Day 5: John 1:6-9
There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify about the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but he came to testify about the light. The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.
1. John the Baptist, a major character in all four gospel accounts, is referenced here as a man from God. We are told his role: he is a witness to testify. His intent is that all might believe. He points to the light, who we know from yesterday’s reading is the Word of God. We are additionally reminded that John was not the light. His role was such that this could have been quite confusing.
2. Jesus is the light. Everyone who comes before and after Jesus has this same role in reference to him: to witness and testify that all might believe. John is the one who testifies, Jesus is the one about whom he testifies. John stands as the final word from the Hebrew Scriptures: he is the law and the prophets personified, and he bears witness in the same way they bear witness. Jesus is the true light, which reveals not only the sins and righteousness of the world, but the proper place, proper role, and true meaning of all that has come before him.
3. John stood as witness of all that came before Jesus. We stand as witness of what has come after his appearance in the Advent. The anticipation of John is the expectation of us. John bore witness of what was yet to come, we bear witness of what has come. Our actions should bear this out in every way: that the true light has come. We are not the light ourselves. All our actions and activities point to him. The life of the believer in Christ, from the most mundane detail to the largest and most important choices, point to the true light that has come.
4. The coming of the true light has not ended. As Christ appeared once to reveal the hearts of humankind, he will appear again to reveal all that is hidden (Lk 8:17). Our testimony and witness are not only to the appearance of Jesus in the past, we have a testimony and witness to our faith that he will appear in the future. Then he will complete the work of revelation that he began, and nothing will be left undone.