John Lesson 1 Day 3
My answers to BSF Bible Study of John 1:6-8, 15
6. John the Baptist, a forerunner of Jesus, the Word
a. God sent John, Jesus’ cousin, to prepare the way for the coming Messiah.
“John the Baptist’s name in Hebrew was Yehochanan which means the grace or mercy of Jehovah: a most proper and significant name for the forerunner of the God of All Grace. It was John’s business to proclaim the Gospel of the grace of God and to point out that Lamb or sacrifice of God which takes away the sin of the world.” Adam Clarke
Some say John was the last Old Testament prophet even though he claimed he was not a prophet. John was “sent by God to point out the way to the Life-Light. He came to show everyone where to look, who to believe in. John was not himself the Light; he was there to show the way to the Light.” (MSG)
John took the witness stand, so to speak, and testified—prophesied—”concerning the light,” that Jesus was the One, the Messiah, that God promised to send.
John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’” John 1:15
Isaiah and Malachi prophesied about John.
Isaiah 40:3, 5 “A voice cries: In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. . . . And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” (emphasis added)
Malachi 3:1 “Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.” (emphasis added)
b. My unique calling and life focus
Unlike John, I didn’t know my unique, specific identity from an early age. My birth wasn’t announced by an archangel.
My parents were newlyweds, not aging and childless. I was filled with the Spirit when I was 15, not in my mother’s womb.
I don’t know my specific calling even now, other than write. The Lord seems to give me assignments such as care-giving that last for a few years or small assignments such as writing a note of encouragement.
I do know He wants me to seek His face and live in loving fellowship with Him. (He created Adam for fellowship.) Learn His ways and His thoughts. Trust Him and worship Him. Love with His love. Rest in Him so He can rest in me. Stop striving in my own strength. Be a God-pleaser and not a people-pleaser.
Thankfully, I had godly parents, and I also had a heart for God from an early age. Because my dad was a minister of music and youth, I was at every class or meeting unless I was sick.
I developed the habit of reading my Bible every night so I could check the box on my offering envelope.
Since my parents were musicians, they insisted I take piano lessons. I played the piano for the youth choir and stayed involved in church worship in some capacity most of my life. Today, I lead worship sets one or more times per week in the prayer room on our church campus.
However, I’ve always felt restless about the specific calling on my life. I have a strong desire to fulfill my destiny, but feel like I need to know what it is in order to fulfill it.
I hope that my desire to fulfill it and my willingness to be obedient will ensure I fulfill it.
7. Verse 15
He cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.'” John 1:15
Comes after me—
John the Baptist was the forerunner. Jesus’ ministry began after John the Baptist baptized him.
Preferred before me –
Jesus was preferred before John because Jesus existed before him.
“In antiquity it was widely held that chronological priority meant superiority. Men were humble about their own generation, and really thought that their fathers were wiser than they – incredible as this may sound to our generation!” (Morris)
He was before me—
He’s not referring to natural births. John the Baptist was six months older than Jesus (Luke 1:26).
“John the Baptist’s testimony was rooted in his understanding of the pre-existence of Jesus. He knew that Jesus was before him in every sense.” Enduring Word
Jesus is the creator and existed before his creations. He is eternal and did not have a beginning.