God is sovereign.
Because God created mankind with the wonderful gift of free will, we sometimes do not fully understand that the Bible also clearly teaches that God is in control of all things. All things! As we pick up with verse 6, we see that John the Baptist was “a man sent by God.” The sovereignty of God is not a small point to be made here. God chose John the Baptist before he was even born. Take a moment and read Luke Chapter 1 and you will see what I am saying. I don’t recall in my reading of the Bible anywhere that God asks for our opinions about serving Him. For example:
- Adam – God didn’t ask him if he wanted to be the first man and the representative of all mankind in the garden
- Abraham – God didn’t ask him if he wanted to be the father of a great nation
- Isaac – God didn’t ask him if he wanted to be the child of promise
- Joseph – God didn’t ask him if he wanted to be dumped in a hole, sold into slavery, accused of rape, put in jail and finally made second only to Pharaoh
- Moses – God didn’t ask him if he wanted to lead his people out of Egypt
- Joshua – God didn’t ask him if he wanted to lead after the death of Moses
- Esther – God didn’t ask her if she wanted to be carried away into captivity so she would be in a position to save her people
- Saul – God didn’t ask him if he wanted to be the first king
- David – God didn’t ask him if he wanted to replace Saul as king
I hope you are starting to see my point. God is sovereign! He created all things and He has the right to do with His creation as He pleases. He raises up those He chooses to raise up and He calls those He chooses to call.
John was called as a witness to testify about the Light. Why do we need witnesses? Because Old Testament law required two or three witnesses to give testimony before a charge or a fact could be established. This is carried forward to the New Testament in Matthew 18: 15-17, 1 Timothy 5:19, and Hebrews 10:28. (When we get into the end of chapter 4 and the beginning of chapter 5, we will more fully explore this idea of John being called as a witness to establish the truth about Jesus. We’ll be coming back to verse 7 when we get there.)
Who is the true light? Jesus is, of course. He says so in John 8:12 which says, “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” One of the most poetic ways this is stated is in Luke chapter 1, verses 76-79, speaking of John the Baptist, which reads:
76And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77to give knowledge of salvation to his people
in the forgiveness of their sins,
78because of the tender mercy of our God,
whereby the Sunrise shall visit us from on high
79to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Jesus is the Sunrise. He is the Light. Mankind was in darkness, unable to save himself. Jesus is the Savior who promises, “Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Praise His Name for doing for us, what we could never do for ourselves!!!
We’ll continue this when we pick up in verse 9 next time.