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Commentary on the Gospel of John- Chapter 1:1-34

John was clear … Jesus is God The Word

The Spiritual Triune Godhead in Heaven Before the Creation of Time, Space and Matter

John 1:1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.

This beginning phrase parallels the opening phrase in the Book of Genesis. It also starts with a simple yet profound phrase, "In the beginning God...,: (Genesis 1:1). The Greek word "beginning" implies that the story, that is about to unfold, actually started before the story began. That is to say, there was something before the creation of matter and the physical world. And, that something was God, who existed eternally before there was time, space, and matter. So the phrase is to be interpreted, "Before the beginning of physical existence there was God". Also, the name God in Hebrew is Elohim. Remarkably, this name can be read simultaneously in both the singular and plural forms. It can be taken to mean a singular God, but it can also refer to individual Gods or a Godhead. This has led many Jewish scholars to struggle when trying to explain why the one and only Creator God uses a plural name when referring to Himself. Keep that in mind as we study the Gospel of John.

The Big Bang Which Created Space, Matter and Time

" … created the Heavens and the earth". This part of the sentence in Genesis is stating that God alone created the heavens and the earth. The word "created" in Greek means something created from nothing. Then the phrase states that from nothing God "created the Heavens". The word "Heavens" is in the plural form. That is because God crated three separate heavens. God created the atmosphere of the earth, He created the material universes of which the earth is a part, and He created Heaven, a spiritual place outside of the physical confines of time and space from which He rules the spiritual and physical worlds. And last, God purposefully created "the earth" because He needed a physical planet on which to create and put the jewel of physical creation … mankind. The earth is the only planet God named. All the others planets were named by mankind using the names of pagan gods.

Then Genesis introduces for the first time the entity known as the Word of God with the phrase, "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light" (Genesis 1:3). Here we clearly read that "God said" or perhaps better phrased, the Word of God spoke and gave a command that light was to come into the world, and thus take the world from darkness to light. So, we are seeing for the first time the Triune Godhead at work. God the Father created the heavens and the earth. God the Word spoke the commands, and God the Holy Spirit caused the commands to become a reality. Remember this as we now focus on the first chapter of the Gospel of John.

John In His Nineties Writes His Gospel and Reveals Who Jesus Was in Relationship to the Godhead


John 1:1- The Book of John starts with a portion of this initial phrase from Genesis. John writes, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

So, once again we read that, "In the Beginning," meaning in eternity past before there was anything both spiritual and physical, there was the Creator we call God. Next we read, "was the Word." Notice that the word "was" is past tense meaning the eternal past. It is also in the imperfect tense which means 'to be in the state of continual existence'. So, without a beginning and without an ending. And the very next words are "the Word". Notice that the "Word" is capped which signifies a proper name, or in this case, a title as in "the Word" is this entity’s name separate from God. So this entity, known as "the Word", existed in eternity past before the beginning of creation just as Genesis told us that God existed before the beginning of creation.

"... and the Word was with God …," The entity known as "the Word" was a separate entity from God, but was with God before the beginning of the creation events that are about to unfold in the storyline. The word "with" used here is not the Greek word para meaning by another's side. Instead it is the Greek word pros meaning 'in perpetual {eternal} tendency towards'. The word "God" is the most complex word ever created to convey a conceptual idea concerning an unknowable spiritual deity. The word expresses both a singular and plural duality in essence. For example, Genesis sites God saying, "Let us {plural} make man in our {plural} image, after our {plural} likeness:" (Genesis 1:26). This is a straightforward reference to the Godhead.

" … and the Word was God." This phrase in the Greek could just as correctly be translated into English as, "...and God was the Word." In other words, the Word was God and God was the Word. The Word was both with God and at the same time the Word was God. This paradox is difficult for the human mind to fully comprehend and appreciate. This is why the only real time a person should use the word awesome, is when referring to God. This can also only mean that John is referring to two separate entities that work together in unison. This would explain why the Hebrew word for God, Elohim, is plural.

These three phrases in Verse One may seem to repeat the same idea, but they certainly do not. In the first phrase, we are told that the Word pre-existed time and is thus eternal. In the second phrase, we learn that the Word was a separate entity from God. And last, we learn that the Word was God as it was a part of the Godhead. Because of this, the Word was able to speak to Moses as God, and on behalf of God as to how the earth came into existence. This is because the Word existed before creation and spoke creation into existence. The Word was with God because the Word was God. The role of the Word of God in the Trinity is that of a revealer. He reveals the mind of God, He manifests God and is the liaison between God and His creations.

John 1:2- "The same was in the beginning with God." "The same" or "the Word" existed before the beginning of this story with God, who also existed before the beginning of the story. And since the story will be about the creation of physical space, matter and time, God and "the Word" existed before creation in a spiritual state of being in eternity past.

John 1:3- "All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made." John is clear that "All things" were made or created from nothing by Him meaning "the Word", in cooperation with the Godhead. This phrase in the Greek does not mean all things were created at once. Instead this phrase means 'all things were created by Him uniquely separately or individually'. And without "the Word" being involved, "was not anything" created that was created. This incudes both the spiritual world (Heaven, angels and other Spirit beings and places) and the physical world surrounded by perhaps several trillion universes. And from the Genesis account we know that the Word spoke creation into existence just from the power of His command. He literally willed existence into being. So, the highest title that a creation can call its Creator is, the Word of God, as without Him the creation would not exist. This is why it is completely understandable that a creation would only worship and thank its Creator. The creation is showing gratitude for its very existence. And, this explains why it irritates God when a creation worships or praises another creation or false idol. The praise is wrongly placed. Scripture makes numerous references to this (Genesis 1:26-27; Psalm 104:29-30; Job 38: 4-6; Isaiah 44:24; Hebrews 1:1-2; I Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:16-17; Revelation 1:8). This verse makes clear God's relationship to the created universe. His relationship to mankind will now be made clear in Verses 4 and 5. In the Book of John, we are told Jesus prayed to his biological Father, "And now Father, glorify me with your own glory {like} I had with you before this world was {created}" (John 17:5). In the Book of proverbs we read, "Who has ascended up into Heaven or descended {to earth}? What is His name and what is His Son's name...?" (Proverbs 30:4; John 3:13). So clearly the Old Testament is stating that God does have a Son and Jesus is stating in the Book of John that He is that Son. In the Book of Hebrews, Paul tells us that God spoke to the fathers by way of His Son to the prophets. That His Word created the worlds, and that creation itself is still held together by the power of His Word. (Hebrews 1:1-3).

John 1:4- "In Him {the Word} was Life; and the Life was the Light of men." Without "the Word", there could have been no existence of any kind both Spiritual existence nor physical life. Jesus stated this when He said He was the Life (John 1:4; John 3:36; John 6:35; John 8:12; John 11:25; John 14:6). Jesus created not only material existence, but he also gave biological life to some forms of His creation. He created microbial life, plant life, insect life and animal life. However, when He created Adam or mankind, He literally breathed physical life into man as well as spiritual life by giving him an eternal spirit. This would allow God to commune with mankind in both life and death. He will do this a second time at the resurrection and rapture of His followers. Jesus, the Word of God, also brought life back to the dead by resurrecting them during His ministry. He raised a female child, a young man and an older man to show that all sexes and ages will be raised. He even had the power to raise Himself back to life (John 10:18). In these various ways, He gave proof that He was able to keep His promise to His followers of eternal life after death. Thus, Jesus was the Life of all men or mankind. He was also the Light or Truth of mankind as He spoke on behalf of God the Father. He repeatedly stated that His mission was not only to reveal the true nature of God, but to serve as a model as to how people can have life abundant while here on earth.

On an interesting note, the Second Law of Thermal dynamics states that all thing go from order to disorder or entropy. The universe is like a large clock always in a state of winding down. All creation is going from order to chaos. Space will eventually separate the galaxies and the stars will continue to burn out. Eventually space will go completely dark, cold and dissolve into sub particles. However, there is only one place in the universe where the law of entropy is not in effect. It is a place where chaos is constantly evolving into order. That place is the earth, and the reason is because of life. Life, by its very process, is a reversal of the law of entropy.

John 1:5- "And the Light shines in the darkness;" If a day is bright, warm and sunny, who needs to be told? The blind, and in this case, those blinded by sin have to be told. This is saying that the Light or Word of God shone in the darkness, and in doing so, revealed that the world was in fact in a darkened state. Also, this statement is saying that the darkness did not have the power to overcome, or extinguish the Light. The Light that came into the world was triumphant. "... and the darkness comprehended it not." The Light of the Word of God became flesh and shown brightly and fearlessly in a dark sin filled and fallen earth. But the darkness or sin nature of mankind was so great and compelling, that most of mankind was too blind to comprehend the light, or considered the light to be an inconvenient truth. Most people were simply so busy making their own plans that they were not interested in hearing about God's plan for them in this life and the life to come. God’s plan only got in the way of mankind's struggle for power and possessions. Mankind had grown addicted to living in the darkness. But according to God, the reason for life is the opportunity to experience spiritual growth. This leads to a closer relationship with God. And this leads to faith in Christ and eternal life. Jesus was sent on a mission by the Godhead to try and salvage mankind from self destruction. In Him was light and life eternal. He is the exact opposite of entropy. The world will grow old, die and decompose. Mankind will do the same because both are under the same curse. But now their Creator has made way to raise them from their state of self inflicted decay back to life immortal and eternal.

It is interesting to consider that the entirety of creation is contained in only ten chapters of the Bible. The rest of Scripture is focused on redemption. So, redemption cost much more than creation. Only John quotes the verse, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that whoever will {freely} believe in Him, will not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)


John 5:6- "There was {also} a man sent from God, whose name was John." The Gospel of John is the only one that never refers to John as John the Baptist. John the Baptist was the last Old Testament prophet who appeared after a 400 year period in which no prophet was heard in Israel. John's mother and Jesus' mother were blood relatives. However, John's father was from the tribe of Levite or Priesthood, so John was a Levite. Mary and Jesus' stepfather Joseph, were from the tribe of Judah or Kings, so Jesus was from the tribe of Judah. With the beheading of John and the ministry of Jesus, the Old Testament ends and the New Testament begins. The old Mosaic Covenant of the Law ends and the Covenant of Grace and Mercy begins.

John 5:7- "The same {John} came as a witness {last Old Testament prophet} to bear witness {announce} of the light {Jesus as Messiah}, that all men {on earth} through Him {only Jesus & His Word} might {most will not} believe {have faith in Him and saved from darkness}". (Titus 2:11)

John 5:8- "He {John} was not the Light {Messiah}, but was sent {like Elijah} to bear witness {announce} of that Light {the incarnation of Jesus as Messiah}".

John 5:9- "That {Jesus} was the {only} true Light {of God}, which lights every {all} mankind who comes {is born} into the world." So, every person on earth has the opportunity to be saved and receive eternal life.

John 5:10- "He {Jesus the Word of God} was in the world, and the world {He created perfectly} was made by Him, and {yet} the world {in its fallen state} knew {recognized} Him not." The creation did not recognize its Creator. This is due in large part to mankind being spiritually blinded by their self serving sin nature. Jesus has satisfied God's wrath on this issue, redeemed mankind, and the curse will be fully lifted at His Second Coming.

John 5:11- "He came unto His Own {generally the world, but specifically the Jewish race}, and His Own {the Jews} received Him not {rejected by plotting to have Him killed}." (Matthew 21:38).

John 5:12- "But as many {those few} as received Him {listened and believed}, to them {only} He gave {a gift} the power {authority} to become the {adopted eternal} children of God, even to them {all future generations} who believe {through faith} on His Name {in Him}:" Demons recognized Jesus and believed in him as to who he was, but to believe in him versus to believe on His Name are two different types of beliefs.

John 5:13- Which were born, not of blood {prestige thru blood lines}, nor the will of the flesh {earned thru works}, nor of the will of man {religious laws/rituals}, but of God {Salvation only comes from God}."

Jesus Transfigured with Moses & Elijah

John 5:14- THE MOST IMPORTANT VERSE IN THE BIBLE: "And the {eternal Spirit of the }Word {of God} was made {became} flesh {His spirit indwelled the mortal body named Jesus which means God Saves}, and dwelt {tabernacled, lived & walked} among us, (and we {our generation: Peter, James & John at the Transfiguration} beheld {eye witnessed first hand} His Glory {the Shekinah radiant glow of God}, the Glory as of {could only be} the Only Begotten {Deity yet biological Son} of the Father,) full of Grace and Truth." This is the event prophesied by Moses while in the wilderness when he stated that, the Lord God will raise up another prophet like himself from the midst of His people and that they were to listen to him (Deuteronomy 18:15).

Man has only been created in four ways. Adam from the soil of the earth, Eve from the DNA of Adam, Jesus who was conceived by Mary through the power of the Holy Spirit, and lastly, the standard way all children are conceived. Flesh proclaimed His Humanity, Deity His Truth. Although human, Jesus was also fully Divine, and during His ministry, He regained His power over nature and all creation. The world of nature and mankind is currently under a curse. So, now we only have the Word of God, as spoken by Jesus the Christ, to know with certainty the character of God and His plan for Mankind. The Bible tells us that nature and the heavens declare God. But while these creations can reveal many of the attributes of God such as vastness, power and beauty, they cannot reveal the nature of God. Why? The physical world was created perfect as was mankind. But mankind rebelled against the rule of God. So, God put a temporary curse on man which also effected the earth (Genesis 3:17-19). Thus, nature no longer can attest or reflect the Holy character of God. In fact, nature groans for the day when the curse levied against it is finally lifted (Romans 8:20-23). While Jesus spiritually redeemed mankind, the body of man and all of nature waits patiently for its redemption at the Second Coming of Christ. The concept that the Creator God became one of His own creations is difficult to fully contemplate. Believers now have a man sitting in the Throne of the Triune Godhead who serves as our High Priest and Redeemer. Jesus came to serve His people the Jews, redeem all mankind, and can now be called upon for the wants and needs of all His people. He wants His followers to freely ask of Him and freely receive from Him. Ask in faith, receive in faith, and give thanks to God.


John Preaches to Repent as the Kingdom of God Has Now Arrived


John 1:15- John bear witness {testified to Israel} of Him {as Messiah}, and cried {out loudly}, saying, "This is He {the Messiah} of whom I spoke {"the Kingdom is at hand."}, He {Jesus} who {has} come {appeared} after me {yet} is preferred {by God} before {above} me: for He was {Jesus existed} before me {an eternal Deity}. Jesus was born six months after John, but was before John in many ways. He was the Word of God, the Creator, He became flesh to serve as the Messiah and He was the most powerful man to ever walk the earth. He would establish His Church, and at His death, God was so please with His accomplishments that He raised Him from the dead to life eternal.

John 1:16- "And of His fulness have all we received, and Grace for Grace". The word "fulness" refers to Jesus as the long awaited Messiah who had finally arrived with the "fulness" or power of God. He had the power to give redemption to the living, the power to give resurrection to the dead, and the power to give eternal life. This phrase also refers to Jesus fulfilling all the Laws and prophecies concerning His first advent on earth as cited in the Old Testament. The words "Grace for Grace" are better translated "Grace upon Grace". This means that because of the cross, Jesus can now supply believers with one grace after another. Or, one blessing after another unending. Grace is receiving what you do not deserve from God according to His righteous standards of judgement. Mercy is God allowing an immortal spirit to then spend eternity with Him.

John 1:17- "For the Law was given by Moses {quoted 13 times}, but Grace and Truth came by Jesus Christ". The Law was perfect, but imperfect man could not keep it, so mankind was constantly in a state of failure and cursed (Deuteronomy 28:15). "Grace" is unearned or unmerited favor from God through Christ, and "Truth" is when word and deed become one. A discrepancy between ones words and ones deeds or actions reveals a lack of truth. Jesus spoke on behalf of God so He only spoke the truth as He explained to Pilate during His trial (John 18: 37-38).

The Triune Godhead

John 1:18- "No man {human} has seen God {the Father} at any time {ever}; {However} the Only Begotten {physical biological} Son {Jesus}, which {was and} is in the bosom {most intimate-loving fellowship} of the Father, He {Jesus the Word/Messiah} has declared Him {God the Father}. Jesus perfectly declared God the Father, and God the Father declared Jesus at His Baptism, Transfiguration, by way of His abilities to preach and perform miracles, and through His resurrection from the dead (Matthew 3:17). Man in his current sinful and mortal state cannot look upon the visage God. If a person were to do this, the full image of the Godhead would overwhelm the human brain to the point where it would instantly short circuit and the person would fall dead. Much like trying to download all the information in a super computer into an iPhone. The phone would instantly burn out. However, Jesus the "Only" biological Son of God, has seen God in His full glory in eternity past before His physical incarnation. Because Jesus was born free from sin, He is still in a direct relationship with God through the Holy Spirit. Thus, Jesus is the physical representation of God both in what He says and what He does. And, Jesus has the authority of God to use the full power of God as it concerns mankind and nature. He is the "fulness" of God who is a spiritual entity incapable of being seen or fully known. To do this, He is both fully Deity and fully human. During the ministry of Christ, God the Father, God the Word or Son, and God the Holy Spirt appeared together twice. Once at Jesus' baptism and at the Transfiguration.


John Preaches and Prophesizes to the Religious Leaders Wise in the Law and History But Spiritually Blind

John 1:19- "And this is the record {words} of John {the Baptist}, when the Jews sent Priests and Levites {only time the two are mentioned together} from Jerusalem to ask him, Who are you?" These religious leaders had to come to John because he was not preaching in the Temple. Instead he was preaching in the wilderness fulfilling a prophecy made by Isaiah.

John 1:20- "And he confessed {answered}, and denied not {stating who he was}; but confessed, I am not the Christ {Messiah}". This would have been a relief to the religious leaders as they did not want to have to deal with yet another false messiah. But they were still nervous. They knew that 480 years had passed since the rebuilding of the defensive walls of Jerusalem. And they knew Daniel's prophecy of the Messiah arriving in year 490. They also knew the prophecy by Jacob concerning the arrival of Shiloh or Messiah during the time when Israel would lose its rights to self rule as it now was with Rome (Genesis 49:10). They remembered the Magi arriving in Jerusalem looking for the new born King of the Jews thirty years earlier (Matthew 2:2). And finally, the Star that appeared over Bethlehem the prophesied place of the Messiah's birth (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:10). So the leaders were not done with their questioning.

John 1:21- "And they asked him, What then? Are you Elijah? And He said, I am not." The Jewish leaders knew the gloomy prophecy of Malachi the last prophet in the Old Testament who said that God would send Elijah back to the earth just before the dreadful day of the Lord (Malachi 4:5-6). This is a reference to the final two prophets that would appear during the tribulation period. They will announce the imminent Second Coming of Christ, perform miracles, be assassinated, then publicly resurrected and ascend into Heaven. We can know from the type miracles they will perform that theses two prophets are Moses and Elijah. They were also seen by the disciples at the Transfiguration. It was then that Jesus told them that while their missions had been cut short, they would return to the earth as the Two Witnesses (Revelation 11:3-13). It was in Nazareth that Jesus read a prophecy by Isaiah concerning His first arrival. However, He stopped reading when the same prophecy went on to cite His Second Coming (Isaiah 61:1-2).

John 1:21- "Are you 'that' prophet? And he answered, No". The Priests are now referring to a prophecy given by Moses who spoke of a great prophet like himself who would come after him and commanded that the people were to listen to Him (Deuteronomy 18:15).

John 1:22- "Then said they to him, Who are you that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What say you of yourself?" The leaders were told not to return to Jerusalem until they got an answer from John as to who he thought he was, and what was his perceived mission. Was he a threat to peace with Rome or just another misguided zealot all sound and fury but signifying nothing.

John 1:23- "He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the Way of the Lord, as said the Prophet Isaiah."(Isaiah 40:3) The first part of this phrase proclaims his identity as to how he saw himself . The second part states his mission.

John 1:24- "And they which were sent were of the Pharisees." John is stating that some of these men were from a religious sect known as the Pharisee's. This meant that the questions were carefully precomposed and that the answers by John were written down. The opposition to Jesus was already being fomented before His appearance.

John 1:25- "And they asked him, and said to him, Why do you baptize then {you are not authorized}, if you be not that Christ {prophesied Messiah}, nor Elijah, neither that prophet?" The priests would have asked him this question as only they were authorized by law to baptize in order to cleanses a person to be able to enter the Temple and participate in certain rituals. John was from the tribe of the Levites, but was not an ordained priest. So, he was not fully authorized to preform a Temple ritual. John was simply calling on people to repent of their sins. He would then baptize them as an outward sign of an inward change. His cleansing ritual was more about making the people fit to meet the imminent arrival of their Messiah and as participants in the Kingdom Age. The Jews regularly cleansed themselves by water emersion. But, the cleansing to covert to Judaism, or Priests preparing for service in the Temple, had to be ritually cleansed. These rites could only be performed by the authority vested in either a member of the Chief Priesthood, a Sanhedrin Judge, a gathering of three magistrates, or a recognized Doctor of the Law. While John was not authorized to do what he was doing in the eyes of the religious leaders, he was apparently deemed harmless.

John 1:26- "John answered them, saying, I baptize with water {a temporary symbol}: but there {now} stands One among you {a Jew}, Whom you do not know {yet}".

John 1:27- He it is who, {although} coming after me, is preferred before {greater than} me, Whose shoe's latchet {laces} I am not worthy to unloose." John's mission was to create an excitement and immediate acceptance of Jesus at His appearance. This would help trigger public awareness and acceptance of Jesus as the King of Judah and usher in the Kingdom Age. The priests and religious leaders sent on behalf of the Temple, assumed John was referring to the coming Messiah who had not arrived over a four hundred period and who would probably never arrive. While the people saw John as a prophet, the committee sent to interrogate John now saw him as simply another well intentioned messianic zealot.

Al-Maghtas- Excavated 1st Cent Baptism Site

John 1:28- "These things were done in Bethabara {House of Passage} beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing". John was in the wilderness baptizing, but there were villages nearby filled with possible followers of the Messiah. He needed to locate himself in a place where the land gently sloped into the Jordon River. And, he also needed a place deep enough to immerse a person. He found this location on the East side of the Jordon River in the Kingdom of Jordan. This place is located nine miles north of the Dead Sea and referred to in Scripture as, "... Bethany beyond the Jordan …"(John 1:28). It modern name is Al-Maghtas. The place was also thought to be the location where Joshua crossed into Judah to capture the capitol city of the Philistines located at Jericho. The knoll located adjacent to the site is called Elijah's Hill, as it was from there that Elijah is said to have ascended into Heaven in a chariot of fire. While the Jordan River is at some locations shallow enough to be waded across from Israel to Jordan, it is illegal to cross into Jordan except by way of a passport checkpoint.


Jesus Approaching John, the Start of His Ministry and His Destiny

John 1:29- "The next day, John saw Jesus coming to him, and said, 'Behold the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world.' Jesus has walked from Nazareth, crossed the Jordan River, and is now in the Kingdom of Jordan (John 1:28). John looks up and sees Jesus approaching him. Depending on the day of the week and time, there may or may not have been a crowd present. This quote from John sums up the entire mission of Jesus in one sentence. This is the first public appearance of Jesus as the Messiah. John, as the last Old Testament prophet, introduces Him to the people there and also to Andrew and John (John 1:36-40). They would become His first two disciples. At that time they were learning from and assisting John when he baptized people as part of a symbolic Jewish cleansing ritual.

John 1:32- "And John bear record, saying, 'I saw the Spirit descending from Heaven like a dove and it abode {settled} upon Him." The phrase, "And John bear record, saying …", is John the Apostle who was there, telling us that he personally heard John the Baptist make this statement concerning Jesus being indwelled by the Holy Spirit. This vision that John the Baptist saw of the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus is important for three reasons. First and foremost, when the Holy Spirit indwelled Jesus, He was fully empowered by God to create miracles in the will of God. He would use that power to first hunt down and confront Satan. He would then create His first miracle at a family wedding in Cana. Second, John was told by God that he would know the Messiah by way of seeing the Holy Spirit indwell Him. However, while John saw the vision, he was not completely sure if Jesus was the Messiah, or perhaps a major prophet. When he was put in prison by Herod the Great's ruling son, he knew his death was imminent. Therefore, he sent two of his disciples to ask Jesus if He was in fact the Messiah. His concerns were two-fold. If Jesus was the Messiah, then it would help his situation greatly if He would announce His Kingdom sooner than later and save John's life. Or, Jesus could say He was the Messiah, but that would not affect John's situation. Then at least John would know that his death was ordained by God and he could die in peace. This was the answer John received from his disciples and was soon beheaded.

The Head of John Presented to Salome as a Gift for performing a Dance for Herod's Son

And third, John actually saw something which was the visible image of the invisible Holy Spirit descending in a form or a shape that resembled the fluttering shimmer as of the wings of a dove coming down from Heaven. This shape lighted on Jesus and enveloped Him. We must conclude from this statement that the Holy Spirit has a formless spirit visage of some sort and it emits light (Luke 3:21-22). On Pentecost 33 A.D., the Holy Spirit arrived, but this time with the sound as of a rushing wind, but no breeze was felt. It then appeared as a lick of flame above the heads of Jesus' followers, and then indwelled them and remained in them.

John 1:33- And I knew Him not {Jesus as Messiah}: but He {God} who sent {privileged} me to baptize {Jesus} with water {not Holy Spirit} the same {God} said to me {in advance}, Upon Whom you shall see the {Holy} Spirit descending and remain on Him, the same is He which {now as Messiah} baptizes with the Holy Spirit." John is saying that his baptizing people was not his idea but a revelation from God. While John knew Jesus growing up and had heard Mary's story from his mother about meeting Gabriel, he did not know for certain that Jesus was the Messiah. Therefore, God gave John a vision as to how he could know for certain who the Messiah was. John saw Jesus arrive and asked to be baptized just like others. The difference was, Jesus did not repent of any sins as He had committed none. Also, as Jesus came up out of the water, John saw the Holy Spirit descend on Him and was now sure Jesus was Messiah.

The Holy Spirit Visibly Resembling a Fluttering Dove Came Down From Heaven and Indwelled Jesus

The Apostle Luke wrote of the event that, when all the people were baptized, then Jesus was baptized. This may mean that most if not all people were perhaps gone. Or, they may have stayed to hear John preach. Apparently Jesus was praying when He was baptized. Therefore, John may have had the people kneel in the water and he would pour the water over their heads. This was more in keeping with the way the priests and Jews cleansed themselves in a mikveh before entering the Temple. It was during the baptism that Heaven opened up. It is not clear if the Heaven from which God rules was revealed, or the clouds parted and rays of sunlight lit up John and Jesus in the river. Luke says that the Holy Spirit descended and settled upon Him. It is not clear if John was saying that the Holy Spirt decided to appear as an actual dove, or He descended in a form that fluttered which was best described as resembling that of a dove. It was then that a voice came from Heaven that said, "You are my beloved Son; in You I Am well pleased". Scripture is clear that John actually saw the Holy Spirit descend, but is not clear if anyone else saw the apparition. John obviously was allowed to see it as a conformation of the previous prophecy he had received. As for the voice from Heaven, it is not clear who heard it. Probably John the Baptist and Jesus, though the disciple John, who was there, does not write about it. If the crowd heard a voice from Heaven, it would have no doubt caused a great stir, yet nether of the two Johns mentions that it happened. Luke tells us it happened but does not say anything about its effects on those at the baptism site, so maybe it was only heard by a chosen few. We will have to wait to find out.

John 1:34- "And I saw, and bear record that this is the Son of God." John the Baptist said to John, one of Jesus' first two disciples, that he was a personal eye witness of the Holy Spirit descending from Heaven, indwelling Jesus and remaining in Him. Scripture does not tell us if others saw this event. But John was now clear, for the time being, that Jesus was the Son of God.

The term Son of God is synonymous with the word Messiah meaning the Anointed One of God. At the time of Jesus, the rabbis taught that these terms had a very narrow meaning. The Messiah would be a healthy male from the Tribe of Judah. He would be from the lineage of King David (c.1,040 B.C.- 970 B.C. ). He would be anointed by God with wisdom, beauty and strength. The charismatic leader of a mighty army who would defeat the enemies of Judah. Under his rule, the nation would become greatly admired and respected. He would produce a line of godly heirs that would rule the Kingdom in perpetuity. Because this was not God's definition of the Messiah, Jesus did not fit Jewish expectations and was therefore rejected for not being what they were taught to be looking for. The Jews are still being taught this idea concerning a coming Messiah to this day.

Comparison between John Chapter 1 verse 1 and verse 14

In the beginning was the Word And the Word became flesh

And the Word was with God And the Word dwelt among us

And the Word was God And the Word was full of grace and truth

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