The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
John’s Gospel has a number of ways in which mistaken identity can be a problem. Since the writing is apparently ascribed to someone named “John” (strong historical evidence suggests it was related with John, brother of James, son of Zebedee from the very earliest time) it is a bit confusing that we are presented with a different “John” here. This one is often called in English “the Baptist” or, better, “the baptizer.”
He is clear that he does not wish to be mistaken for this one who was introduced as “the light” - the one “with God” and responsible for creation. The work of the prophet is not to proclaim his own name, but to proclaim the message he was given. This has a simple result. In verse seven he performs his task so “all may believe through him” (personal translation).
When a Christian is faithful in his or her task, the natural result is that people will believe in Christ. It is not about others believing us, it is about their believing Jesus. We’ll see repeatedly in John’s Gospel that even the apostles need to believe again and again. Our belief in God’s person and work is something which is encouraged over and over throughout our lives.
If this brief meditation was helpful to you, I hope you will check out the other materials on our website at www.WittenbergCoMo.com and consider supporting us.