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Friday, January 7, 2011

John 1:15,16 Glorifying Christ

15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.

(John the Baptist in the Wilderness- Isaacsz Dutch 1569-162 Bob Jones Art gallery)
Thoughts: John was recognizing Jesus as the Messiah who was pouring out grace upon us.  John's humility is an amazing example for us.  His pure, unselfish love for the glory of God gets Jesus' ministry off on the right foot.  He knew Jesus would "surpass" him.  John records the Baptizer saying, "He must become greater, I must become less" (3:30).  He said that he was not worthy to untie his sandals.  All people, but especially ministers, can learn from John the Baptist who gave all the glory to the Lord.

Prayer: In my life, Lord, be glorified.  May your name increase and my name fade.  Use me, as you used the Baptizer, to draw attention to yourself.

John Calvin Abridged: John testifies (Marturei in the continual present sense- as if John's voice continually speaks to us).  This indicates John was sent for the purpose of witnessing to Christ so that Christ is magnified and John grows less in focus.  Though John the Baptist is older than Jesus by several months, Christ preceded John in eternity, and followed John in time of ministry.  Yet John speaks of Christ being preferred to John. John is here passing the torch to Christ. Augustine explains this passage (grace upon grace) by saying that all the blessings we receive are not because of our own merits, but because of God's liberal generosity. For my part, I think this speaks of the graces which are poured upon us through Christ as the channel for that pouring.  Christ as the anointed one (the messiah) anoints us with grace.

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