John 1:7

John 1:7

The same came for a witness
The end of his being sent, and the design of his coming were,

to bear witness of the light:
by which is meant, not the light of nature, or reason; nor the light of the Gospel: but Christ himself, the author of light, natural, spiritual, and eternal. This was one of the names of the Messiah with the Jews; of whom they say F21, (wmv aryhn) , "light is his name"; as it is said in ( Daniel 2:22 ) and the light dwelleth with him; on which they have F23 elsewhere this gloss, this is the King Messiah; and so they interpret ( Psalms 43:3 ) of him F24. Philo the Jew often speaks of the Logos, or word, as light, and calls him the intelligible light; the universal light, the most perfect light; represents him as full of divine light; and says, he is called the sun F25. Now John came to bear a testimony to him, as he did; of which an account is given in this chapter, very largely, and elsewhere; as that he testified of his existence before his incarnation; of his being with the Father, and in his bosom: of his deity and divine sonship; of his being the Messiah; of the fulness of grace that was in him; of his incarnation and satisfaction; of his descent from heaven; and of his relation to his church, as in ( John 1:15 John 1:16 John 1:18 John 1:23 John 1:27 John 1:29 John 1:30 John 1:34 John 1:36 ) ( John 3:29 John 3:31 ) the end of which witness was,

that all men through him might believe;
that is, that the Jews, to whom he preached, might, through his testimony, believe that Jesus was the light, and true Messiah; for these words are to be taken in a limited sense, and not to be extended, to every individual of mankind; since millions were dead before John began his testimony, and multitudes then in being, and since, whom it never reached: nor can it design more than the Jews, to whom alone he bore witness of Christ; and the faith which he taught, and required by his testimony, was an assent unto him as the Messiah; though the preaching of the Gospel is a means of true spiritual faith in Christ; and doubtless it was so to many, as preached by John: it points out the object of faith, and encourages souls to believe in Christ; and hence, Gospel ministers are instruments by whom ethers believe; and faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God; and then is it, considerable end of the Gospel ministry answered.


F21 Echa Rabbati, fol. 50. 2.
F23 Bereshit Rabba, fol. 1. 3.
F24 Jarchi in ib.
F25 De Maudi Opificio, p. 6. De Allegor. l. 2. p. 80. & de Somniis, p. 576, 578.