Books of the Book: John

The Baptist & the Early Disciples of John

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Deyvy Rodriguez & Jon Paulien


Series Code: JBOTB

Program Code: JBOTB00005A

00:18 Hello and welcome to another program of "Books of the Book."
00:22 My name is Deyvy Rodriguez.
00:24 And we are studying the Gospel of John.
00:27 And with us is Dr. Jon Paulien.
00:29 He is the dean of Religion in Loma Linda, California.
00:34 Is that right?
00:35 Loma Linda University, yeah. Loma Linda University.
00:37 Which is in Loma Linda, California, so.
00:38 Right, okay. Yeah.
00:40 Now you told us before what you did and tell us briefly again
00:44 what is it that you do as a dean?
00:45 Yeah, dean of the School of Religion--
00:47 Loma Linda is divided into eight schools.
00:51 You have a school of medicine, school of dentistry,
00:53 school of pharmacy, and so on,
00:55 school of behavioral health, and then the school of religion,
01:00 and so each of these has a function
01:03 within the university as a whole,
01:05 but the School of Religion has a special function
01:08 'cause we teach classes and all the programs.
01:11 And so it's my job to coordinate all of that.
01:14 So all the students from all the schools
01:15 come to this department?
01:18 Yeah, there expected to take at least something like,
01:22 8% of their classes in Religion.
01:24 About how many students do you have for--
01:29 Well, there is-- this year
01:30 there's 4,650 students at Loma Linda.
01:33 And every one of them takes at least one religion class.
01:36 So we are about 5,000 plus students,
01:42 you know, that that study
01:43 for most in the given year.
01:45 That keeps you very busy?
01:47 Yeah. And in a sense this is almost like a vacation.
01:50 Yes, good. Vacation studying the Bible.
01:53 That's right. That's amazing.
01:55 Well, I enjoy doing that.
01:56 The last program we did we were talking on the prologue.
02:01 And we didn't touch on verse 7, which is gonna talk about
02:07 our verse 6 which talks about John or John, the Baptist.
02:11 Do you remember when we talked about
02:13 that we talked about poetry? Yes.
02:16 Well, as you go through the prologue,
02:18 most of it is poetry like language,
02:22 but the parts on John, the Baptist are not.
02:25 And so we kind of left those aside,
02:29 but they provide a foundation for the rest of the chapter 1
02:32 which is what we're gonna talk about this time.
02:34 Okay. Now you're aware doesn't say John, the Baptist?
02:39 No. It says, John. Right. You see.
02:43 So John, the Baptist this is something,
02:45 yeah, I'm not trying to offend Baptist or anything,
02:47 but John, the Baptist is a term we'd given to him because
02:51 John was baptizing people.
02:53 But it's interest to the author of the book
02:56 who is John never names himself.
02:59 So some people suggested that,
03:02 you know, he is using this other John
03:05 to kind of drop a hint at least
03:07 of who is really behind the book.
03:09 Okay. So shall we read?
03:10 Yeah, I think that'll be a good idea.
03:13 And we are in the Gospel of John 1
03:17 and verses starting from verse 6.
03:20 "There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
03:23 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light
03:27 that all through him might believe.
03:29 He was not that Light,
03:30 but was sent to bear witness of that Light."
03:35 So here you see it's talking about John
03:39 and we discover later on he is the John
03:42 who baptized his people, not the author of this gospel.
03:46 And he sent from God, so he is a very, very important.
03:51 And he came to witness to the light, it says.
03:55 And if you remember in the first part of the prologue,
03:58 he was the light, you know,
04:01 and the light shown in the darkness and so far.
04:04 So this referring to Jesus.
04:06 So John has come to testify concerning that light.
04:10 So his mission was to come first and get famous,
04:16 so to speak, and then he withdraw
04:18 people's attention to Jesus,
04:20 that was the fundamental mission of the Baptist.
04:24 But it says he was not that light.
04:29 Now, why would he have to say that?
04:31 You know, are there some people maybe who think John,
04:34 the Baptist was the true light, maybe he was the Messiah?
04:38 He was not that light.
04:40 He only came to witness to the light.
04:43 And you remember, we talked about
04:45 the chiasm that pyramid?
04:47 Well, there is a counterpart here in verse 15
04:50 that basically repeats the same thing.
04:52 So, why don't you read verse 15?
04:55 "John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying,
04:58 'This was He of whom I said, He who comes after me
05:02 is preferred before me, for He was before me.'"
05:06 So here is it interesting.
05:08 John testifies concerning Jesus and says,
05:13 "He is the one who comes after me,
05:17 but he has before me."
05:19 It's like a riddle. Right.
05:21 You know, he is after me, but he is before me.
05:24 Now, does that make any sense to someone
05:26 who knows the gospel?
05:29 How would that make sense?
05:30 Because Jesus who came down to us.
05:34 We were here before Jesus.
05:35 Let's say the people who met Jesus.
05:38 You know, they were there first
05:40 and Jesus shows up, but He is really
05:42 before because He was with God from eternity.
05:45 So right at the beginning of the prologue,
05:47 he is with God for eternity.
05:49 So he is greater, he is before.
05:51 But when he shows up, he is coming after John.
05:55 Now usually the person who introduces somebody
05:59 is considered greater than the one that introducing
06:02 'cause why were they be introducing that person?
06:04 Nobody knows who this is.
06:05 You know, they know me, so I'm gonna introduce him,
06:07 I'm the big guy, you know.
06:09 So the role of introduction is a big role
06:14 for the person who gives it.
06:16 So people could look at this and well,
06:17 John introduced Jesus, he must have been the big guy, you see.
06:20 So this is actually locating
06:26 where John is in the schema things.
06:29 So these verses here set the table
06:33 for the rest of the chapter.
06:35 And it's gonna tell us the story of John
06:38 and how he introduced Jesus.
06:41 Now John, John, the Baptist
06:43 and when we say John, the Baptist
06:45 even though, does it--
06:46 It's comfortable for us, so let's do it, yeah.
06:48 It's okay? Yeah. All right. Yeah.
06:50 So this John, the Baptist then,
06:51 what was his role and how did he testify of that light?
06:57 Well, that gets elaborated starting with verse 19
07:00 and the rest of the chapter goes through verse 51,
07:03 and most of it is about John, the Baptist.
07:06 Okay. Yeah.
07:08 So why don't you take a look at verses 19-23?
07:12 "Now this is the testimony of John,
07:14 when the Jews sent priests and Levites
07:16 from Jerusalem to ask him, 'Who are you?'
07:19 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed,
07:22 'I am not the Christ.'
07:24 And they asked him, 'What then? Are you Elijah?'
07:29 He said, 'I am not.' 'Are you the Prophet?'
07:31 And he answered, 'No.'
07:34 Then they said to him,
07:35 'Who are you, that we may give an answer
07:38 to those who sent us?
07:40 What do you say about yourself?'
07:44 He said, 'I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness,
07:48 make straight the way of the Lord.'"
07:51 Now, you know, it's a pattern in here?
07:54 What is he repeatedly doing?
07:56 He is saying, "No."
08:00 I'm not this. I'm not that--
08:01 He is denying. I'm not the other thing.
08:03 He is denying.
08:04 What did he say back in verse 7?
08:06 I think it was, he was not that light.
08:10 So the big story about John, the Baptist in the gospel.
08:14 John is not.
08:17 He's constantly saying, he is not this,
08:19 he is not that, he is not that.
08:22 Why would that even be necessary?
08:25 Unless, somebody that the author of this gospel
08:29 is dealing with a seeing John,
08:30 the Baptist does really, really significant.
08:33 And so that's something we'll come back
08:36 to a little bit later in this program.
08:39 But you see whenever John appears,
08:43 he is lowering himself.
08:45 "Are you the Messiah?
08:47 No. Are you Elijah? No.
08:49 Are you the Prophet? No.
08:50 Well, who are you for cried out loud.
08:52 Say something." So John is constantly did.
08:57 I know this is a real story that happened,
09:02 but John has to tell the story
09:04 because evidently some people or maybe putting
09:08 John in too higher place.
09:10 In the Wedding of Cana story, Jesus sort of puts
09:16 His mother in her place.
09:19 Why would that need to be told?
09:22 You know, that's a little detail
09:23 couldn't just of left that out
09:25 and just told the story without that.
09:27 Well, it would seem from what we know of ancient times
09:30 that Mary started getting put a little too high.
09:34 The people were seeing Mary as equal with Jesus
09:37 or even greater that Jesus.
09:38 And so in the Gospel of John, Mary is kind of, you know,
09:43 she is honored, but she is in a subordinate position.
09:47 Jesus is the one that tells her what to do.
09:50 She is trying to tell Him what to do.
09:51 No, no, Jesus is the one who tells Mary what to do.
09:56 So, you know, there is a major commentary
10:00 on John by a Catholic priest makes that point,
10:02 you know, which you might think
10:04 it's surprising, but he is simply being honest
10:06 with the text, you know.
10:08 John wants to be clear.
10:09 No one is greater than Jesus, not the Baptist, not Mary,
10:12 not the temple, not Moses, you see,
10:15 all the other competitors are, you know, Jesus is better than.
10:21 You know, Moses is good, Jesus is better.
10:23 Temple is good, Jesus is better.
10:26 Baptist is good, Jesus is better, you see.
10:29 He is truly the greatest.
10:31 That's the message that comes through here.
10:33 And those people who either sent him or asked John
10:37 these questions they-- did they believe
10:40 or somehow have this idea that he was that light?
10:45 That's the impression we get, you know.
10:47 When you study this book carefully,
10:48 that apparently they were some people
10:51 who didn't get the memo.
10:53 You know, what's being described in this book.
10:56 And John's purpose for existence
11:00 was to pointing Jesus out when He comes.
11:03 But they were some that's saw
11:05 the ministry of John as ultimate,
11:08 the greatest of the prophets, you see.
11:10 And Jesus even called him that at one place.
11:13 Among all the prophets, there is none greater than John.
11:16 You know, that he is really right there at the pinnacle.
11:20 So evidently there were some people
11:24 who saw John as the real deal
11:28 and never really got too excited about Jesus.
11:31 And so here it's clarifying that roll.
11:35 So let's go on to verse, let's see 24-28.
11:41 "Now those who were sent were from the Pharisees.
11:43 And they asked him, saying, 'Why then do you baptize
11:47 if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?'
11:51 John answered them, saying,
11:52 'I baptize with water, but there stands
11:54 One among you whom you do not know.
11:58 It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me,
12:02 whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.'
12:05 These things were done in Bethabara beyond the Jordan,
12:09 where John was baptizing."
12:12 Here's another amazing statement, you know.
12:16 Why are you baptizing if you're not Christ
12:18 or Elijah or the Prophet?
12:19 And he says, "Well, because
12:20 somebody greater is coming after me."
12:22 And notice what it says, in my translation,
12:24 "The thongs of whose sandal
12:27 I am not worthy to untie."
12:31 In those days, it was great to be a scholar
12:33 'cause your students not only sat in your classes,
12:36 they were supposed to wait on your hand and foot,
12:38 you know, wash your car, mow your lawn,
12:40 you know, do all that kind of stuff, you see.
12:43 But there was one thing that student was not required
12:45 to do for his teacher and that's the,
12:47 you know, take your shoes on and off,
12:48 that was start to be too demeaning,
12:51 the act of a slave. Yeah.
12:53 And here John is saying.
12:55 This one that is coming is so great.
12:57 I'm not worthy even to put a shoes on or off.
13:01 The actions of a slave would be too great
13:05 for me to even consider.
13:07 He is really putting himself down and it makes you wonder.
13:11 What is going on behind the scenes here?
13:14 Remember that in verse 23, I think it was.
13:18 John is actually saying that I came to prepare
13:23 the way of the Lord.
13:25 It's from Isaiah.
13:26 If you go back to Isaiah, it's the word the way of Yahweh.
13:30 So there is the hint right there that this is not just a messiah,
13:34 this is not just a great human being.
13:36 God Himself is coming and John is introducing God.
13:41 And if He understands that what we saw
13:43 in the prologue than yeah,
13:45 he wouldn't even want to untie the sandals.
13:47 This person is so great, but he walks among us.
13:52 It tells you something about God.
13:56 Well, friends, we are studying the Gospel of John,
13:58 and this is very exciting.
14:00 So continue to be with us after this break.


Revised 2014-12-17