John 1:15

15 John pointed him out and called, "This is the One! The One I told you was coming after me but in fact was ahead of me. He has always been ahead of me, has always had the first word."

John 1:15 Meaning and Commentary

John 1:15

John bare witness of him
Which was his office and business, for which purpose he was sent, ( John 1:6-8 )

and cried;
this agrees with his work and office, according to the prophecy of him in ( Isaiah 40:3 ) and with the time of his ministry, the year of jubilee; and with the nature of his ministry, which was clear, open, and public; and performed with vigour, and in a powerful manner, with much assurance and certainty, with boldness and intrepidity, and with great zeal and fervency, and in an evangelical way; for it was such a cry as debased the creature, and exalted Christ:

this was he, of whom I spake;
when he first entered upon his ministry and baptism, before he saw Christ, or baptized him; see ( Matthew 3:11 ) .

he that cometh after me;
for Christ came into the world after John; he was born six months after him; he came after him to be baptized by him, and attended on his ministry; and came later into the public ministry than he did;

is preferred before me;
by God, the Father, in setting him up as Mediator; constituting him the head of the church; causing a fulness of grace to dwell in him; appointing him the Saviour of his people; and ordaining him judge of quick and dead. And by the prophets, who spake much of him, and sparingly of John; and of him as the Messiah and Saviour, and of John only as his harbinger: and by John himself, who represents him as coming from above, and as above all; and himself as of the earth, earthly: and by all Gospel ministers, and every true believer; and good reason there is for it:

for he was before me;
which cannot be meant of honour and dignity; for this is expressed before; and it would be proving one thing by the same: nor of his birth, as man; for John in that sense was before him, being born before him; besides, being born before another, is no proof of superior worth; others were born before John, whom he yet excelled: but of his eternal existence, as the word, and Son of God, who was before John, or any of the prophets; before Abraham, and Noah, and Adam, or any creature whatever: the Arabic and Persic versions read, "for he was more ancient than me"; being from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.

John 1:15 In-Context

13 These are the God-begotten, not blood-begotten, not flesh-begotten, not sex-begotten.
14 The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish.
15 John pointed him out and called, "This is the One! The One I told you was coming after me but in fact was ahead of me. He has always been ahead of me, has always had the first word."
16 We all live off his generous bounty, gift after gift after gift.
17 We got the basics from Moses, and then this exuberant giving and receiving, This endless knowing and understanding - all this came through Jesus, the Messiah.