John 1:15

We’re continuing going through the New Testament and understanding the Trinitarian concepts therein. Let us remember that the Trinity is a systematic doctrine. I saw a JW today saying that John 1:1 does not teach tri-unity, for example. I agree. If it did, it would teach the deity of the Holy Spirit. However, it does teach that Jesus is fully God and that the Father is fully God and that Jesus is not the Father. Those three teachings are essential for the Trinity. In the end, we will take the texts that we have and hopefully the overall look we’ve given will supply the Christian with a strong Trinitarian defense. Tonight, we’ll be looking at John 1:15.

John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ “

We just saw the mind-blowing teaching that the Word became flesh, which is the message John wants to emphasize the most I believe in this prologue. If you do not have the Word becoming flesh, you do not have the gospel. Everything centers on this as now he goes back and talks about John. What does he say?

John the Baptisthad testified of the Word becoming flesh. Everything that the Baptist said earlier about the light and being a testimony to the light is now coming to play. The Word became flesh. This is the one John was testifying about. The writer John wants to be sure that his readers catch this point.

Note something interesting. John the Baptist realizes that Jesus’s ministry came after his, however, at the same time, he knows that Jesus was before him. How could this be? When Mary conceived, Elizabeth was already well along in her pregnancy. How could it be that Jesus came before the Baptist?

For that, we simply need to look at John 1:1. Jesus’s ministry did not come before in the sense of the three years he spent ministering on Earth during the incarnation. However, Jesus did come before in that he was around long before John the Baptist. In fact, he has eternally been around.

Let’s note this also. Jesus did not come into existence in the prior verse as some would say. The incarnation came into existence. The Son does not have a beginning in time, but his humanity does have a beginning in time. This is a mistake that anti-Trinitarians often make in their understanding of Christ. The humanity of Christ is not eternal. His existence as deity is however.

The Baptist makes it clear that the Son is greater than he is. Once again, I believe John the writer wrote this so we would not mistake the lesser light for the greater light. John the Baptist was important for pointing to Christ, which is the only way any of us are ever important in our ministries. For instance, I love getting hits on this blog and it’s great to know several of you are reading, but this blog is only serving a good purpose insofar as it is getting many of you to look to Christ.

As we continue, we will see John summing up what he has been saying earlier and getting us in the end to another grand statement of who Jesus is.

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