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The Herald and the Light (John 1:6-9)

“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world” (John 1:6-9).

All Kings have a herald. A herald is an official messenger sent by the King to announce His coming, he precedes or foreshadows the coming of the King, he proclaims the King and the message of the King, he promotes the King. Earlier this week my wife and I went to see a comedian named Tim Hawkins, prior to his coming on stage the pastor of the church who was hosting this event stood up and said many great things about the comedian Tim Hawkins, he got the crowd worked up about his entrance into the auditorium and had everyone stand and clap as he turned and announced his entrance, this pastor was a herald for the comedian Tim Hawkins.

When Jesus first entered into the world he was heralded by angels, it was angels sent from God who preceded and announced his birth into the world. The angel of the Lord appeared to Mary and then Joseph and told them of the birth of Jesus Christ. And when Christ was born into the world an angel of the Lord appeared to shepherds in the field announcing the birth of Jesus. “And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger’. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of heavenly host praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men’” (Luke 2:9-14). Christ was heralded into the world by angels who announced his coming and glorified Him. And Christ was heralded into His ministry by a man and the man’s name was John (John the Baptist).

This man John was sent from God for the specific purpose of heralding Jesus Christ into His ministry and John was no ordinary man, John was the greatest man to ever live. He was the last of the Old Testament prophets, there hadn’t been one in 400 years, and was the first of the New Testament evangelist. If the incarnate Christ was to begin His ministry, who better to announce it than the greatest man, how do I know he was the greatest man? Jesus said: “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he” (Matthew 11:11). If Jesus said this of John and John said this of Jesus: “It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose” (John 1:27), where does that put you and I? I mean if Jesus said John was the greatest among men and John isn’t even worthy to loose His sandal strap we are nothing and yet Christ died for us so that we could live! Did you hear that, can you see that? God in human form died so that we could live, every time I think about it I am blown away!

John came to bear witness of the Light; all other lights are just a reflection of the Light, the Light that gives light to men. What is amazing and tragic to me is verses 7-8 that anyone would have to bear witness of Light, I mean Light. Who can’t see Light? Blind people can’t see Light! All men coming into the world where given light but our sin and Satan have blinded us from seeing the Light. “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4). So John was given the task as the first evangelist to point the Light out to blind people and all of us who have seen the light are to bear witness of the Light and direct blind people to the Light so they can see and be born again, born of water and the Spirit and see.

Have you ever tried to point something out off in the distance to someone and they just can’t see it. You will even point out things surrounding the object to try to get them to see the thing that interest you but still they can’t see what you are pointing out. Then suddenly they see what you have been pointing out all along and you begin to discuss it, they see it as plain as day and can’t believe they never saw it before because it was of such great interest and was right in front of their eyes. But what if in this same scenario the person whom you were trying to point the object out to refused to even look, it would be very difficult to get them to see the object of interest nor could they discuss it with you or take delight in it with you, that my friends is the plight of the world; as hard as it is to get people to see who are looking, it is extremely hard to get people to see whom refuse to even look. People love the darkness and love there sin and refuse to even look at the Light because their sin would be exposed in the Light. Trust in the Light, the true Light, the Light that gives light to every man coming into the world, it is in Him your affections should be with; not in your own righteousness, not in the things of this world, and not in the pleasures of sin but in Him, the true Light. “Then Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you’” (John 6:53).

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