| Back to Home Page | Back to Book Index |


John the Baptist



We note a sevenfold contrast between John and Jesus.

Ⅰ. John was the harbinger of Christ. Christ was the One announced. John went before to prepare for Christ’s coming.

Ⅱ. John was the voice. Jesus was the Word. John was the voice that spake the word. Trapp says, “ John was all voice……his  apparel, his diet, his conversation did preach holiness as well as his doctrine” (Mark 6:20). John was a true voice, for he spake only of Jesus. He delighted to honour Him whom the Father honoureth. John is our example.

Ⅲ. John was the forerunner. Jesus was the Lord. John went before to announce the coming of Christ. His special mission was to reprove men of their sins, and to get them to repent of them (Matt.3:6). Christ came to save men from their sins (Matt.1:21).

Ⅳ. John was the herald. Jesus was the Person spoken of . On the Day of Jubilee the priests blew the silver trumpets, and as their clarion notes rang out they told the people of redemption for the slave, rest for the weary, release for the people of redemption for the slave, rest for the weary, release for the debtor, and rejoicing for the sad (Lec.25.); so John comes to herald the approach of Him who was to give infinitely more than the Year of Jubilee gave to the Israelites.

Ⅴ. John was the testifier. Jesus was the Truth. John’s testimony was clear and pointed. He gave no uncertain sound. On one occasion he said, “ Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

Ⅵ. John was the lamp. Christ was the Light. Christ says of Himself, “ I am the Light of the World” ( John 8:12), and of John He says, “ He was a burning and shining light,” or, as the Revised Version, “ He was the lamp that burneth and shineth” (John 5:35). The word that Christ uses of Himself signifies light underived, as the light of the sun, hence that which shines by its own inherent power; but the word that Christ uses of John means the light of a lamp which is fed with oil, hence it is dependent upon something else for its being and shining. The lamp only burns as it is fed with oil. Could any two words describe in a more concise or clearer manner the truth that Christ can only be a light as he receives from Christ Christ is essentially the Light of all knowledge, the Light of all holiness, the Light of all grace, the Light of all Love, the Light of all power, the Light of all joy, the Light of truth, the Light of all compassion, and the Light of all righteousness; but we are in ourselves the very opposite to all that Christ is , and we can only resemble Him in any small degree as He ministers to us the oil of the grace of the Holy Spirit. He is the Minister who attends to the needs of His saints that they may shine for lamps of the lampstand with oil that they continually supplied the lamps of the lampstand with oil that they might never go out (Lev. 24:2,4).

Ⅶ. John was the baptizer in water. Jesus was and is the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit (John 1:33, R.V., M.).

── F.E. MarshFive Hundred Bible Readings