Saturday, June 21, 2014

JEWELS from the GOSPEL of JOHN - 1:4-11, 19-23 "The LIGHT and The VOICE"

The following is a series of short exhortations, brief commentary and writings to convey thoughtful meditation on God's Word. I have chosen the Gospel of John as the subject. These articles will not run contiguously on this blog but peppered throughout and in the midst of other articles (though some might be posted consecutively). I pray that these will be a blessing and an edification for the saints.

JOHN 1:4-11
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

Scripture declares that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all (1 JOHN 1:5). One characteristic of light is that it manifests things for what they really are. Light brings knowledge while darkness conceals it. Light provides direction. In a darkened room, one has only to turn on a light and the eye is immediately drawn to it. Light, in particular sun light is a requirement in order to sustain life. Light inhibits the growth of germs and bacteria. A child may be afraid of the dark, but turn on a night light and all is well.

God is light and He reveals truth, knowledge, understanding; He provides guidance, and comfort. In the glorious Light of God, we can see Him for Who He is and any who love the truth are drawn to Him. God is the only true life source and His light dispels spiritual darkness and decay.

It's interesting that light cannot be heard, but it can be seen. God is a glorious Creator and His majesty can be seen in His creation (though fallen it is) as well as in His Word. The words on the pages of our Bibles are silent, but the truth that they reveal can be seen by any who chooses to open that Book, and seek God diligently (HEB 11:6). 

Just as darkness can never invade a room that is full of light, this present darkness that has invaded our fallen world can never overcome the Light of the LORD, and for those who bear witness of this Holy Light, they shall be heard!

Such was John the Baptist, and his witness of the LORD brought many of the people of Israel to repentance and believing faith. Whereas the LIGHT is silent but readily seen, the Voice is heard, but not seen. In a very real sense, John the Baptist's ministry parallels that of the Holy Spirit. Both never testified of themselves nor sought attention; both were intent and content to simply point to and exalt Jesus; both were unseen in this sense of desiring to remain 'behind the scene' as it were, so that Jesus remained the primary focus.

Yet this world of darkness that has such souls in it, didn't know the Light and didn't receive the Light; thus the darkness that they were in became all the more powerful in ensnaring them and prevented them from approaching that Light.

Light spiritually speaking being truth is a blessing, but it can also have deadly ramifications if rejected. 

This Light has shown on every person in this world to one degree or another (see vs. 9), and being granted, God looks to see what each of us will do with this Light. For those who receive it, they shall be given more light; but those who reject it, will have what little light they have been given, taken away! The god of this world would have it so, who ever seeks to blind souls to this Light (2 COR 4:4).

JOHN 1:19-23
19 And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?
20 And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.
21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.
22 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?
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.

Often times when Kings or Generals or dignitaries of various kinds were planning on visiting a particular city, the citizens were notified and began to busily repair the roadways that fell into ruin; removing rocks and debris uprooting any vegetation, filling in holes and leveling out rises in the way - they wanted to bless the visiting dignitary with an easy passage.

This was the ministry of John the Baptist: by making the way straight - not the roads leading to any city, but the roads that led to the hearts of a spiritually dead people, whereupon the LORD of LIFE would approach and bring vitality of the sort that only God can! 

We see many of the religious officials coming and asking about the Baptist, wondering who and what he was; all too often the religious are blind to what the LORD is doing and who He is using to accomplish His purposes. They are so caught up in their own traditions and rituals and dogma that they are actually more blind to spiritual truth than your 'common variety sinner on the street'. The LORD Jesus had some very choice words to say to such religious leaders in MATTHEW 25, who for all their religious hypocrisy never even perceived their own spiritual needs and further, imposed their religious convictions on others who would seek for truth, but were instead in bondage to dead religion. This was one of the things that made the LORD very angry! Yet the LORD would accomplish His work through others rather than such "white washed sepulchers" - even those garbed in camels hair and ate bugs and honey!

John the Baptist knew his calling: he was not the Christ, and he was not Elijah ("Elias") or "that Prophet" (DEUT 18:15) but plainly declared that he was "...the voice of one crying in the wilderness..." leading people to the LIGHT of LIFE, away from the darkness of religious deception and ruin!

We also are voices crying in the wilderness of this world, depraved at heart and deprived of spiritual life, seeking and longing (like John the Baptist) to draw people to the LIGHT of the LORD Who is our Salvation (PSALM 27:1).

For more on John the Baptist, the one deemed by the LORD Himself as the greatest prophet, see the following article FROM the MIND of FIRE.

May we likewise not be seen, but heard; allowing the LORD to be seen in and through us so that people may be drawn to Him and the simplicity of His Gospel - and not drawn in by gimmickry or eloquence or intelligentsia or any such thing! May we prepare the WAY of the LORD for those who have yet to know Him!

These JEWELS from the GOSPEL of JOHN will continue with "All God's Children" JOHN 1:12-13.

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