January 31, 2022 – Monday
John 5:35 NIV
35 John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light.
This is Jesus speaking about John, John the Baptist. It is believed it is after John was beheaded or imprisoned prior to this as Jesus was peaking of him in the past tense. It just so happened tonight at our Monday Evening Bible Study we covered 1 Chronicles 24 where we read the eighth lot went to the eighth to Abijah. Now you might ask, What in the world does this have to with John, John the Baptist.
Well, it turns out John’s father was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah as stated in Luke 1:5. Thus, John’s lineage can be traced back to the divisions of priests as described in 1 Chronicles 24. In Luke 1 there is a song by John’s father Zechariah, where filled with the Holy Spirit (v67) he sang from verse 68 through 79. Within the song was the following (v76-79), And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.
John was to be a prophet, the first prophet in over 500 hundred years. Between the Old Testament and the New Testament God had been silent. No prophets were sent until John, John the Baptist. In Micah, the last book of our Old Testament in chapter 4, verses 5 and 6 he prophesied the following from God, See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction. We find this fulfilled in Luke 1:16-17 when an angel of God speaking to Zachariah about his future son, John, said, He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
John would fulfill the prophecy of Micah. It is no wonder Jesus spoke so highly of John saying, John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light and did so while He was on trial of a sort before the Jewish leaders who were questioning how and why He would perform miracles on the Sabbath. Jesus gave praise and honor to John the Baptist as a burning lamp giving light. This showed that John was a very zealous man, who in his ministry brought light to others, pointing people to Jesus, the Light. Early on many Jewish people came to John’s ministry. He was a new prophet and they listened to him and for a time accepted him as a prophet. The Pharisees knew John had said in Matthew 3:11, I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire and again in Luke 3:16, I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. (See also Mark 1:7 and John 1:27.)
Jesus was putting the question to those who had accepted John as a prophet, why would they now not accept the One that John prophesied would come? They considered John temporarily, but without repentance (especially the Pharisees and the Sadducees). Though they had accepted John (at least for a time), they would not accept the One who came after him. The One that would baptize in the Holy Spirit.
When John came as a burning lamp giving light, Jesus gave him great praise even though the Pharisees would only enjoy his light for a short time. The failing was not John’s but that of the Pharisees. It is not so different today as there are those who still refuse to believe no matter how much we also try to be a lamp to the world bringing light about the One who is the Light, Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Father God, Please give us the courage to also be a lamp bringing light to a dying world about the true Light as John did. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton