His Glory (1:14-18)
1. In the last few verses of the prologue to his gospel, John identifies
   the Word...
   a. Who was in the beginning with God, and was God - Jn 1:1-2
   b. Through whom all things were made - Jn 1:3
   c. Who was life, and the light of men - Jn 1:4-5,9
   d. Who came into the world, though many did not receive Him - Jn 1:
   e. Yet those who received Him, were given the right to become
      children of God - Jn 1:12-13
2. The Word was Jesus Christ...
   a. Who became flesh and lived among men - Jn 1:14
   b. Who glory was seen by men - Jn 1:14
3. The word "glory" as used here...
   a. Means "majesty, dignity, splendor" (Barnes)
   b. Pertaining to Christ, it refers to His personal excellence or
[John writes "We beheld His glory".  What majesty, dignity, or splendor
did John and others see in  Jesus when He walked in the flesh among
      1. "the glory as of the only begotten of the Father" - Jn 1:14a
      2. "The dignity which was appropriate to the only begotten Son of
         God" (Barnes)
         a. "Such glory or splendor as could belong to no other, and as
            properly expressed his rank and character."
         b. "This glory was seen eminently on the mount of
            transfiguration" - Lk 9:28-32; 2 Pe 1:16-18
         c. "It was also seen in his miracles, his doctrine, his
            resurrection, his ascension" - cf. Jn 2:11
         -- "All of which were such as to illustrate the perfections,
            and manifest the glory that belongs only to the Son of God."
      1. "full of grace...grace for grace...grace and truth came through
         Jesus" - Jn 1:14b,16-17
      2. "The word grace means favors, gifts, acts of beneficence."
         a. "He was kind, merciful, gracious, doing good to all, and
            seeking man's welfare by great sacrifices and love;"
         b. "so much so, that it might be said to be characteristic of
            him, or he abounded in favors to mankind." (Barnes)
      1. "full...of truth...truth came through Jesus Christ." - Jn 1:
      2. "He was also full of truth. He declared the truth. In him was
         no falsehood." (Barnes)
         a. "He was not like the false prophets and false Messiahs, who
            were wholly impostors"
         b. "Nor was he like the emblems and shadows of the old
            dispensation, which were only types of the true; but he was
            truth itself."
      3. "He represented things as they are, and thus became the truth
         as well as the way and the life." - cf. Jn 14:6 (Barnes)
      1. "He who comes after me is preferred before me..." - Jn 1:15
      2. As witnessed to by John the Baptist - cf. Jn 1:27,29-30
      3. John the Baptist recognized His superiority, as did the apostle
         a. By virtue of His preexistence ("He was before me") - cf.
            also Jn 8:58; 17:5
         b. By virtue of His creative powers - cf. Co 1:16-17
      1. "No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son...He
         has declared Him" - Jn 1:18
         a. "This passage is not meant to deny that men had witnessed
            manifestations of God, as when he appeared to Moses and the
            prophets (cf. Num 12:8 Isa 6:1-13)."
         b. "...it is meant that no one has seen the essence of God, or
            has fully known God."
         c. "The prophets delivered what they heard God speak; Jesus
            what he knew of God as his equal, and as understanding fully
            his nature." (Barnes)
      2. Jesus manifested or declared the Father as no one had done
         a. As Jesus told Philip - Jn 14:9
         b. As Jesus expressed in His prayer - Jn 17:6,24
         c. As the apostles wrote in their epistles - Co 1:15; He 1:1-4
      3. "This verse proves that, Jesus had a knowledge of God above
         that which any of the ancient prophets had, and that the
         fullest revelations of his character are to be expected in the
         gospel." (Barnes)
         a. "By his Word and Spirit he can enlighten and guide us, and
            lead us to the true knowledge of God;"
         b. "There is no true and full knowledge of God which is not
            obtained through his Son."
[What a wonderful experience it must have been to behold the glory of
God's only begotten Son!  It undoubtedly transformed the life of John
and others who saw Him.  By the grace of God, it also possible that...]
      1. We can behold His glory...
         a. The glory of His deity, grace and truth!
         b. The glory of His preeminence and revelation!
      2. How?  Through the words of His eyewitnesses!
         a. Who made known the power and coming of our Lord - cf. 2 Pe
         b. Who declared what they heard, saw, even handled, that we
            might share with them in their fellowship with the Father
            and Son - cf. 1 Jn 1:1-4; 5:11-13
         -- Through their gospels, their letters, their inspired
            writings, we can behold His glory!
      3. Indeed, we must behold His glory to be transformed!
         a. Our transformation is fundamental to true discipleship - cf.
            Ro 8:29; 12:1-2
         b. Our transformation is gradual, occurring as we behold His
            glory - cf. 2 Co 3:18
         c. Our transformation involves renewing the mind, a mind set on
            things above where Christ is - cf. Ro 12:1-2; Co 3:1-2
      1. We will behold His glory...
         a. When He appears - Co 3:4
         b. When He comes again, to be glorified in His saints - 2 Th
      2. Indeed, every one will behold His glory...
         a. For every eye will see Him - cf. Re 1:7
         b. For every knee will bow, and every tongue confess Him - cf.
            Ph 2:9-11
1. "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His
   glory..." - Jn 1:14
2. We may not have seen Jesus in the flesh, but we can still behold His
   a. Even now, through the testimony of His apostles and the Word of
   b. Even then, when Jesus comes again to be revealed in His glory
3. What will we do with the glory of Jesus as declared by His
   a. We should let it transform our lives as we behold the glory of the
      Lord - 2 Co 3:18
   b. Then when Christ comes, we will be glorified together with Him! 
      - 2 Th 1:10
Here is Paul's prayer for the Thessalonians...
   "Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count
   you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of
   His goodness and the work of faith with power, that the name of
   our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him,
   according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ."
                                                     (2 Th 1:11-12)
May his prayer be fulfilled in our lives, along with this prayer from
   "Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make
   you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy,
   to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be
   glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now
   and forever. Amen."
                                                      (Jude 24-25)


The Testimony Of John The Baptist (1:19-34)
1. In the prologue to John's gospel, we were introduced to John the
   a. A man sent from God - Jn 1:6
   b. Who came to bear witness of the Light - Jn 1:7-8
   c. Who bore witness to the preeminence and preexistence of the Light
      - Jn 1:15
2. As John begins the narrative portion of his gospel, he starts with
   John the Baptist...
   a. His testimony to priests and Levites from the Pharisees in
      Jerusalem - Jn 1:19-28
   b. His testimony the next day when he saw Jesus - Jn 1:29-34
[What did John the Baptist testify concerning Jesus?  What lessons might
we glean from his testimony?  We note first of all that John the Baptist
      1. He confessed he was not the Christ - Jn 1:19-20
         a. Many people wondered if he were the Christ - cf. Lk 3:15
         b. John clearly asserts that he was not the Christ
      2. He was not literally Elijah as foretold by Malachi - Jn 1:21a
         a. Some thought Elijah would return in person, which John
            denies - cf. Mal 4:5
         b. John did fulfill the prophecy, which was figurative
            1) As foretold by the angel Gabriel - cf. Lk 1:l7
            2) As testified by Jesus - cf. Mt 11:11-15; Mt 17:10-13
      3. He was not the Prophet foretold by Moses - Jn 1:21b
         a. Moses foretold a Prophet like him would come - cf. Deu 18:
         b. Many people were anticipating the arrival of this Prophet 
            - cf. Jn 6:14; 7:40
         c. This Prophet was indeed Jesus, not John - cf. Ac 3:22-26
      4. He was the one foretold by Isaiah - Jn 1:22-23
         a. The voice of one crying in the wilderness - cf. Isa 40:1-3
         b. Sent to prepare the way of the Lord - cf. Lk 1:16-17;
      1. John's example is a powerful one for all Christians, especially
      2. As followers of Christ, our task is similar to his role as
         a. To deflect attention away from ourselves, and point people
            to Christ!
         b. Let us never forget, no matter how honored we may be, we are
            not the Christ!
[As John continues with his testimony, he proclaims concerning Jesus...]
      1. Given in response to those from the Pharisees - Jn 1:24-25,28
         a. Why did he baptize, if not Christ, Elijah, or the Prophet?
         b. For he had been baptizing in Bethabara (or Bethany) beyond
            the Jordan
      2. The One coming after him is preferred before him - Jn 1:26-27
         a. Even One who was in their midst as he spoke!
         b. Whose sandal strap not even John was not worthy to loose!
      3. The reason Jesus was preferred before him?
         a. "For He was before me" (i.e., because of His preexistence) 
            - cf. Jn 1:15,30
         b. "Who is mightier than I" (i.e., because of His power) - cf.
            Mk 1:7
      4. John would later reaffirm Jesus' preference over himself
         a. "He must increase, but I must decrease" - Jn 3:30
         b. He is "above all" - Jn 3:31
      1. We should not hesitate to exalt Jesus over self - cf. Lk 9:
         a. He is preferred before us
         b. While we may be the body of Christ, He is the head! - cf. Ep
      2. Jesus deserves our humble service and adoration
         a. Because of His power - cf. Co 1:16
         b. Because of His preexistence - cf. Co 1:17
         c. Because of His headship over the body, the church - cf. Co
[On the next day, John the Baptist had another opportunity to testify
concerning Jesus, in which he declared...]
      1. Declaring Jesus as "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of
         the world!" - Jn 1:29
         a. As foretold by Isaiah - cf. Isa 53:4-7,10-12
         b. As later proclaimed by the apostles - cf. 1 Co 15:3; 1 Pe
            2:24; 1 Jn 2:2
      2. Identifying Jesus as the "Man who is preferred before me" - Jn
         a. Because He was before John (i.e., His preexistence)
         b. Even more so now as the Savior of the world!
      1. We should never forget the basis of our salvation!
         a. We are not saved on the basis of our good deeds - cf. Ti 3:5
         b. We are saved by the blood of the Lamb! - cf. Re 1:5; 5:9; Ro
      2. We should ever point the world to Jesus!
         a. He is their only hope for forgiveness of sins! - cf. 1 Ti 2:
         b. We should proclaim Jesus Christ and Him crucified! - cf.
            1 Co 2:2
[If Jesus is truly "preferred before" us, we will never hesitate to
offer Him as the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world.  Finally, we
note John's testimony concerning Jesus that...]
      1. "I did not know Him" - Jn 1:31,33
         a. Though related, Jesus lived in Nazareth, John in the Judean
         b. Even if there had been a casual acquaintance, John did not
            know Jesus as the Messiah
         c. Yet John came baptizing with water
            1) That the Christ might be revealed to Israel
            2) For upon whom the Spirit would descend, would be the One
               who baptizes with the Holy Spirit - cf. Mt 3:11
      2. "I saw the Spirit descending...and He remained upon Him" - Jn
         a. Just as John was told to anticipate - Jn 1:33
         b. Which occurred when Jesus was baptized by John - cf. Mt 3:16
      3. "I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God." - Jn
         a. John saw the Spirit descend upon Jesus like a dove - cf. Mt
         b. John testified to the same truth as spoken from above: "This
            is My beloved Son" - cf. Mt 3:17
      1. We must be willing to confess Jesus as did John - cf. Mt 10:
      2. We must confess Him to be the Son of God
         a. As did Nathanael - cf. Jn 1:49
         b. As did Peter - cf. Jn 6:68-69
         c. As did Martha - cf. Jn 11:27
      3. We must believe Jesus to be the Son of God in order to be saved
         a. As John declares in his gospel - Jn 20:31
         b. As the Ethiopian eunuch confessed in order to be baptized 
            - cf. Ac 8:37
1. Jesus would later describe the testimony of John...
   a. He bore witness to the truth - Jn 5:33
   b. He was the burning and shining light - Jn 5:35
   c. In which some were willing to rejoice - Jn 5:35
2. Are we willing to rejoice in the testimony of John...?
   a. Knowing that John was not the Christ?
   b. Understanding that Jesus is preferred above John and all others?
   c. Accepting Jesus to be the true Lamb of God who takes away the sin
      of the world?
   d. Willing to confess along with John that Jesus is the Son of God?
If we are willing to accept the testimony of John the Baptist and obey
the Son of God, eternal life can be ours! - cf.. Jn 3:36; He 5:9; Mk


The First Disciples (1:35-51)
1. The ministry of John the Baptist was to prepare the way to Jesus...
   a. He came to bear witness of the Light, that all might believe - Jn
   b. John indeed did bear witness of Jesus
      1) As the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world - Jn
      2) As the Son of God who baptizes with the Holy Spirit - Jn 1:
2. Due to the testimony of John the Baptist, Jesus began to attract
   a. The first disciples were those who had been disciples of John - Jn
   b. Because of John's testimony, they began to follow Jesus - Jn 1:
[In his gospel, John the apostle describes those who were "The First
Disciples", beginning with...]
   A. ANDREW...
      1. His background
         a. From Bethsaida of Galilee - cf. Jn 1:44
         b. Brother of Simon Peter, sons of Jonah - cf. Jn 1:42
         c. A fisherman - cf. Mt 4:18
      2. His call to discipleship and then apostleship
         a. He was first a disciple of John the Baptist, who pointed him
            to Jesus - Jn 1:35-40
            1) This happened in Bethabara beyond the Jordan - cf. Jn
            2) Some think the other disciple was John the apostle
            3) He stayed with Jesus that day and then found his brother
               Simon - Jn 1:39-41
         b.  Later, Jesus officially called them to be His disciples 
             - Mt 4:18-20
            1) This occurred by the Sea of Galilee
            2) After John the Baptist was cast into prison - cf. Mt 4:12
         c. Then he was selected to be one of the twelve apostles - Mt
            1) Pointed Jesus to the lad with five loaves and two fish 
               - Jn 6:8-9
            2) Assisted Philip in introducing some Greeks to Jesus - Jn
            3) Among those who questioned Jesus about the destruction of
               Jerusalem - Mk 13:1-4
            4) Listed among those in Jerusalem after the ascension of
               Christ - Ac 1:12-13
      3. According to apocryphal (doubtful) literature (cf. ISBE)
         a. His mother was Joanna, and was of the tribe of Reuben
         b. Like Thomas, compelled to believe in the resurrection of
            Jesus by touching His feet
         c. Various sources attribute missionary work in Bithynia,
            Scythia, Greece, Ephesus
         d. Thought to have been crucified in Greece, on a cross in the
            form of an X
      -- A disciple first of John the Baptist, then of Jesus, reveals
         his spiritual character as one devoted to serving the will of
   B. SIMON...
      1. His background
         a. From Bethsaida of Galilee - cf. Jn 1:44
         b. Brother of Andrew, sons of Jonah - cf. Jn 1:42
         c. A fisherman - cf. Mt 4:18
      2. His call to discipleship and then apostleship
         a. Introduced to Jesus by his brother Andrew - Jn 1:40-42
            1) In Bethabara beyond the Jordan - cf. Jn 1:28
            2) Jesus named him "Cephas" (Aramaic), "Peter" (Greek),
               meaning "a rock"
         b. Later, Jesus officially called him to be His disciple
            1) As he was fishing by the Sea of Galilee - Lk 5:1-9
            2) Along with his partners, James and John - Lk 5:10-11
         c. Then he was selected to be one of the twelve apostles - Lk
            1) His prominence evident by his name mentioned first in the
            2) Included among the "inner circle" - cf. Mt 17:1-2; 26:37
            3) Known for his denial of Christ, and subsequent
               restoration - cf. Jn 18:25; 21:15
            4) A key figure in the first half of the book of Acts
      3. According to apocryphal (doubtful) literature (cf. ISBE)
         a. Supposedly died a martyr at Rome about 67 AD
         b. Purported to have been crucified by Nero, upside down at his
            own request
      -- The wealth of information about Peter in the Gospels and Acts
         reveal the power of the gospel to transform a simple, flawed
         man into a true rock of discipleship
[With two brothers now as His disciples, Jesus next calls...]
   A. PHILIP...
      1. His background
         a. From Bethsaida of Galilee - Jn 1:44; 12:21
         b. Greek name suggests Greek connections - cf. also Jn 12:20-22
      2. His call to discipleship and then apostleship
         a. Initial call to follow Jesus occurs here in Bethabara beyond
            the Jordan - Jn 1:43-44
         b. He immediately tells Nathanael about Jesus - Jn 1:45-46
            1) That he has found Him of whom Moses and the prophets
            2) Inviting skeptical Nathanael to "Come and see"
         c. Selected to be one of the twelve apostles - Lk 6:13-14
            1) Asked by Jesus about bread in feeding the 5,000 - Jn 6:5-7
            2) Approached by Greeks who wished to see Jesus - Jn 12:
            3) It was he who asked, "Lord, show us the Father" - Jn 14:8
      3. According to apocryphal (doubtful) literature (cf. ISBE)
         a. Supposedly of the tribe of Zebulun
         b. Some identify him as the one who wanted to first bury his
            father - cf. Mt 8:21
         c. Spent latter part of his life in Phrygia, crucified there
      -- Philip's invitation for Nathanael to "Come and see" is an
         illustration of personal evangelism
      1. His background
         a. Of Cana in Galilee - Jn 21:2
         b. Probably a fisherman also - cf. Jn 21:1-3
      2. His call to discipleship, and (possibly) apostleship
         a. Approached by Philip, who told him of Jesus - Jn 1:45
         b. Nathanael was at first skeptical, because Jesus was of
            Nazareth - Jn 1:46
            1) "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?"
            2) Cf. "Will the Christ come out of Galilee?" - Jn 7:41
            3) Cf. "Search and look, for no prophet has arisen out of
               Galilee" - Jn 7:52
            -- People were not expecting anything good coming from
               Nazareth of Galilee
         c. Jesus convinces Nathanael - Jn 1:47-51
            1) Identifying him as an Israel in whom is no deceit
            2) Telling how He saw him under the fig tree before Philip
               called him
            -- Perhaps Jesus saw him engaged in private devotion
         d. Prompting Nathanael to proclaim...
            1) "Rabbi, You are the Son of God!" - cf. Mt 14:33
            2) "You are the King of Israel!" - cf. Mt 21:5; 27:11
            -- Nathanael is convinced that this teacher (Rabbi) is the
         e. Jesus Promises Nathanael greater blessings due to his faith
            1) Greater evidences of His Messiahship
            2) E.g., heaven opening and angels of God ascending and
               descending upon Him
               a) An allusion to Jacob's dream? - Gen 28:12
               b) An implication that Jesus was the way (ladder) to
                  heaven? - cf. Jn 14:6
               c) A reference to the day of Judgment, when Jesus comes
                  with His angels? - cf. Mt 16:27; 25:31; 26:64; 2 Th
            -- Note that Jesus refers to Himself as "the Son of Man"
               (which the gospel writers never do), emphasizing His 
               humility and humanity
         f. Nathanael may have been Bartholomew, one of the apostles 
            - cf. Mt 10:3; Lk 6:14
            1) Cf. Bartholomew's connection with Philip in the apostolic
            2) The synoptists never mention Nathanael, and John never
               mentions Bartholomew
            3) Bartholomew ("son of Ptolemy") is not a proper name;
               perhaps it was Nathanael
            -- Leading many to conclude they are one and the same
      3. According to apocryphal (doubtful) literature
         a. He was Simon, son of Cleopas (not Bartholomew), and one of
            the Twelve (ISBE)
         b. He was the bridegroom at the marriage of Cana, to which he
            belonged (Fausett's Bible Dictionary)
      -- The call of Nathanael reveals more about Jesus than Nathanael
         himself (see below)
1. "The First Disciples" offered their testimony concerning Jesus...
   a. "We have found the Messiah" - Jn 1:41
   b. "We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the
      prophets, wrote" - Jn 1:45
   c. "You are the Son of God!  You are the King of Israel!" - Jn 1:49
   -- As they continued to follow Jesus, their initial affirmations of
      faith would be confirmed
2. From His initial contacts with these new disciples, we learn...
   a. That Jesus knows the heart of men - cf. Jn 2:25
   b. That if we have faith in Jesus, it will be continually
      strengthened; the evidence will grow brighter and brighter - cf.
      Jn 1:50-51
   c. That if we believe his word, we shall yet see full proof that his
      word is true - cf. Jn 7:17
Does anyone wonder if Jesus is truly the Son of God, and that His words
are true?  Perhaps the best response one can offer to the honest skeptic
is the invitation offered by Philip:  "Come and see." 
Come to Jesus as revealed in the gospels and see who He is...!


--《Executable Outlines