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Bible Commentaries
John 1

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1

INTRODUCTION TO JOHN

WHO WRITES?

This book was written by the apostle John, believed to be the youngest of the twelve apostles, who identifies himself as the "disciple whom Jesus loved," a most intimate earthly friend of Jesus, John 13:23; John 20:2; John 21:20; John 21:24. ’

John was the son of Zebedee, Matthew 4:21. His mother is believed to have been Salome, a sister or cousin of Mary, the mother of Jesus, Matthew 27:56; Mark 15:40; John 19:25. John’s family had a successful fishing business in Galilee, in which at least five hired servants were employed, in addition to the two sons, Mark 1:19-20. His mother helped Jesus and His church fellowship financially and was at the crucifixion, Matthew 27:55-56; Mark 15:40-41; Luke 8:3. He owned a home in Jerusalem and was known personally by the high priest, John 18:15; John 19:27.

John was also a cousin once removed of John the Baptist, Luke 1:36. On the testimony of John the Baptist in Judea he became one of the first five disciples of Jesus, returned with Him to Galilee and later became one of His continuing disciples and one of the twelve apostles, John 1:35-51; John 2:2; John 2:11.

He went with Jesus on His first tour of Galilee, John 1:43; He attended the wedding and saw the first miracle of Jesus in Cana, when He turned water to wine, John 2:1-2; He went on with Him to Capernaum and back to Jerusalem, John 2:12-13; Then he went with the Lord to Galilee, thru Samaria, John 4:4.

Jesus nicknamed him "Son of Thunder," reflecting his early impulsive temperament, expressed in his younger years as a disciple, when he wanted to call fire down from

heaven on the Samaritans, Luke 9:34, and to forbid a stranger from casting out demons in the name of Jesus, Mark 9:38.

John was one of the three inner-circle disciples and considered to be the closest to Jesus, referred to five times as the disciple "whom Jesus loved," John 13:23; John 19:26; John 20:2; John 21:7; John 21:20. He was one of the three with Jesus: 1) At the raising of Jarius’ daughter, 2) At the transfiguration, and 3) In Gethsemane, apart, Mark 5:37; Mark 9:2; Mark 14:33. He and Peter became pillars of the church and close leaders of the twelve, along with James, after the death of our Lord, John 20:2; Acts 3:11; Acts 4:13; Acts 8:14; Galatians 2:9.

After a number of years in residence at Jerusalem he appears to have moved to Ephesus in Asia Minor from where he wrote this Gospel, three Epistles, and Revelation.

TO WHOM?

To the whole world, for all humanity, to certify the Divinity and Deity of Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and to establish believers in the faith, John 19:35; John 20:31. Of the four gospels this is the easiest to read.

John writes about the Deity and eternality of Jesus Christ as certified by John the Baptist, who went before him, Joh ch. 1 . Thru recounting eight miracles that Jesus performed, John sought to establish faith in both the Deity and humanity of Jesus Christ and to cause men to believe in Him as Savior and receive eternal life, John 20:30-31. The eight miracles he chose to recount were:

1) His first, turning water to wine, John 2:2-11.

2) Healing the nobleman’s son, John 4:46-54.

3) Healing the impotent man, John 5:1-15.

4) Feeding the five thousand, John 6:1-14.

5) His walking on water, John 6:15-21.

6) Healing of the blind man, John 9:1-41.

7) The raising of Lazarus from the dead, John 11:1-44.

8) Providing the large catch of fish, John 21:6-11.

The first seven of these miracles were done during our Lord’s active ministry, to authenticate or certify His claims. The eighth was done after His resurrection, at the Sea of Galilee.

WHEN?

The exact date of the writing of this gospel is uncertain, but it is generally agreed that it was written after the three synoptic gospels, perhaps between AD 85 and 95, from Ephesus, in Asia Minor, where John spent his senior years.

WHAT WAS THE OCCASION?

John perhaps wrote this, the simplest of the gospel records, for the whole Gentile world --- much, as it is believed, Matthew was written for the Jews, Mark for the Romans, and Luke for the Greeks.

More than 90 percent of the content of the gospel of John is found only in this book. John selected only those miracles, sermons, and interviews that would fit his literary intent in attesting both the Divinity and humanity of Jesus. Of his eight recorded miracles only two were recounted by other gospel writers. He narrated twenty seven of the interviews of Jesus, a majority of which are not mentioned by the other gospels, but he does not relate a single parable of Jesus. Unique to this gospel is the Lord’s Prayer of John chapter 17; While John does not mention the Olivet discourse of Matthew 24, 25. It is perhaps because Jerusalem had been destroyed in AD 70.

John placed the most emphasis of all the Gospel writers on Christ’s claim to Deity. He claimed to be the "I Am" who existed before Abraham, and who appeared to Moses in the burning bush, John 8:58; Exodus 3:14. For these claims the Jews sought to stone Him. He asserted of Himself:

1) I am the bread of life, John 6:35

2) I am the light of the world, John 8:12; John 9:5.

3) I am the door, John 10:7.

4) I am the good shepherd, John 10:11; John 10:14.

5) I am the resurrection and the life, John 11:25.

6) I am the way, the truth, and the life, John 14:6.

7) I am the true vine, John 15:1.

8) And I and my Father are one, John 10:30; John 14:9.

Chart 1- IDENTITY OF JESUS:

(To Individuals)

1. As Incarnate - Chapter 1

2. As Creator - Chapter 2

3. As Savior - Chapter 3

4. As the Water of Life - Chapter 4

(To the Multitudes)

5. As Judge - Chapter 5

6. As the Bread of Life -- Chapter 6

7. As a Divider - Chapter 7

8. As the Light of the World Chapters 8, 9

9. As the Good Shepherd - Chapter 10

10. As the Resurrection and the Life - Chapter 11

11. As the Center of Attraction Chapter 12 v. 36

• 3 YEARS OF PUBLIC MINISTRY

• HE OBSERVED FOUR PASSOVERS

(John 2:13; John 5:1; John 6:4; John 11:55)

• PURPOSE OF SIGNS AND MIRACLES

(Of This Time, John 20:30-31)

Chart 2-IDENTITY OF JESUS

(And The Church He Established)

1. As A servant - Chapter 13

2. As the Comforter - Chapter 14

3. As the Vine - Chapters 15, 16

4. As the Intercessor - Chapter 17

(in His Sufferings)

5. As the True Sacrifice - Chapters 18, 19

6. As the Victor over Death Chapter 20

7. As the Chief Shepherd - Chapter 21

• HE MINISTERED TO HIS CHURCH Chapter 12:36b thru Chapter 17

• CRUCIFIED BY ENEMIES - Chapters 18, 19

• GAVE RESURRECTION HOPE TO HIS CHURCH PEOPLE - Chapters 20, 21

OUTLINE OF JOHN

I. JESUS AND INDIVIDUALS --- chapters 1-4.

A. Jesus as the Logos (Word, ch. 1

1 . Identity of John the Baptist, v. 1-14.

2. Testimony of Jesus and John the Baptist, v. 15-34.

3. Testimony of early disciples, v. 35-51 .

B. Jesus as the Creator, chapter 2.

1 . First miracle, changed water to wine, 2:1-12.

2. Cleaned the temple, 2:13-25.

C. Jesus as the Savior, chapter 3.

1 . Conversed with Nicodemus on the New Birth, 3:1-21 .

2. Confession of John the Baptist, 3:22-36.

D. Jesus as the Water of Life, chapter 4.

1 . Jesus confronts the Samaritan woman, 4:1-30.

2. Jesus converses with the Disciples, 4:31-38.

3. Jesus and the Samaritans, 4:39-45.

4. Jesus heals the Nobleman’s son, v. 46-54.

II. JESUS AND THE MULTITUDES --- chapters 5-14.

A. Jesus as the Judge, ch. 5

1 . The healing of a lame man, John 5:1-18.

2. The defence of His person or identity, 5:19-47.

B. Jesus as the Bread of Life, chapter 6.

1. The feeding of five thousand, 6:1-14.

2. Jesus’ walk on the water, 6:15-21 .

3. The Bread of Life Sermon, 6:22-59.

4. Disciples turn away from Jesus, 6:60-71 .

C. Jesus as the Divider, chapter 7.

1 . The unbelief of His own brethren, 7:1-13.

2. The division among the people, 7:14-36.

3. The coming of the Spirit, 7:37-39.

4. The debate among the leaders about who Jesus was, 7:40-53

D. Jesus as the Light of the World, chapters 8, 9.

1. The adulteress forgiven, 8:1-16.

2. The Light of the World sermon, 8:12-59.

3. The healing of the man born blind, 9:1-41 .

E. Jesus as the Good Shepherd, chapter 10.

1. The Good Shepherd sermon, 10:1-18.

2. The opposition to this sermon, 10:19-42.

F. Jesus as the Resurrection and the Life, chapter 11 .

1 . The raising of Lazarus, 11:1-46.

2. The conspiracy to kill Jesus, 11 :47-57.

G. Jesus in the Center of Attraction, chapter 12.

1 . At the supper in Bethany, 12:1-11 .

2. At the triumphal entry, 12:12-19.

3. At His anticipation of the cross, 12:20-36.

4. At His rejection by the masses, 12:37-50.

Ill. JESUS AND THE CHURCH HE ESTABLISHED --- chapters 13-17.

A. Jesus as the Servant, chapter 13.

1 . As He washed the disciples’ feet, 13:1-20.

2. As Judas Iscariot went away, 1321-35.

3. As He predicted Peter’s denial of Him, 13:36-38.

B. Jesus as the Comforter, chapter 14.

1 . Assurance of union with Him in heaven, 14:1-6.

2. An explanation of His Father, 14:7-11 .

3. Promise of answered prayer, 14:12-15.

4. Promise of the Holy Spirit, 14:16-26.

5. Promise of abiding peace, 14:27-31 .

C. Jesus as the Vine, chapters 15, 16.

1. The called and chosen disciples, His church, 15:1-17.

2. The Church disciples and an hating world, 15:18-16:4.

3. The church disciples and promise of the Spirit, 16:5-33.

D. Jesus as the Intercessor, chapter 17.

1 . Jesus prayed to be glorified, 17:1-5.

2. Jesus prayed for preservation of His church disciples, 17:6-16

3. Jesus prayed for sanctification of His church disciples, 17:17-19.

4. Jesus prayed for unification of His church disciples, 17:20-23.

5. Jesus prayed for habitation and occupation in service of His chosen church disciples, 17:24-26.

IV. JESUS AND HIS PASSION --- SUFFERINGS --- chapters 18-21 .

A. Jesus as the true Sacrifice, chapters 1 8, 19.

1 . When arrested, 18:1-11.

2. When in His religious trials, 18:12-27.

3. When in His civil trials, 18:28-19:15.

4. When crucified, 19:16-37.

5. In His burial, 19:38-42.

B. Jesus as the Victor Over Death, chapter 20.

1 . His appearance to Mary, 20:1-18.

2. His appearance to the ten, 20:19-23.

3. His appearance to Thomas, the doubter, 20:24-31 .

C. Jesus as the Chief Shepherd, chapter 21 .

1. The strange catch of many-fish, 21:1-14.

2. His chiding of and challenge of Peter, 21:15-17.

3. The prediction of destinies, 21:18-25.

NOTE: Maps of Palestine during Jesus Ministry and Maps of the journeys of the birth of Christ may be found in the 14 volume hardbound Baptist Commentary.

ETERNAL DEITY OF CHRIST ASSERTED, v. 1, 2

1) "In the beginning was the Word," (en arche en ho logos) "In the beginning (or origin of time) was (existed) the word," who "became flesh," John 1:14; Galatians 4:4. Before I was, I was not, but-Jesus the Eternal Word, was (existed) before He "was made flesh," "of a woman." He is called "The Word, of God," Revelation 19:13. He existed before all created things, and became their Creator, Genesis 1:1; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Hebrews 1:2; Colossians 1:17.

2) "And the Word was with God," (kai ho logos en pros ton theon) "And the word was (existed) with (in associa­tion with) God," before He "became flesh," John 1:14; John 17:5. Nor did He rob God of any Deity or honor in existing, co-existing with Him from eternity, or originating in eternity, Philippians 2:6; 2 Corinthians 8:9.

3) "And the Word was God." (kai theos en ho logos) "And the word was (existed) in or as God," in essence of deity, in His existence, in His eternal being, before He became His "express image," in the flesh, Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 1:8-10. This "Logos" was God’s "only begotten Son," and His "first born Son," from among the dead, John 1:14; John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 15:20; Romans 8:29.

Verse 2

1) "The same was in the beginning," (houtos en arche) "This one was (existed) in the beginning," or in the origin of time and in eternity. John introduces Jesus as existing before time and history originated (in His Gospel) and concludes His Revelation by describing what shall be when time shall no more exist, Revelation 10:6; Revelation 21:1-27; Revelation 22:1-21.

2) "With God." (pros ton theon) "With God," in company or association, as Deity, in the Trinity with God, with the "elohim" or the "theos," trinitarian God, Genesis 1:11; Hebrews 1:1-3; John 17:5. He was with God, as person to person.

Verse 3

HIS PRE-INCARNATION WORK, v. 3-5

1) "All things were made by him," (panta de’ autou egeneto) "All things became (came to be) through him," through Him as the instrumental, personal agency of creation, who spoke all things into existence, by the word of His power in colleague of affinity with the Father and the Holy Spirit, Genesis 1:1-3; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Revelation 3:14.

2) "And without him," (kai choris autou) "And apart from (or isolated and independent of him)" as the second person of the Godhead, Matthew 28:19-20; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Acts 17:24-31; Hebrews 11:3. Negatively John asserts that nothing arbitrarily evolved into existence or being.

3) "Was not anything made that was made.” (egeneto oude hen ho gegonen) "Not one thing became which has come to be," or come to exist, atheists, skeptics, gnostics, agnostics, and infidels in ignorance, to the contrary, not withstanding, "let God be true, but every man a liar," who in ignorance attempts to contradict Him and it, Romans 3:3-4; Psalms 119:160; Ephesians 3:9; Ephesians 4:18; Hebrews 1:3.

Verse 4

1) "In him was life;" (en auto zoe en) "in him life existed," or life was resident in Him. As life existed preceding activity, and as nouns (things) exist before verbs of action or state of being, so life existed in Jesus Christ in eternity, before time, enabling the Creator to create. The Living One (Word) is the original and principal source of all life. Its highest order in and through Him is eternal life, John 3:36; 1 John 5:12; John 10:27-28.

2) "And the life was the light of men." (kai ho zoe en to phos ton anthropon) "And the life was (existed as) the light of men." His life after death brought immortality to light, Acts 3:15 2 Timothy 1:10. As our life, "spiritual" and resurrection "life," He will yet appear, Colossians 3:4; John 5:21; John 5:26.

As "The Light of the world" none who follows Him walks in or passes into spiritual darkness, John 8:12; Psalms 23:4 declares that even the shadow-valley of death holds no darkness or fear for those saved, those who are His children, John 12:35-36.

Verse 5

1) "And the light shineth in darkness," (kai to phos en te skotia phainei) "And the light (now) shines in the dark­ness," continually; that is, truth and holiness in the character of life and personal teachings of Jesus Christ, now cast Divine influence in and upon spiritual darkness that shrouds the sin-darkened world, 1 John 5:19; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Luke 1:78-79; Luke 2:32.

2) "And the darkness comprehended it not." (kai he skotia auto ou katelaben) "And the darkness (overtook) overtakes it not," does not apprehend or lay hold of it, of the truth regarding the holiness of the person and perfec­tion of the work of Jesus Christ, and of His written Word, John 17:17; Psalms 119:160; John 1:11; John 1:17. Darkness represents sin, ignorance, and error. Light makes dark­ness more conspicuous, as truth makes sin to appear “exceeding sinful," Romans 7:13. Yet, the world did not grasp it, John 3:19; Romans 1:21; Romans 8:7; Ephesians 4:14. As steam existed as a source of power, from the time heat evapor­ated water, and as electricity existed, long before it was discovered, so the truth of Jesus Christ has existed for men from Eden, Genesis 3:15-16. Men must accept it to profit from it, see?

Verse 6

1 ) "There was a man," (egeneto anthropos) "There was or existed a man," a mature responsible man, a man whom wisdom and mercy and prophecy projected and employed, as introduced further, Luke 1:5-25; Luke 1:57-63.

2) "Sent from God," (apestalmenos para theou) "Who was sent, mandated, or commissioned from God," with special evidence of His ministry, Matthew 3:1-3; Luke 3:2-4; Isaiah 40:3-5. John the Baptist witnessed that God sent him "to baptize" also, John 1:29-34.

3) "Whose name was John." (onoma autou loannes) "Who had the name John," or who was known by the name of John, a name that was supernaturally given, as also mandated by Gabriel, the angel of the Lord, Luke 1:13; Luke 1:19; Luke 1:60; Luke 1:63. God gave both John the Baptist and Jesus their names supernaturally, Matthew 1:21.

Verse 7

1) "The same came for a witness," (houtos elthen eis marturian) "This man (John) came-for a witness," or with reference to witness bearing, concerning Jesus Christ, John 3:26-36.

2) "To bear witness of the Light," (hina marturese peri tou photos) "In order that he might witness concerning the light." Jesus, of whom John testified was that Lord-Light and salvation David trusted, Psalms 27:1.

3) "That all men through him might believe." (hina pantes pisteusosin di’ autou) "in order that all men might believe through him," both repent of their sins toward God, and believe in Jesus Christ who was to come, and did come, Matthew 3:7-8; Acts 19:4.

Verse 8

1 ) "He was not that Light," (ouk en ekemos to phos) "He was or existed not (as) that light," himself. That is, John did not pose as the Savior, the Light of the world himself. He declared that Jesus Christ was that Light that was to come, and the Lamb of God that bears away, in His judgement, the sin of the world, Matthew 4:16-17; John 1:29; John 1:36.

2) "But was sent to bear witness," (all’hina marturese) "But he existed in order that he might witness," or bear testimony, that Jesus was 1) That Light, 2) The Lamb of God, 3) and the Bridegroom, John 1:9; John 1:29; John 1:36; John 3:28-30.

3) "Of that Light." (peri tou photos) "Concerning that light," that He, Jesus, was more than just a prophet, as many took Him to be, Matthew 14:5; Matthew 21:26; Luke 20:6.

John was a light, but not The Light, (Jesus Christ) referred to nine times as The Light, in this gospel, John 1:35.

Verse 9

THE LOGOS, JESUS CHRIST, THE TRUE LIGHT, V. 9, 10

1) "That was the true Light," (en to phos alethinon) "he was (existed as) the true light," the genuine light, one of whom prophecy spoke and of whom John witnesses, Isaiah 42:6; Isaiah 49:6; John 8:12; John 9:5; John 12:46. In three ways Jesus is presented as The Light: 1 ) In salvation, brought to the Gentiles, heathen, all unbelievers, Luke 2:3-21; Acts 13:47-48; Acts 13:2) In His kingly reign over the Gentiles, as the "Root of Jesse," in the millennial age, Romans 15:11-12; Romans 15:3) He brought together, instituted, or organized a witnessing agency, (the church) made up of Jews and Gentiles, who shall reign with Him in administrative positions of honor and service in His millennial kingdom age, Luke 12:35-38; Luke 12:42-44; Luke 22:28-30; Revelation 3:21.

2) "Which lighteth every man," (ho photizei panta anthropon) "Which enlightens every man," Jew and Gentile, all races, without distinction, regarding their spiritual needs and His love and provision for their every need in salvation and Divine service, to Him and to their fellow-man. The redeemed, and even the saints of His church, are only light reflectors of Him who is the True Light, John 8; John 12; Matthew 5:14-16.

3) "That cometh into the world." (erchomenon eis ton kosmon) "Who comes (to exist- into the world," the created universe. His light (Spiritual light and provision) is as universal as spiritual darkness which shrouds the world in the wicked one, John 5:19; 2 Corinthians 4:3-5; Luke 19:13; John 3:16-19.

Verse 10

1) "He was in the world," (en to kosmo en) "He was (existed) in the world," in the universe, as the Son of God, as Creator, the creating Word, the Divine spokesman in and for all from creation, Hebrews 11:3; Genesis 1:3; Genesis 1:6; Genesis 1:9; Genesis 1:11; Isaiah 48:3; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Colossians 1:16-17.

2) "And the world was made by him," (kai ho kosmos di autou egeneto) "And the world came to be (exist) through him," John 1:1-3; Hebrews 1:2; Hebrews 1:10; Revelation 3:14.

3) "And the world knew him not." (kai ho kosmos auton ouk egno) "And the world order did not know or recognize him," as the Son of God, the Savior, the Redeemer.

Verse 11

REJECTED & RECEIVED, v. 11-13

1) "He came unto his own," (eis ta idia elthen) "Unto his own things he came," of His own will, choice, or accord; He came to His own creation which He made and daily sustained by His mercy, grace, and love, La 3:22, 23; Acts 17:27-28. He came in priority to His own nation, the Jews, and their institutions, Matthew 15:24; Acts 3:25-26; Acts 13:46.

2) "And his own received him not." (kai hoi idioi auton ou parelabon) "And his own people did not receive him," gave Him no welcome reception, or take Him to themselves, for who He was. Neither the Jew nor the Gentiles, as a whole accepted Him, though all belonged to Him in two ways: 1) By creation, Ezekiel 18:4-5; Ezekiel 2) By His daily mercy and provision in sustaining them, Acts 17:28. He was rejected:

1) By His own nation, the Jews, John 3:32.

2) By His home town, Nazareth, by His brethren, Luke 4:29.

3) By the Jews He was crucified, killed, or murdered, 1 Thessalonians 2:14-15.

REJECTION OF CHRIST

When Ulysses returned with fond anticipations to his home in Ithaca, his family did not recognize him. Even the wife of his bosom denied her husband, so changed was he by an absence of twenty years, and the hardships of a long protracted war. It was ’thus true of the vexed and astonished Greek, as of a nobler King, that he came unto his own, and his own received him not. In this painful position of affairs he called for a bow which he had left at home, when, embarking for the siege of Troy, he bade farewell to the orange groves and vine-clad hills of Ithaca. With characteristic sagacity, he saw how a bow so stout and tough that none but himself could draw it might be made to bear witness on his behalf. He seized it. To their surprise and joy, like a green wand looped from a willow tree, it yields to his arms; it bends, till the bowstring touches his ear. The wife, now sure that he is her long lost and long lamented husband, throws herself into his fond embraces, and his household confess him the true Ulysses. If I may compare small things with great, our Lord gave such proof of His Divinity when He, too, stood a stranger in His own home, despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. He bent the stubborn laws of nature to His will, and proved Himself Creator by His mastery over creation.

- Dr. Guthrie

Verse 12

1) "But as many as received him," (hosoi de elabon auton) "Yet as many as received him," or took him, the Son of God, as the Savior of the world who was to come. To receive Him, Jesus Christ, is identical with "believing on His name," or "calling on the name of the Lord," Romans 10:9-10; Romans 10:13.

2) "To them gave he power," (edoken autois eksousian) "He gave (doled out) to them the right, privilege, or prero­gative;” This power of privilege exists in the gift of "faith" that God offers to every convicted sinner, by which he may become a child of God, or be saved, through his willing, volitional acceptance of that Divinely offered gift of faith, and placing it in Jesus Christ, Ephesians 2:8-9.

3) "To become the sons of God," (tekna theou genesthai) "To come to be children of God," to become, come to be something that they had not been before --­children of the Highest One, the trinitarian God. In salvation, God takes the initiative and works creatively, in convicting the sinner by the wooing of the Holy Spirit, opening his understanding by the spirit and the Word, to bring to bear a sense of guilt upon the sinner, and offers him the gift of faith. When placed, by the sinner’s choice and volition in Jesus Christ, that faith becomes belief to salvation, for every believer, 1 John 5:1; John 3:16; John 3:18.

4) "Even to them that believe on his name:”- (tois pisteuousin eis to onoma autou) "To those who believe in his name," or trust in His authority, or His power to save. Those bearing the image of God (but children of the devil), may become children of God, "by faith in Christ Jesus," not by faith in Moses, the law, the church, baptism, or reformation, Galatians 3:26; Romans 1:16; 2 Peter 1:4-5.

Verse 13

1) "Which were born, not of blood," (hoi ouk eks haimaton) "Who not of (out of bloods)" blood lines, of Jews or Gentiles, not of human family blood lines of earthly nobility. The power to become sons or children of God is not inherited by family lineage, as the Jews seemed to assume, when they declared "we be Abraham’s children," or seed of Abraham, etc., John 8:33; John 8:39.

2) "Nor of the will of the flesh," (oude ek thelematos sarkos) "Nor out of ((originating from the will of flesh)" What man is by natural birth, from the source of a fleshly, depraved will. What one is by natural birth, no matter how illustrious ones family pedigree, or who his fleshly ancestors were, does not add one whit to his becoming a child of God, Titus 3:5; Romans 14:11-12.

3) "Nor of the will of man," (oude ouk thelematos andros) "Nor out of (originating from) the strong will of mature man," a male person of responsible age. In the spiritual, as well as the natural birth, the origination of will is from without the one begotten. Nothing is spiritual into which the will of God does not first enter. God wills man’s salvation universally and personally and convicts man’s soul to a conscious guilt, and shame, and fear of sin and judgement and enables him to repent and believe on His Son Jesus Christ, John 7:17; Ephesians 2:8-9.

4) "But of God." (all’ ek theou egennethesan) ’’But (in contrast) out of or originating from God they were born," from above, John 3:7; Born, quickened to spiritual life, or begotten of God, of a spiritual begetting, as of a Divine origin of begettal, 1 John 5:1; John 6:63; 2 Corinthians 3:6.

Verse 14

INCARNATION DECLARED, v. 14

1) "And the Word was made flesh," (kai ho logos sarks egeneto) "And the word (Jesus Christ) became flesh," what every man is by natural birth. He who was, or existed in eternity with God, as the Word, came to be made flesh, made of a woman, Galatians 4:4-5; 1 Timothy 3:16; Romans 1:3, Hebrews 2:14; Hebrews 2:16-17. Yet He did not cease to be God during His temporary visit to the earth, as He tabernacled among men, tented among men for a short time.

2) "And dwelt among us," (kai eskenosen en hemin) "And he tabernacled, tented, or temporarily dwelt in the midst of us," in our midst or among us, as a pilgrim, for a little while, as a sojourner, much as the tabernacle was a temporary dwelling place of God’s glory in the wilderness, Leviticus 26:11; 2 Samuel 7:6.

3) “And we beheld his glory," (kai etheasametha ten doksan autou) "And we gazed upon his glory," observed and drew conclusions about His glory, by His holy life, His mighty works, and His wondrous words. It was seen at its height in the dazzling transfiguration before them on the mount, Matthew 17:1-27; 2 Peter 1:17-18.

4) "The glory of the only begotten of the Father," (doksan hos mongenous para patros) "Glory as of an only begotten (from a close association) of a father" the term “only begotten" refers to that virgin birth begettal of Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit, in a supernatural and unique manner, as also certified or alluded to John 3:16; John 3:18; 1 John 4:9; 1 Timothy 3:16; Galatians 4:4-5. This glory of personality and character was above that of the tabernacle.

5) "Full of grace and truth." (pleres charitos kai aletheias) "Of abounding (plenty of) grace and truth," being full of grace and truth, This glory effuses from a fullness of revelation of Grace and Truth in and through Jesus Christ, Colossians 1:19; Colossians 2:3; Colossians 2:9; John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Titus 2:11. In His life, spirit, and speech, Jesus was truth, reflected in what He was, said, and did.

Verse 15

EXTENDED WITNESS OF JOHN THE BAPTIST, v. 15-34

1 ) "John bare witness of him," (loannes rnarturei peri autou) "John witnessed concerning him," concerning Jesus Christ, The Word, The Life, The Light, and The Truth, John 1:1; John 1:4; John 1:7; John 1:9; John 1:14; John 14:6; John 17:3; John 17:17; Malachi 3:1. Witnessing of the coming of Jesus was John’s mission, and he filled it admirably. So should every witness of Him, Acts 1:8.

2) "And cried, saying," (kai kekragen legon) "And he cried out repeatedly, saying," or confirming the identity of the coming Messiah and appealing to men to prepare for His coming, Mark 1:3-4.

3) "This was he of whom I spake," (houtos en hon eipon) "This man was he (about) whom I said," Luke 3:15­18. John thus affirmed the true identity of Jesus Christ as the Messiah and that he was himself the prophesied forerunner.

4) "He that cometh after me," (ho opiso mou erchomenos) "The one who (is) coming after me," who makes His appearance after me, in this world, whose way I am preparing, Isaiah 40:3; Mal 31; Mark 1:7-8.

5) "Is preferred before me:”- (emprosthen mou gegonnen) "He has become before me," or come to exist before me, has been longed for before me, Luke 2:25-38, as expressed by both Simeon and Anna, the aged; John 3:31; John 3:33 recognizes the preexistence and exalted Deity of Christ.

6) "For he was before me." (hoti protos mou en) "Because he was first (existed first) before me," as the eternal Word, and Son, with the Father, Philippians 2:5-10; He Himself declared, "Before Abraham was I am," or I existed- John came to exalt Jesus, not himself, James 4:10; Luke 14:11.

Verse 16

1) "And of his fullness have," (hoti ek tou pleromatos autou) "Because out of the source of his fullness, "to meet our emptiness, our void, our spiritual need, to redeem us from all (all kind) of sin and iniquity, Titus 2:11-14; Out of the artesian fountain of His redemptive Grace and attributes we have had brought, made available to us, all needed for the salvation of soul and life, John 4:14; Titus 2:14.

2) "All we received," (hemeis pantes elabomen) "We all received," so that it is said of every believer, saved person in Christ, and in His church, "ye are complete in Him," Colossians 2:9-10.

3) "And grace for grace." (kai charin anti charitos) "Even grace wherever grace was needed." There is saving grace and growing grace for every physical and a spiritual need of man who appeals for, requests, and accepts it, by faith, Ephesians 2:8-10; 2 Peter 3:18; 2 Corinthians 3:5; 2 Corinthians 12:9; John 7:38-39; Ephesians 4:7.

Verse 17

1) "For the law was given by Moses," (hoti ho nomos dia Mouseos edothe) "Because the law was given through Moses," who was inferior to Jesus, though he was the Lawgiver, Exodus 19:1; Galatians 3:1-29; Moses gave the law which is by works. Both the law of Moses and Grace and truth are Divine. But the law “worked wrath” and was a schoolmaster t “bring or lead to Christ,” Romans 4:15; Galatians 3:24.

2) ”But grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” (he charis kai he aletheia dia lesou Christou engeneto) “The grace and the truth (however) came to be through Jesus Christ,” the Messiah whose name now identifies Him as an historic personage of time, for the first time. Grace is the unearned and unmerited favor of God. The “truth” here identifies the reality of redemption in Jesus, only symbolized in the law forms and ceremonies, Romans 3:24; 2 Corinthians 3:7-11; Galatians 3:13; Titus 2:11.

Verse 18

1 ) "No man hath seen God at anytime;- (theon oudeis heoraken popote) "No one has (ever) seen God at any time," that is no one - ever rightly understood or apprehended God, 1 John 4:12. The eye of mortal and carnal man could and cannot bear, the sight of God, as it is written, "There shall no man see me and live," Exodus 33:20. The Theophany manifestations of the Old Testament were of God’s Son, not the Father, whom Jesus came to reveal.

2) "The only begotten Son," (monogenes) "The only begotten one, Jesus Christ, the virgin born Redeemer," John 1:14; John 3:16; John 3:18; Galatians 4:4.

3) "Which is in the bosom of the Father," (theos ho on eis ton kolpon tou patros) "The one existing in the bosom of God, the Father," a figure of speech signifying close personal relation between the Father and the Son in affection, in counsel, and in essence of nature and attributes.

4) "He hath declared him." (ekeinos eksegesato) "That one declared him," set Him forth expressed, or disclosed the Father’s express glory in His moral nature, Hebrews 1:3; Jesus thus said, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father,’’ for "God was manifest in the flesh,’’ John 14:9; 1Ti 3 16.

Verse 19

1 ) "And this is the record of John," (kai aute estin he marturia tou loannou) ’’And this is the witness or testimony of John," of John the Baptist. His testimony was important for four reasons: 1) First, he was sent to prepare the way for and identify the Messiah, 2) Second, because of his personal knowledge of Jesus, 3) Third, because of his own holiness of life, and 4) Fourth, because of his own disclaimer of being interested in any position of honor among men, but to exalt Jesus, Matthew 3:11-12.

2) "When the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem," (hote apesteilan pros auton hoi loudaioi eks lerosolumon hiereis kai Levitas) "When the Jews out of Jerusalem sent (delegated priests and Levites to him; When John received this deputation, he was receiving an hostile committee that was fearful of losing their own positions as scribes, priests, and presbyters, if he were the Messiah, or the Messiah should soon come to culmi­nate their religious positions of employment.

3) "To ask him, who art thou?" (hina erotesosin auton su tis ei) "in order that they might quiz him: "who are you?" or interrogate John about himself, not about his name, or his birth, but who, or what personage do you claim to be? Because the masses were in suspense, some thinking that he himself might be the Messiah, the Christ, Luke 3:15. This is the beginning of the historical part of the Gospel. This event occurred after the baptism and temp­tation of Jesus. The ecclesiastical center of Judaism in Jerusalem had been shaken with fear and curiosity at the preaching of John, and the report of his repeated affirma­tion that the Christ was at hand, soon to begin His "King­dom of Heaven," program of "Service and Worship," Matthew 3:2.

Verse 20

1) "And he confessed, and denied not;- (kai homologesen kai ouk ernesato) "And he confessed, and he did not deny," or hesitate to identify himself, and dis­avow being anyone else. This is his second testimony of the Definitive identity of Jesus, the former being found in John 1:15. This he did in a clear, frank, and unambiguous manner.

2) "But confessed," (kai homologesen) "And he confessed," forthrightly, negatively, openly, publicly, dis­claiming himself as the Christ, though some imagined that he was, Luke 3:15.

3) "I am not the Christ." (hoti ego ouk eimi ho Christos) "That I am not the Christ," am not myself the Messiah at all, but suggesting that there was another who was, who then existed as the Christ. This forthright reply, to this esteemed official embassy of interrogators, evoked the following, further inquiries.

Verse 21

1 ) "And they asked him, What then?" (kai erotesan auton ti oun) "And they quizzed him (further) what then?" That is, if you are not the Christ, the messiah -prophet, Deuteronomy 18:15-17, Who are you? Are you really a Divine messenger?

2) "Art thou Elias, And he saith, I am not." (Elias ei su; lai legei ouk eime) "Are you Elias? And he replied, I am not," He evidently reminded them of Elijah, which was suggested perhaps by Malachi 4:5. John the Baptist replied that he was not Elias, meaning the person who was taken up to heaven, and whose return is expected; But he was Elias, in the sense Jesus later certified that he had been clothed with "the spirit and power of Elias," Luke 1:17; Elias was the antitype of John the Baptist.

3) ’’Art thou that prophet?’’ (ho prophetes ei su) "Are you the prophet?" The one who was to come, Deuteronomy 18:15,­18. This indicates that his interrogators were familiar with the ancient prophecy of Moses concerning the prophet God was to raise up like unto him (Moses), a law giver, to be hearkened unto in everything he said, John 2:5; Acts 3:22-23.

4) "And he answered, No." (kai apekrithe ou) "And he replied, no." Though there had not been born a prophet greater than he, among Old Testament prophets; yet, he was not that prophet of whom Moses prophesied, John 12:8; John 12:40; Matthew 12:7-14.

Verse 22

1) "Then said they unto him, Who art thou?" (eipan oun auto) "They then said to him, just who are you?" If he was not either Jesus (that prophet) or Elias, in person, just who could he be? they mulled among themselves, as they feared his bold message and wide influence, Matthew 14:5; Mark 6:14-20; Luke 9:7-9.

2) "That we may give answer to them that sent us." (hina apokrisin domen tois pempsasin hemas) "In order that we may give an answer (a satisfactory reply) to those who sent us;” Just give us an explanation of your real identity, as a religious man, a mover of the masses, in order that we may be able to give a formal and official reply to the high order of religious Jews who delegated us to get this information of your identity, and an abstract of your person and message, John 1:19.

3) "What sayest thou of thyself?" (ti legeis peri seautou) "What do you say concerning yourself?" or just who do you think you are? Would you give us an opinion of yourself and your mission? What better question could John have desired. It was like throwing a rabbit into a briar patch, a duck into a pond of water, or a fish into a river. And he bare witness of Jesus, again and again, John 1:6-8; John 1:15; John 1:29-34.

Verse 23

1) "He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilder­ness," (epe ego phone boontos en te eremo) "He responded, I am a voice (not the logos) loudly crying (calling out a people) in the wilderness, desert, or uninhabited areas," not in the populated areas, as political persons and popular religionists do, Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 3:1.

2) "Make straight the way of the Lord," (euthunate ten hodon kuriou) "You all make straight the way of (the) Lord," or get ready for the coming of the Master, or the Lord Superior, Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4-6.

3) "As said the prophet Esaias." (kathos eipen Isaias ho prophetes) "Just as the prophet Esias said," prophesied, Isaiah 40:3; This was a call for men to prepare for the Old Testament promised Jehovah, who was the Christ, the great "I am" self-existing one, (the Logos, the phos, and the Zoe) Exodus 18:5-6.

Verse 24

1) "And they which were sent," (kai apestalmenoi) "And those who had been sent to John," the Jewish quizzing delegation, of priests and Levites, John 1:19. The Gk. word translated "sent" means mandated, commissioned, or specifically directed in what they were to do.

2) ’’Were of the Pharisees." (esan ek ton Pharisaion) "Were out of and from among the Pharisees,” the conser­vative and most popular order of the Jewish religionists of the day, differing from the Sadducees, in that they believed in the existence of angels, spirits, and the resurrection of the dead, Acts 23:8. For the Sadducee denied these three doctrinal tenets.

Verse 25

1) "And they asked him and said unto him,’’ (kai erotesan auton kai eipan auto) "And inquiring they said to him," a fourth time, John 1:19; John 1:21-22. Who are you? They persisted with tautology; yet, he kept his message straight that he was the prophesied forerunner or fore-fixer for Jesus’ coming. 0 that men would yet be as steadfast in the Word and witnessing that Jesus has sent them to do, Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 15:8; Galatians 6:9.

2) "Why baptizest thou then," (ti oun baptizeis ei) "Why then are you, or do you, baptize," "Why do you immerse people?" Yes, the root word for baptize means to dip, submerge, or immerse, not to sprinkle or pour, see? And he required repentance of sin and faith and a fruit of repentance before he would baptize them as he had been Divinely mandated to do, John 1:6; John 1:33; Matthew 3:1-8; Acts 19:4.

3) "If thou be not," (ei su ouk ei) "If you are not," if you do not exist as, 4) "That Christ, nor Elias," (ho Christos oude Elias) "The Christ (the Messiah) nor Elias," the person of Elijah or that forerunner of the terrible day of the Lord, Malachi 4:5.

5) "Neither that prophet?" (oude ho prophetes) "Nor even the prophet," of which Moses wrote? Deuteronomy 18:15-18. And for whom true believers like Simeon and Anna had long waited, Luke 2:25-38; Acts 3:22-23; John 7:40.

Verse 26

1) "John answered them, saying," (apekrithe autois ho loannes legon) "Then John (the Baptist) explained to them," in response to their pressing questions. These deputies questioned John’s authority to baptize if he were not the Christ. He replied that he had a Divine mandate to baptize in preparing a people for Jesus, John 1:31-33.

2) "I baptize with water:" (ego baptizo en hudati) "I do baptize or immerse in and with water," not in oil or with oil, not in blood, or with blood, but in and with water, enough water to bury, immerse, or submerge candidates, in the river of Jordan, John 1:28; John 1:33; Matthew 3:13-14; Matthew 3:17; Mark 1:8­11; Luke 3:21; John 4:1-2.

3) "But there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;" (mesos humon stekei on humeis ouk oidate) "There stands among you all (however) one already existing, who you all do not know," perceive, or recognize, though he had already fulfilled numerous prophetic signs in their midst, in His virgin birth in Bethlehem, of Judea, of the family of David, and the tribe of Judah, in His coming out of Egypt, and His residing in Nazareth, Matthew 1:22-23; Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:15; Matthew 2:23; Genesis 49:10.

Verse 27

1) "He it is, who coming after me," (ho opiso mou erchomenos) "The one being, coming after me," to you all, and to the world, John 15. This denotes an immediate or imminent coming or arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, and John’s close association with it, as Jesus was to be baptized by him forthwith, John 1:31-33; Matthew 3:16-17.

2) "is preferred before me," (in priority over me is desired) a possible interpolation, but the idea was previously expressed, John 1:15; Yet He was, existed, before John, though He was not born before him, John 1:30.

3) "Whose shoe’s lachet I am not worthy to unloose." (hou ouk eimi ego aksios) "Of whom I am not (even) worthy," (hina luso autou ton himanta tou hupodematos) "In order that I should even release (untie) the thong of the sandal of Him," Mark 1:7; Luke 3:16. These deputies from the elite of the Christ-rejecting Jews in Jerusalem rejected the council of God, being not baptized of John, Luke 7:30. John counseled them to repent and trust in Christ, but they did not. Matthew 3:1-8; Acts 19:4.

Verse 28

1) "These things were done in Bethabara," (tauta en Bethania egeneto) "These things occurred in Bethany," or happened in the village of Bethany.

2) "Beyond Jordan," (peran tou lordanou) "Beyond the Jordan," the Jordan river and valley, perhaps on the Eastern side, to distinguish it from Bethany two miles east of Jerusalem, Luke 19:29; Mark 11:11; or fifteen furlongs, John 11:18.

3) "Where John was baptizing." (hopou en ho loannes baptizon) "Where John the Baptist was, repeatedly baptizing," which means immersing, as he was preparing a people to accept and follow Jesus. The delegation that came to question him appears to have traveled some 25 miles from Jerusalem to the southern area of Bashan.

Verse 29

1) "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him," (te epaurion blepei ton lesoun erchomenon pros auton) "On the next day he beheld Jesus coming to him of his own will, choice, or accord, "the next day after the Jewish delegation had quizzed him repeatedly, John 1:19-27.

2) "And saith, Behold the Lamb of God," (kai legei ide ho amnos tou theou)"And he (John) says, (to those before him) behold the Lamb of God," in His character and His office as prophesied, Exodus 12:3, Isaiah 53:7-11, Revelation 5:6.

3) "Which taketh away the sin of the world." (ho airon ten hamartian tou kosmou) "The one who bears away the sin of the world," as a great plague, 1 John 3:5. As the true redemption sacrifice, of whom all other previous ones were mere types, shadows, symbols, and/or object lessons, He still bears our sins; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 10:14. He bare our sins in His body on the tree, 1 Peter 2:24; Leviticus 10:17.

Verse 30

1) "This is he of whom I said," (houtos estin huper ou ego eipen) "This is he with reference to whom I said;” Three times these words confront us; In this statement the human and Divine natures are set forth, as John the Baptist affirmed the preexistence of the Messiah, John 1:15; John 1:27.

2) "After me cometh a man," (opiso mou erchetai aner) "After me there comes of his own choice a mature man," Jesus was a man, not an effeminate male. He was a man of His own people.

3) "Which is preferred before me:”- (hos emprosthen mou gegonen) "Who has become or existed before or prior to me, before my existence," expressed above, John 1:15; John 1:27; Luke 2:25-26; Luke 2:38.

4) "For he was before me." (hoti protos mou en) "Because he existed first (in priority) of me," or antecedent of me, as The Word, John 1:1; John 1:14; as the Creator, John 1:3; as the Light and Life, John 1:4-5; John 8:12; John 14:6.

Verse 31

1) "And I knew him not:”- (kago ouk edein auton) "And I perceived or recognized him not," did not really know who He was, as the Son of God, up to this point of time.

2) "But that he should be made manifest to Israel," (all’ hina phanerothe to Israel) "But in order that he might be manifest (made known) to Israel," that much I knew, John asserted, through a pre-given sign, that is recounted, John 1:33.

3) "Therefore am I come baptizing with water." (dia touto elthon ego en hudai baptizon) "Therefore I came, repeatedly immersing, or baptizing (people) in water," John the Baptist, who had been sent from God to baptize, (John 1:32-33) did not know that Jesus Christ was that Savior, Messiah, or Redeemer, until he baptized Him. At that time he did recognize who Jesus was, by two signs: 1) First, the Holy Ghost descended upon Him, 2) Second, God spoke audibly from heaven saying, "This is my beloved Son," Matthew 3:15-17; Luke 3:21-22.

Verse 32

1) "And John bare record, saying," (kai emarturesen loannes legon) "And John testified, repeatedly saying," bearing testimony relating to the identity of Jesus Christ as God’s Messiah Son.

2) "I saw the Spirit descending," (hoti tetheamai to pneuma katabainon) "That I have seen (and did) observe the spirit coming down," as recounted by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, in each of the Gospels. It was the Spirit, not the "dove form," that John saw.

3) ’’From heaven like a dove," (hos peristeran eks ouranou) "As or similar to a dove out of heaven," the Spirit came down, Matthew 3:15-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22.

4) "And it abode upon him." (kai ememen ep’ auton) "And it rested, abode, or remained upon him." It or He resided upon Him in a glory form, beheld here by John the Baptist and later by Peter, James, and John at the trans­figuration, John 1:14; Matthew 17:1-5; 2 Peter 1:16-18. It was the Holy Spirit that gave the dazzling glory, the brilliance to that baptismal moment, the transfiguration moment, and will give the glory to every redeemed one in the moment of the resurrection, Romans 8:11; 1 Corinthians 15:41-42, 1 John 3:1-3.

Verse 33

1) "And I knew him not:” (kago ouk edein auton) "And I did not know him," in His real person, as the son of God, though he surely knew Him as a cousin in the flesh, and knew Him to be a man of high character, else he would not have said, "I have need to be baptized of thee," See? Matthew 3:13-14; Luke 2:41-50.

2) "But he that sent me to baptize with water," (all’ ho pempsas me baptizein en hudati) "But instead he who sent me to baptize or immerse in and with water," John 1:6; John 4:1-2. Where there was "much water," enough to immerse, submerge, or dip all baptismal candidates, John 3:23.

3) "The same said unto me," (ekeinos moi eipen) "That one advised me," informed me, or instructed me. John simply emphasizes that the message or testimony he bears about Jesus is not his own human idea or concoction, but was given of God.

4) "Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending,’’ (eph’ hon an ides to pneuma katabamon) "Upon whoever you see the Spirit coming down," as described Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:10.

5) "And remaining on him," (kai menon ep’ auton) "And resting or residing upon him,’’ in a visible glory form, in a "bodily shape," like a dove,’’ firmly upon a solid place, Luke 3:22.

6) "The same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost." (houtos estin ho baptizon en pneumati hagion) "This one is (exists as) the one baptizing in and with the Holy Spirit,’’ or immersing, submerging, men in or quickening them to life in and with the Holy Spirit, by which He was anointed, Luke 4:18; Isaiah 61:1-2; John 3:3; John 3:6-7; John 6:63. He also prayed the Father to send that Holy Spirit to empower, consecrate, and indwell His church forever, John 14:16; Luke 24:49, Acts 1:5; Acts 1:8; Acts 2:1-4.

Verse 34

1) "And I saw, and bare record,’’ (kago Heorako kai memartureka) "And I have seen, and have witnessed," as a personal eye witness, as he had already affirmed, repeatedly, John 1:15; John 1:19; John 1:32.

2) "That this is the Son of God.’’ (hoti houtos estin ho huios tou theou) "That this one (Jesus) is (now exists as) the Son of God," the heir of God, as His only begotten, the Redeemer of the universe, whom He sent, John 1:14; John 3:16; John 3:18; 1 John 4:9; Galatians 4:4-5. And He still is. The voice from heaven called Him "my beloved son," a voice that John heard, and that confirmed to Him that Jesus was the Son of God, Matthew 3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22.

Verse 35

EARLY PUBLIC MINISTRY OF JESUS CHRIST v. 35-51

1) "And again the next day after John stood," (te epaurion palin heistekei ho loannes) "On the day following John again stood," to behold the Lord and give witness or testimony concerning Him; That is, John the Baptist was standing, to behold and witness again for Jesus Christ. John the Baptist was a "stander," one who would stand for his convictions, and to do the bidding of God who sent him, unto death, John 3:28-30; Matthew 14:1-5; Revelation 2:1 O, Acts 26:16; 2 Timothy 4:7-8.

2) "And two of his disciples;”- (kai ek ton matheton autou duo) "And two of his disciples,’’ with him, Andrew and probably John, the writer of this gospel, John 1:40-41.

Verse 36

1) "And looking upon Jesus as he walked," (kai emblepsas to lesou peripatounti) "And while looking at Jesus walking," as He was walking and strolling along.

2) "He saith, Behold the Lamb of God!" (legei ide ho amnostou theou) "He says (to them) just look, the Lamb of God," that is Him, as in John 1:29. John the Baptist and the Redeeming Lamb of God here met for the last time, on this earth, as Jesus had now entered upon His public ministry to ’’increase," while John the Baptist was "to decrease," John 3:30. John there pointed Andrew and the writer of this Gospel to leave him and follow Jesus thereafter, which they did, Acts 1:21-22.

Verse 37

1) "And the two disciples heard him speak,’’ (kai ekousan hoi duo mathetai lalountos) "And the two disciples heard him speaking,’’ the two, Andrew and probably John, the writer of this Gospel, who here recounted the event, John 1:40-41.

2) "And they followed Jesus." (kai ekolouthesan to lesou) "And they followed (pursued) Jesus," leaving their walk with John the Baptist, to finish their ministry as disciples and later apostles of Jesus Christ, early disciples of the ministry of Jesus, and members of His New Covenant company fellowship which He called His church, Light of the world, Salt of the earth, Kingdom of Heaven, His house, and His fold, Matthew 10:2; Acts 1:21-22; Matthew 3:2; Matthew 5:13-16; Matthew 13:11; Matthew 13:24; Matthew 13:31; Matthew 13:33; Matthew 13:44-45; Matthew 13:47; Matthew 16:18; Mark 13:34-37; 1 Timothy 3:15; John 10:1-18.

Verse 38

1) "Then Jesus turned, and saw them following," (strapheis de ho lesous kai theasamenos autous akolouthountas) "Then Jesus upon turning and observing them following," Andrew and John, v. 40, 41.

2) "And saith unto them, What seek ye?" (legei autois ti zeteite) "He inquired to them, just what are you all searching for or seeking to know?" He did not ask for information, but to give them an occasion for a confession of their faith in Him, Romans 10:8-11; Matthew 10:32; Luke 12:8; Acts 8:37.

3) "They say unto him, Rabbi," (hoi de eipan auto hrabbi) "Then they replied to him, Rabbi," or honored Jewish teacher, Matthew 23:7-8.

4) "(Which is to say, being interpreted, Master,)’’ (ho legetai methermeneuomenon didaskale) "Which is or being translated to mean teacher," a title of honor given to Jewish teachers, and to Christ by His disciples, John 3:2; John 3:26; John 6:25.

5) "Where dwellest thou?" (pou meneis) "Where do you reside?" or where are you staying? This question was evidently posed that they might know where to find Him at any time. This was what they first sought, to fix in their minds where He might be located, that they might have undisturbed conversation with Him, away from the public.

Verse 39

1) "He saith unto them, Come and see." (legei autois erchesthe kai opsesthe) "You all just come with me and you will see," for yourselves or on your own behalf. This is our Lord’s first invitation for one to come to Him; His invitation is still extended to inquiring souls, to weary, seeking souls. He still says, "come" I am accessible; at my residence the latch is open, Matthew 11:28-30; John 6:37, Revelation 22:17.

2) "They came and saw where he dwelt," (elthan oun kai eidon pou menei) "Then they went, by their own choice, and saw where he resided," spent the remainder of the day with Him. They responded to this call to be His disciples, Matthew 4:18-22. It was also a call to service.

3) "And abode with him that day:” (kai par’ auto emeinan ten hemeran ekeinen) "And they remained or resided with him that day," the remainder of that day, at ,least two hours, until nightfall. This was the most decisive act of John and Andrew’s lives.

4) "For it was about the tenth hour." (hora en hos dekate) "It was about the tenth hour of that day," or about four o’clock in the afternoon, about two hours before sun-down, calculating day from rising to the going down of the sun as a day.

Verse 40

1) "One of the two which heard John," (eis ek ton duo ton akousanton para loannou) "One of those two who heard John," John the Baptist speak and climaxed his remarks with "Behold the Lamb of God," or take note of Him, John 1:36-37.

2) "Speak, and followed him," (kai akolouthesanton auto) "And then followed him, followed Jesus, the Lamb of God, of whom John the Baptist had so eloquently wit­nessed, both to the masses and the quiz delegates from the Pharisees in Jerusalem, John 1:15-34.

3) "Was Andrew Simon Peter’s brother." (en Andreas ho adelphon Simonos Petrou) "Was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter," an early disciple of Jesus, member of His church company and later one of the twelve apostles, Matthew 10:2, who came from the baptism of John, Acts 1:21-22. The name "Andrew" means "manly," beyond which we know little.

Tradition says that Andrew was crucified at Patrae in Greece, on a cross formed as an X, which has from that time been known as St. Andrew’s cross. He was with Jesus through all His ministry, from the beginning, and was at the first church assembly business conference after the ascension of Jesus, when the church elected Matthaias to take the office of the apostleship, from which Judas Iscariot fell, Acts 1:10-11; Acts 1:13; Acts 1:15-26.

Verse 41

1) "He first findeth his own brother Simon," (heuriskei houtos proton ton adelphon ton idion Simona) "This one (Andrew) first finds Simon, his own brother," in the flesh, his family or fraternal brother. Note, Andrew had primacy in finding Jesus, before Simon Peter did, though Romanism assigns primacy to Peter. Though little is recorded of Andrew’s labors, he will reap rewards for having brought his soul-winning brother, mighty preacher, and New Testament writer, to the Lord, John 4:35-38.

2) "And saith unto him, We have found the Messias," (kai egei auto heurekamen ton messian) "And tells him (personally) we have found the Messiah," the most blessed find or discovery of their lives; Our Lord specifically and directly declared Himself to be "that Messias" who was to come, about whom the Samaritan woman gave testimony, John 4:25-26.

3) "Which is being interpreted, the Christ." (ho estin methermeneuomenon Christos) "Which is properly translated the Christ," the anointed one of God, Luke 4:18; As also later affirmed by Peter and all the other apostles, Matthew 16:15-16.

Verse 42

1) "And he brought him to Jesus." (eganen auton pros ton lesoun) "And he led him to Jesus," perhaps the very next day, after he and John had a time of personal fellow­ship with Jesus, where Jesus resided, John 1:39. Philip pointed the Eunuch to Jesus, Acts 8:30-37. Who have I led or brought to Jesus? .

2) "And when Jesus beheld him, he said," (emblepsas auto ho lesous eipen) "Upon looking at him, (at Simon Peter) he said," directly to Simon.

3) "Thou art Simon the son of Jona:- (su ei Simon ho huios loannou) "You are Simon the heir-son of John: Jesus may have known Simon previously or Andrew may have already talked to Jesus about his brother Simon.

4) "Thou shalt be called Cephas," (au klethese kephas) "You shall (hereafter) be called Cephas," an Aramaic name or word meaning stone, as Peter (the Gk. name) means a stone. The change of a name usually implies a change of character or of position, as it did with Abraham, Sarah, and Jacob. Peter was known to the Corinth church exclusively as Cephas, 1 Corinthians 1:12; 1 Corinthians 3:22; 1 Corinthians 9:15; 1 Corinthians 15:5.

5) "Which is by interpretation, a stone." (ho hermeneuetai Petros) "Which is translated peter," also meaning "a stone," in the Greek. Simon Peter became, not only an early disciple of Jesus that day, and a member of His New Covenant company or church fellowship, but he also later became one of the twelve apostles of our Lord, and often a prominent spokesman for them, Matthew 4:18-19; Matthew 10:2.

Verse 43

1) "The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee," (te epaurion ethelesen ekselthein eis ten Galilaian) "He strongly desired to go forth into Galilee on the following day," the day after Andrew had brought his brother Simon Peter to Jesus, the Messiah. The day after Jesus had named Simon Cephas or Peter, meaning a stone, he left Bethany to reenter Galilee.

2) "And findeth Philip," (kai huriskei Philippon) "And he finds Philip," also a Galileean, of whom little is also known beyond the Gospel history. This Philip, with a Greek name, later introduced inquiring Greeks to Jesus Christ, John 12:20.

3) "And saith unto him, Follow me." (kai legei auto ho lesous akolouthei moi) "And Jesus says to him, follow me." Where I lead you, as a disciple, who also was later named as an apostle, Matthew 10:3. He continued with Jesus through all his ministry, and was with the apostles in the upper room in Jerusalem in prayer at church business for the Lord when the Holy Spirit came in power on Pentecost, Acts 1:13.

Verse 44

1) "Now Philip was of Bethsaida," (en de ho Philippos apo Bethsaida) "Now Philip was from Bethsaida," meaning a fish-place or fish-house city, a place on which Jesus pronounced woe because of her rejection of Him, Matthew 11:21. It was Philip’s birthplace. Philip was a Jew, though his name was a Greek name.

2) "The city of Andrew and Peter." (ek tes poieos Andreou kai Petrou) "From and out of the city of Andrew and Peter," where they too had been born and brought up in the fishing trade, which they pursued in life, until they received a special call from the Lord to follow Him, Matthew 4:18-19.

Verse 45

1) "Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him," (huriskei Philippos ton Nathanael kai legei auto) "Philip finds Nathanael and told him," reported to him. The name Nathanael means "given of God." He was a native of Cana of Galilee, near where Jesus was brought up, John 21:2. Jesus found Philip and Philip found Nathanael, thus the torch of light and truth is passed on, as one torch of faith and truth lights another to lead to Jesus, Matthew 5:15-16.

2) "We have found him," (hon heurekamen) "We have found, discovered, or located him;- Those who seek Him with all their hearts shall find Him, always, John 7:17; Isaiah 55:6-7; Deuteronomy 4:29.

3) "Of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write,” (hon egrapsen Mouses en to nomo kai hoi prophetai) "Of or about whom Moses wrote in the law and the prophets," Deuteronomy 18:15-17; Luke 24:27; Luke 24:44-45. Philip was familiar with the writings of the law and the prophets and believed the scriptures, as Peter later certified, regarding the promised Messiah, Acts 10:43.

4) "Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." (lesoun huion tou loseph ton apo Nazareth) "Jesus from Nazareth, the son of Joseph." What a find! To find Jesus is life’s most desired quest for every human being. Jesus was of Nazareth, the city where He grew up, after His return from Egypt, that the Scriptures might be fulfilled, Matthew 2:23. This Nathanael is also believed to be that same person identified as Bartholomew, one of the twelve apostles, Matthew 10:3; Acts 1:13.

Verse 46

1) "And Nathanael said unto him," (kai eipen auto Nathanael) "And Nathanael replied to him (to Philip)," in a frustrated manner, for a Jew of pride, to his brother who had just reported finding Jesus, the Messiah of Nazareth, as promised by the Lord, Matthew 2:23.

2) "Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?" (ek Nazareth dunatai ti agathon einai) "Can any good thing exist in Nazareth?" A town of insignificance, a notorious, ghetto-city often referred to in derision by the Jews, John 7:52.

3) "Philip saith unto him, Come and see." (legei auto ho Philippos erchou kai ide) "Philip replied to him, come and see for yourself," of your own will, volition, or choice. This is God’s way of both salvation and service. Each must choose to accept the finished work of Christ in redemption for himself. And each child of God must choose to serve the Lord or the devil for himself; Romans 1:16; Romans 14:11-12; Ephesians 2:8-10.

This "come and see," or examine for yourself, is one of man’s best challenges to those who are uncertain about who Jesus is. For they shall find Him, if they seek Him with an earnest and honest soul, Deuteronomy 4:29; Isaiah 55:6-7; John 7:17; Revelation 22:17.

Verse 47

1) "Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him," (eiden lesous ton Nathanael erchomenon pros auton) "Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward or approaching him," and knew him, as He knew Simon, John 1:42. Though Nathanael at first questioned the testimony of Philip his brother concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a city or village not even mentioned in the Old Testament, he was sincere enough to go to Him, because of his brother’s testimony.

2) "And saith of him," (kai legei peri autou) "And said concerning him;- As the "eyes of the Lord are in every place beholding the evil and the good," He sees the actions of every witness of Him, that His words do not return to Him void, Proverbs 15:3; Isaiah 55:10-11. God’s thoughts and ways are not as man’s Isaiah 55:8-9. Nathanael came for himself, because he wanted to do so, for a personal experience.

3) "Behold an Israelite indeed," (ide alethos Israelite) "Take note, this is truly an Israelite," a man of God who put away guile and deceit for an open and honest search for truth, as Zacchaeus did when he climbed the tree to see Jesus, came down when Jesus saw him, and invited him down, Luke 19:1-10. Nathanael was an Israelite inwardly, as well as outwardly, Psalms 22:3; Romans 2:28-29.

4) "In whom is no guile!" (en ho dolos ouk estin) "In whom no guile exists," no sham pretence, no deceit, no hypocrisy, with regards to his relation to God or his desire to do His will, John 7:17. He was sincere, honest, open, ready to receive Christ, John 1:11-12. As Jacob (the subtle trickster and deceiving hypocrite) had his name Divinely changed to signify a change of character, from Jacob to Israel (man of God- when he wrestled with God in prayer, so every self-righteous sinner can have guile, deceit, and self -righteousness conquered in and removed from his life by the Lord, through earnest repentance, and prayer of faith, Genesis 27:34-37; Genesis 32:9-13; Genesis 32:24-28; This guile may be removed from every man who calls on the Lord for salvation and direction of life, Psalms 145:18-19; Romans 10:13.

Verse 48

1) "Nathanael saith unto him," (legei auto Nathanael) "Nathanael inquired to (of) him," of Jesus, inquiring with sincerity.

2) "Whence knowest thou me?" (pothen me ginoskeis) "Whence (from what source) do you know me?" He was surprised that Jesus knew even the bend of his character. In essence he asked Jesus, how did you know me? Yet he knows and understands man’s heart and thoughts from afar, no matter where one may be, or what he is doing, Psalms 94:11; Psalms 139:2; 2 Kings 19:27; Acts 15:8.

3) "Jesus answered and said unto him," (apekrithe lesous kai eipen auto) "Jesus replied and said to him," directly.

4) "Before that Philip called thee," (pro tou se Philippon phonesai) "Before Philip called you," to come to me as your savior, before then when you were complacent, resting at home. In minute detail God saw and was interested in Nathanael, as He is in each of us, Acts 17:27-28.

5) "When thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee," (onta hupo ten suken eidon se) "While you were under the fig tree I saw you." Fig trees were a favorite of the Jews both around their homes and planted along the roadside, for both the fruit they bare and the shade they afforded, Matthew 21:19. "Sitting under one’s fig tree," meant being in privacy or at home, Micah 4:4; Zechariah 3:10. That God continuously sees and knows the place, the actions, the thoughts, and what is in the heart of man, should be a sobering thought to every person, Matthew 6:8.

Verse 49

1) "Nathanael answered and said unto him," (apekrithe auto Nathanael) "Nathanael replied to him," to Jesus, in emphatic ecstasy,

2) "Rabbi, thou art the Son of God;”- (hrabbi su ei ho huiostou theou) "Rabbi, you are the Son of God, "the heir of God, the Divine one who was to come, that prophet whom everyone (and I too) is to heed, to obey, Matthew 14:33; John 20:28-29.

3) "Thou art-the king of Israel." (su Basileus ei tou Israel) "You are the king of Israel," a testimony of his faith in both the Deity or Divinity and Messiahship of Jesus Christ, Psalms 2:7; Matthew 16:16; Matthew 21:5; Luke 22:70; John 11:27; Matthew 27:11.

Verse 50

1) "Jesus answered and said unto him," (apekrithe lesous kai eipen auto) "Jesus responded and said unto him," to strengthen his faith and courage.

2) "Because I said unto thee," (hoti eipon soi) "Because I told you," and you accepted what I told you, expressing it by embracing me as your Messiah and coming king, John 1:49; Romans 10:8-13.

3) "I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou?" (hoti eidon se hupokato tes sukes pisteueis) "That I saw you beneath the fig tree, do you believe?" You believe, don’t you? You believe I am the Divine one of whom David spoke, Psalms 94:11; Psalms 139:1-11. Apparently Nathanael was in prayer, in privacy, under the fig tree meditating of the prophecy of Isaiah and Malachi that John the Baptist had been preaching, Matthew 1:8, Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 3:1.

4) "Thou shalt see greater things than these." (meizo touton opse) "You will see greater things than these," greater proofs of evidence of His Divinity, in the prophecies that He fulfilled, the teachings and preaching He did, and the miracles-He performed, John 20:30-31. The testimony of Philip and Jesus had led him to Jesus, and greater evidences and testimony of Jesus would strengthen him, supply all his future need to which he had been called, Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 4:13; Philippians 4:19.

Verse 51

1) "And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you," (kai legei auto amen, amen lego humin) "And he said to him, truly, truly I tell you," foretell you.

2) "Hereafter ye shall see heaven open," (opsesthe ton ouranon aneogota) "Hereafter you all shall see heaven having been opened," to disclose help from above, con­tinual help from and by this Son of man who should ascend back to heaven, to make intercession for His own, Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:2.

3) "And the angels of God," (kai tous angelous tou theou) “And you (shall see) the angels of God," ministering servants of God for you all, Hebrews 1:14; Angels (good angels) bring heaven’s riches and earth’s poverty together, to meet man’s needs upon the earth. What Jacob dreamed, was realized in Christ; come down from heaven, from which the ladder was extended, see? Genesis 28:10-16.

4) "Ascending and descending," (anabainontas kai katabaninontas) "Going up and coming down," or coming down and going up, as they appeared to Jacob at Bethel. This signified a new living way through Christ, not the mini­stration of the law, that angels should give sanction to the administrative ministry of Jesus in His work and church labors, as His followers later saw and recounted, Luke 22:3; Acts 1:10-11.

5) "Upon the Son of man." (epi ton huion tou anthropou) "Upon the Son of man," to serve the Son of man, the heir redeemer of humanity; Our Lord ascribed the term "Son of man," to Himself, Luke 19:10.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on John 1". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/john-1.html. 1985.
 
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