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7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him [John the Baptist] might believe.


The purpose of John the Baptizer was to formally announce the coming of the Messiah.

7 This man came for a witness,

God’s focus for John was to be a witness. God’s design for him was to have a subordinate role to the Messiah in order to introduce Him to the world (3:22-30).

to bear witness of the Light,

The purpose God had for John was to ratify that the Word was the Christ, the Light of the world, that He was God who came in the flesh to save people from their sins. We find this witness in verses 19-34. He was not the Light but a witness to the Light.

that all through him [John]

The word “that” introduces purpose. The purpose of the gospel of John was that all might “believe” (John 20:31). This is the first use of the word “believe” in the gospel. Note here that people believe “through” Him, not “in” Him. It is through the person and work of Christ that people have salvation.

might believe.

Jesus is always the object of faith, not the means or agent of our faith (3:16). He then is the legitimate object of our trust. We do not find the word “faith” in the gospel of John. The word “believe” occurs 98 times.


One of God’s purposes for the believer is to witness about the Word.


A witness knows what he saw and what he thinks. Our role is to tell others what we know about Christ. Good witnesses do not draw attention to themselves but to the facts of the case.

God never leaves Himself without a witness in the world. Note the witnesses in this gospel:

The Father (5:37; 8:18)

Jesus Himself (8:14, 18)

Jesus’ works (5:36; 10:25; 14:11; 15:24)

John the Baptist (1:7, 8)

People in Jesus’ life (4:39; 9:25, 38; 12:17)

Disciples (15:27; 19:35; 21:24)

The Holy Spirit (15:26)

We need to take our stand in the witness box about Jesus. Once we do, we can no longer be neutral about Him. We have committed ourselves as a public notice about who Jesus is.