In our previous text John wrote about Jesus Christ, the Son

of God, being the Pre-incarnate Word of God.  John said that

Jesus He was in the beginning with God the Father when the world

was created.  He is the who spoke and brought the heaven and

earth into existence.

    Being God, even as the Father is God, the Christ has eternal

life, just as God the Father has eternal life.

    John also spoke of Jesus as being the Light of men.  John

said the Light did shine in the darkness of the world and the

world did not comprehend that Light.

    In our text today, John, the author, tells about John the

Baptist bearing witness of Jesus as the Light.  He tells also

that Jesus, as the Light, came into the world, was rejected by

the world and yet is the Savior of the world.


I.  The world into which the Light would come


    He was the Light shining to the world even in Old Testament

times.  As the Light of God, He revealed the will of God to the

patriarchal fathers before the nation Israel was ever founded.

But the world was not receptive to that Light and virtually all

the world turned away from the worship of God to worship idols.

These were gods which the people themselves made out of wood,

gold, silver, brass or stone.  They were, in reality not gods at

all.  They were worshipped as gods, but they were false gods.

    Then, as the Light of the world, God called Abraham out of

that idolatrous worship and promised to start a new nation

through him.  God gave that nation a land, the land of Canaan

where they were to serve God and represent God in the world.

    As the Light of God, Jesus gave the law to that nation

through Moses.  The people of that nation made a covenant with

God not to worship idol gods, and it seemed as though there would

be one nation in the world that would be true to God.

    But even the nation of Israel forsook God and forsook the law

of God.  They, too turned to the worship of idol gods.  So, as

the Light of God, sent Israel into captivity so that they would

learn to forsake idolatry and worship only the true God.  After

70 years of captivity, He allowed a remnant to return to Canaan

and it seemed that at last, there would be a people who would be

true to God.

    But Israel did not remain true to God.  They never returned

back to idolatry, but they forsook God in another way.  They took

the Law, which the Light had given through Moses and they changed

that law to suit themselves.  The laws which they did not like,

they simply ignored.  Then they added numerous traditions to the

law  which were more to their liking.  However, they did not

think of this mixture of law and tradition as being displeasing

to God.  Rather, they looked at it all as being the law of God.

Then they taught that one had to keep their polluted law in order

to get to heaven.

    Such was never in the plan of God.  It was not God's will for

them to forsake the law of God and make laws of their own.

Neither was it the will of God for them to make the law into a

plan of salvation.  The law was never intended to be a plan of

salvation.  It was never intended that the people of Israel would

try to get to heaven by trying to keep the law.  The law was

given to teach them that they are sinners.  All men are sinners.

All men fail to live up to the law.  All men fail to live up to

the perfect standard of the law.  Therefore, all men stand in

need of forgiveness of sin.  The law even portrayed how their

sins could be forgiven.  It was by the grace of God through shed

blood.  The law used the blood of sacrificial animals to picture

the blood of Jesus Christ, which would be shed on Calvary's

cross.  The blood of the animals could never take away sin, but

it pictured the blood of Jesus Christ, which could take away sin.

    It had been God's plan all along to send His Son to the

world.  He revealed this plan through the prophets of old.  Then

when Jesus was born to the world, God instructed Joseph, the

foster father, that His name would be called "Jesus," which means

"Jehovah God, the Savior."


II.  The messenger sent to announce His coming


    As the time approached for the ministry of Jesus to begin,

God sent a special messenger to the nation of Israel to announce

His coming.

    V. 6-7, "There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that

all men through him might believe."  The Old Testament prophets

had foretold that such a messenger would be sent.  John, the

writer of this book, says that this special messenger bore the

same name as he did.  The writer's name was John and the

messenger's name was John.  He is better known to us.

    This messenger came for the express purpose of bearing

witness for the Light of God.  The ministry of the Light would

follow shortly after.  Even before John ever personally knew who

the Christ is, he preached to the people that the ministry of the

Christ was to follow close after his own.

    We are told by Matthew that John became very popular with the

common people and virtually the whole nation accepted him as a

prophet of God.  That is what our text calls him.  It calls him,

"...a man sent from God."  That is, John the Baptist was a man

sent to proclaim God's message and do a special work for God.

    The special work that John the Baptist had to do for God was

to bear witness of "The Light."  That he did in no uncertain

terms.  I mentioned earlier that even before he personally knew

who the Christ is, he announced that the Christ was about to come

on the scene.  Then, one day Jesus came to him to be baptized of

him and God identified Jesus as the Christ whom he had already

been preaching.  The very next day John identified Jesus to the

multitude who were gathered.  He announced, "Behold the Lamb of

God that taketh away the sin of the world."  In other words, he

announced to the nation of Israel that Jesus is the Christ of

God.  John the Baptist identified Jesus as the Light of God.

Jesus is the Pre-incarnate "Word of God."  He is the Second

Person of the Holy Trinity.  He is the Son of God.  Jesus is the

Savior of men.  John the Baptist so identified Him to the nation

of Israel.

    Our writer takes special care right here to make sure that

his readers would understand that John the Baptist was not the

Christ.  In the height of his popularity there were some who

began to think that John the Baptist was the Christ.  Some even

came to him and asked, "Art thou him if he were the Christ?"

John answered them and said, "No!"  John the Baptist told them

that he was the voice in the wilderness spoken of by the prophets

who would warn the people of the coming of the Christ.  The

prophet said that would be his work.  Our writer says the same

thing here in our text.  V.  8, "He was not that Light, but was

sent to bear witness of that Light."

    The ministry of John the Baptist should have resulted in the

whole nation of Israel turning to Jesus and accepting Him as the

Christ of God.  Virtually all the nation accepted John the

Baptist as a prophet of God.  Why then did not they believe this

prophet of God when he announced that Jesus of Nazareth is the

Christ?  If they truly believed that John the Baptist was a

prophet of God, then why did not they believe him when he

announced that Jesus is the Christ?

    I think we can answer that question.  The common people of

the nation of Israel were hood-winked by wicked leaders of

Israel.  Those leaders remind me of one of the advertisements on

television.  In advertising ladies' hose made by Hanes, this

woman says, "They're not Hanes until I say they are Hanes."  That

was the attitude the wicked leaders of Israel had.  They had the

attitude, "He is not the Christ, until we say He is the Christ."

They thought even God could not send His Christ without their

approval and they would not give their approval for Jesus to be

the Christ.

    V. 9, "That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that

cometh into the world."  John the Baptist was not sent to be the

Christ the Savior.  Rather he was sent to bear witness of the One

who is the Savior of men.

    Our text says that Jesus is "the true Light."  This is in

sharp contrast to those who claim to speak for God, but are false

witnesses.  They speak a message that is not from God.

    This term, "the true Light" is even in contrast with people

like John the Baptist.  John was a light to Israel and he did

declare the true message of God, but the light that John

presented was not his own.  He had what we might call "a borrowed

light" or "a reflected light." Jesus is the True Light.

Likewise, a local church is said to be a light.  But it also is

only a borrowed light or a reflected light.  Jesus is the true

light.  He is the source of Light.

    Our text also says that Jesus is the Light who lights every

man who comes into the world.  That is, Jesus offers salvation to

every man.  Through the work of the Holy Spirit, Jesus also

enables a man to repent of his sins and trust in Jesus Christ.

If sinful man were left alone and not "enlightened by the Lord"

no man would ever trust in Jesus and get saved.  The Lord

enlightens every man to the point that he could believe the

gospel and be saved if he would only do so.


III.  The coming of the True Light


    V. 10, "He was in the world, and the world was made by him,

and the world knew him not."  Our writer makes this statement

after the ministry of Jesus has ended and John has returned to

heaven.  Jesus was in the world and the world that He was in was

made by Him.  He made it all.  He made all mankind.  Yet the

world did not recognize Him as the Christ.  Mankind, which He had

made, did not recognize Him as the Christ.  A relative few

individuals did, but the majority did not.

    V. 11, "He came unto his own, and his own received him not."

There is a real interesting play on words in the original

language that I call to your attention.  In the first part of

this verse, the English reads, "He came unto his own..."  A more

literal translation would be, "He came unto His own things....His

own possessions."  When He was in a boat on the Sea of Galilee,

that was His Sea.  He made it and it still belongs to Him.  When

He walked down a country road or a city street, the dirt under

His feet belonged to Him.  When He road down the Mt.  of Olives

on a burrow, that mountain and that burrow belonged to Him.  Even

the nation, Israel, in which He was born, belonged to Him.

    The latter part of this verse says, "...and his own received

him not."  Again, there is a play on words in the original

language.  The more literal translation would be, "...and His own

people received Him not."  He came to His own world, a world that

was made by Him.  He came to His own nation, a nation that had a

covenant with Him.  He was born a fellow Israelite.  He was of

the tribe of Judah.  He was of the family of David.  He came to

His own people and His own people received Him not.  That is, the

majority did not receive Him.  A few did, but the majority did


    "V. 12, "But as many as received him, to them gave he power

to become the sons of God..."  The fact that the world did not

receive the Light did not mean that John the Baptist, the

witness, had failed.  Neither did it mean that Jesus, the Light,

had failed.  Some did receive Him.  They accepted the message of

John the Baptist and the message of the Christ Himself.  But

everyone who received Him, trusting in Him as the promised

Christ, received power to become the sons of God.

    How did it work?  It worked like this.  Whenever anybody

trusted in Jesus as the Christ, he was immediately born into the

kingdom of God.  One joins a church.  One is not born into a

church.  But one is born into the kingdom of God.  When he places

his faith in Jesus, He is born by the Holy Spirit of God.  This

is a spiritual birth that takes place down within the spirit of a

man.  As soon as he trusts Jesus the new birth takes place.

    (V. 12), "...even to them that believe on his name."  The

idea here is that one does not have to actually be in the

physical presence of Jesus to be saved.  If he hears the message

about Jesus and trusts in Him, he is immediately saved.  One does

not ever have to see Jesus during his lifetime in order to be

saved.  If he hears about Jesus and trusts in Jesus, he gets

saved.  I am most certainly glad that this is so.  If one had to

actually see Jesus before he could get saved, then none of us

would be saved because we have never seen Him.  But we have heard

of Him and those of us who have believed in Him are saved even

though we have never seen Him.  All who have believed in Him are


    V. 13, "Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the

flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."  Let me put it this

way.  When one gets saved, he does not get saved by him own human

effort.  Salvation is not of works lest any man should boast.

When one gets saved, he does not get saved by his own human

intelligence.  He gets saved through the good news of the gospel

of Jesus Christ, which is from God.  It is not from man.  When

one gets saved, it is not by his own human righteousness.  It is

only by the grace of God that he will make it to heaven.  He

deserves to go to hell and suffer forever for his sins, but God

by His grace saves those who trust in Jesus in spite of the fact

that they do not deserve to be saved.  Nobody yet ever deserved

to be saved, but down through the years people have trusted Jesus

and been saved.




    The question is:  Does that include you?  Are you one of

those who have received Jesus as the Christ and as your Savior?

Have you ever turned to Him and placed your faith in Him to take

care of the need of your soul?  Have you ever asked Him to save

you and trusted in Him to keep you out of Hell?

    If not, that can change right here today.  Will you come and

commit your eternal destiny into the hands of Jesus Christ?  Will

you come and be saved?