John 1:4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

In this section of scripture John begins to tell us that Jesus is the source of all life, not only physical, but spiritually also.  He lets us know that this life is the light or the holiness, righteousness, purity, and truth of man and that this Logos (THE WORD "Jesus Christ") is the one who supplies the truth that shows us that our way of living is not the way God wants us to live.  But the darkness (ungodliness, unrighteousness, impurity, and lies of man) can not understand the holiness of God, nor can it defeat Him.  He also shows us that John is the witness that was testified of in Malachi 4:5 and that he came to tell us who Jesus is.  John is not the light but was sent to bear witness (legal courtroom witness) so that we might believe in Him Jesus Christ who was sent to be the Savior of the World.  John 3:16

1:4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men.

  • John uses the word life 36 times in this Gospel
  • It means our Spiritual and eternal life imparted as a gift through belief in Jesus
  • He is called "the Life" and "the Light," because he has in himself life and light, and gives them to his creatures at his pleasure;
  • Ephesians 2:5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-- it is by grace you have been saved.
  • In Scripture light means biblical truth, holiness, or purity and darkness refers to error, falsehood or sin and wrongdoing

 1: 5 Jesus was the light that shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not overcome it. Jesus Christ overcame darkness.

  1. The forerunner of Christ

Verse 6 - Sent from God –That man was John the Baptist, with the beginning of John’s ministry thus ended the 400 years of silence between the Old Testament and New Testament during which God had given no revelation. Matthew 3:1, 3:1-6, Mark 1:4, 1:2-6, Luke 7:20, 1:5-25, 1:57-80

Malachi 3:1"See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come," says the LORD Almighty.

Matthew 3:1 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea 2 and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." 3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: "A voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.'"

Verse 7 - Witness…bearwitness-The terms reflect the courtroom language of the Old Testament where the truth of a matter was established on the basis of the multiple witnesses Deuteronomy 17:6, 19:15.

 John witnessed regarding Jesus as Messiah and The Son of God-

That all through him might believe- refers to John as the one who witnessed to Christ to produce faith in Jesus Christ as Savior of the World.

1:8 - He was not that light- John the Baptist was the agent of belief and Jesus was the object of belief.

  John’s role as a person and his ministry were important.  Matthew 11:11 I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

  • But he was merely the announcer of Jesus Christ. Many years after John’s ministry and death some still failed to understand John’s subordinate role. 
  • Acts 19:1 While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2 and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" They answered, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit." 3 So Paul asked, "Then what baptism did you receive?" "John's baptism," they replied. 4 Paul said, "John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus." 5 On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.