Bible Study – John Chapter 1 Verses 18-21
John 1:18 – No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him. We have from Jesus Christ a clear revelation of God to us. He hath declared God to us whom no man hath seen at any time. This intimates that the nature of God being spiritual, He is invisible to bodily eyes, We have therefore need to live by faith. No one knows the Father like the Son. In His bosom indicates how well please the Father is with the Son. Since God is a Spirit and is invisible unless God chooses to reveal Himself. Humans can’t look at God and live.
The Son has an intimate relationship with the Father, face to face with God, so God became visible to human eyes in the man Jesus Christ. It is through seeing the Son that we see God. We can’t seem Him today, but we get to know Him and see Him through His written word, the Bible. Jesus always gave the glory and praise towards God through the work He was accomplishing on earth. He never took it upon Himself to receive the praise or honor as with the rich young ruler who called Him “Good Master”, when he wanted to know what must he do in order to have eternal life (And behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And He said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou will enter into life, keep the commandments – Matthew 19:17-17).
We see the Father through the Son, the Son declares the Father, and the Father declares the Son. Some religious groups want to receive one without the other. We can’t receive salvation unless we receive both, the Bible states in order to receive the Son, the Father must draw us (No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him and I will raise him up at the last day – John 6:44). Then in order to receive life, we must receive the Son (He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life – 1st John 1:12).
John 1:19 – And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask Him, Who art thou? The priests and Levites were respected religious leaders in Jerusalem. Priest served in the Temple, and Levites assisted them. The leaders that came to see John were Pharisees, a group that both John the Baptist and Jesus often denounced. The Jews refer to the Jewish leaders or the council of the Sanhedrin, who would be responsible for examining anyone thought to be a prophet, to see if the person was true or false. The Sanhedrin included Sadducees and Pharisees, those who came to investigate John were Pharisees. Many of them outwardly obeyed God’s law to look pious, while inwardly their hearts were filled with pride and greed. The Pharisees believed that their own oral traditions were just as important as God’s inspired Word. These leaders came to see John the Baptist for several reasons: It was their duty as guardians of the faith caused them to want to investigate any new preaching. They wanted to find out if He had the credentials of a prophet. John had many followers and it continued to grow, they probably wanted to know why was this man so popular. As Christians leaders when giving someone a title, we need to see the fruit of that title, there should always be evidence of the spiritual office if it has been ordained by God.
John 1:20 – And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. In the first century, many people were waiting for the coming of the Messiah promised by the Old Testament prophets. John did not claim to be the Messiah, but the rulers were concerned about maintaining peace under the eye of Rome, and they kept a close watch on all perspective messiahs. John was quick to acknowledge that he was not the Christ. Today’s Christian isn’t waiting for the coming of Jesus as the first century Christians were, if they were, the today’s Christian wouldn’t be as laid back as they are, they would be seeking the Word of God through reading and studying Bible to see what they must do like the rich young ruler was doing to found out what they must do to have eternal life. Ministers, where the gifts of the Spirit is being manifested, wouldn’t be selling the gifts, but providing the gifts freely as they were given to them to be a blessing to the body of Christ whether than merchandising the gifts.
John 1:21 – And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elijah? and he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. In the Pharisees’ minds, there were four options regarding John the Baptist’s identity, he was the prophet foretold by Moses, either he was Elijah, the Messiah or a false prophet. John denied being the first three personages. The Old Testament promised that Elijah would come before the great day of the Lord, and Moses had predicted that a prophet like himself would come and although they were foretold about the coming of the Lord, they didn’t know whether or not Jesus was the Messiah they had heard about.