Before we proceed into John 1:10 and beyond, let’s understand who John the Baptist was.  He was:

  • The God-appointed messenger to announce the arrival of Jesus.
  • The son of Elizabeth, a relative of Jesus’s mother, Mary.  There’s more on this in Luke.
  • A prophet who lived out in the wilderness, having isolated himself to grow spiritually and be able to focus his message on God.   Obviously, he did not stay isolated.  He went out among many people to fulfill what God had asked him to do.
  • Wild-looking man who wore strange clothing, which added to his uniqueness.  He could move people and would challenge them to repent (turn away) from their sins.  If they did repent, he would then baptize them.

>>THE FORMAT:    1) Italicized words are the actual verses.  2)  The notes and applications were taken from the notes in my Life Application Study Bible (New Living Translation). You also find notes in parentheses.  3)  I have skipped passages that I do not consider crucial or that duplicate too many others.

This is meant to familiarize you with the Bible, not replace your study of each book.<<

<I have abbreviated John the Baptist to JtB in many of the notes below.>

**See a previous post for John 1:1-9 **

How to Be Part of the Best Family Ever

10 He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. 11 He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13 They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.  14 So the Word became human[d] and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.[e] And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.

**Notes on 12-13:  All who welcome Jesus Christ  as Lord of their lives are reborn spiritually.  This changes us from the inside out through our desires, attitudes, and motives. We become part of God’s family.

1:14:  Two common errors people make about Jesus are to minimize his humanity or to minimize his divinity.  He is completely man and completely God.

Application: Have you invited Christ to make you a new person? **

John the Baptist (JtB) Declares His Mission

15 John (the Baptist) testified about him when he shouted to the crowds, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.  17 For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God,[g] is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.

1:19-28 The Jewish leaders send their priests and temple assistants to find out who JtB really is.  JtB answers their questions no, he is not the Messiah, and no, he is not Elijah (prophet from the Old Testament).  Then who are you?  He says, in the words of Isaiah (40:3) of the Old Testament, “I am a voice shouting in the wilderness.  Clear the way for the Lord’s coming!”

24-27    JtB has been baptizing, and the Pharisees questioned what right he had to do that.

**Note on 1:24: Normally only non-Jews were baptized when converting from Gentile (non-Jew) to Judaism.  The Pharisees questioned JtB’s right to treat the Jews as if they were Gentiles.  John said that he baptized with water.  He was merely helping people perform a symbolic act of repentance.**

26-28   John the Baptist (JtB) knew the Messiah was in the crowd.  And JtB said that he himself was not worthy to be his slave.

29 The next day, he recognizes Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.  He says that Jesus is far greater than he is.  JtB had prepared himself by baptizing with water to cleanse sin, but Jesus baptized with the Holy Spirit.   32 … I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove and resting upon him. 33-34  God had told JtB that was how he would recognize the Messiah.  34  I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Chosen One of God.

**Application: Humility.  When I’m content to do what God wants me to do and let Jesus be honored for it, God will do great things through me.**

The First Disciples:  Andrew and a Rock-to-be (no, not Dwayne Johnson)

35 The following day John (JtB) was again standing with two of his disciples. 36 As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!” 37 When John’s two disciples heard this, they followed Jesus.

38-43  The first two disciples were Andrew and his brother, Simon.  Andrew told Simon he had found the Messiah (Christ).  42   Jesus changed Simon’s name to Cephas, which means Peter in Greek, both meaning “rock”.


Amazing!  Andrew immediately went and told his brother.  He wanted to introduce others to Jesus.  Do people in our lives hear us talking about our relationship with Jesus?)

42  Names were associated with character, so it was understandable to change a name.

Although Peter is not seen as rock-solid in the gospels, he did become so in days of the early church.  See Acts.**

Jesus Already Knows Nathanael (just like He already knows you).

In Galilee, Philip becomes a follower.  Philip finds Nathanael and tells him about Jesus…

46Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”   “Come and see for yourself,” Philip replied.

47 As they approached, Jesus said, “Now here is a genuine son of Israel—a man of complete integrity.”   48 “How do you know about me?” Nathanael asked.     Jesus replied, “I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you.”   49 Then Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God—the King of Israel!”

50 Jesus asked him, “Do you believe this just because I told you I had seen you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.”

51 Then he said, “I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth.[p]


(1:46)  Nazareth was despised by the Jews because a Roman army garrison was based there.   Lesson: It’s a good thing his stereotype of Jesus didn’t keep Nathanael from investigating further. He would have missed the Messiah.  Invite people to see who Jesus really is.

1:47-49  Jesus already knows us, whether we trust in Him or not. He wants us each to follow Him.

1:51  This is a reference to Jacob’s dream in Genesis 28:12. And Jesus is not talking about a visible ladder, rather, spiritual insight into His true nature and purpose for coming.***

Next Bible Highlights post:  John 2    How to Make Wine Without Grapes and Get Those Salesmen Out of the Temple


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