So much can be said about this passage.
- Twice John mentions that John (the Baptizer) was sent by God.
- The word "witness" comes from the Greek work we get martyr from.
- The witness was a man... not your average man because of his unique calling... but a man none-the-less.
- His mission was to bear witness of the Light (Jesus).
- The Light is the object of faith (that all through him might believe).
We could go on... but there is something that jumps out:
He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
Why would you write something like that? Was there a teaching going on that John the Baptizer was the Messiah? Certainly John did not go around claiming to be the Light. Just a few verses down we read:
Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?" He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, "I am not the Christ."
There are times when we hold people up, put them on pedestals and the like. John had a tremendous following, as did our Lord. In fact, twenty years after Jesus' resurrection (cf. Acts 18:25; 19:1-7) Paul found about 12 disciples of John the Baptist in Ephesus. Here's my point and something we should all take away from this passage:
Ours is to be a life of reflecting, not receiving, glory. All such praise belongs to Christ.