John 2:13-25. Temple – part 1

John 2:13    When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.  16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” 17 His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

18    The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”

19    Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”

20    They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?”  21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.

23    Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. 24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people.  25 He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.

This is the first of three Passover festivals that Jesus attends at Jerusalem during the time of his public ministry (see also Jn 6 and Jn 13). The Passover remembered God’s deliverance of his people from Egypt. Central to this celebration was the sacrifice of a lamb.

It seems that the large outer courtyard of the temple, the court of the Gentiles, had become a thriving marketplace serving pilgrims who needed to buy animals for sacrifice. The activity taking place there was not without justification. The general principle of exchanging money for goods to eat or sacrifice at the temple was set up in Deut 14:22-27. The use of temple currency was intended to keep the Roman coinage, with its homage to Caesar and foreign gods, outside the temple precinct. The problem was that this marketplace activity had completely taken over the only area a Gentile could draw near to God for prayer. Instead of offering a “house of prayer for all nations” (Isa 56:7) the temple markets were rife with extortion and rip-off merchants.

And so, in a display of righteous anger, Jesus disrupts the market and throws out the traders. In response, the Jews ask for a ‘sign of authority’. It seems that Jesus already has a reputation for signs, such that he would be asked for one to verify his prophetic action here. ‘Signs’ continue to be central to this gospel’s testimony to Jesus (note also v23).

Jesus’s reply in verse 19 is cryptic, explained only by John in verse 21. Destroy this temple– his body– and he will raise it again in three days. The connection between the two requires explanation. The Jerusalem temple represented God’s presence among his people. He lived in their midst. Although his greatness and glory could never be contained by the temple, it was a point of address. A person interacted with God through prayer and sacrifice at the temple. His word was taught at the temple. In short, for Israel, the temple was Emmanuel– “God with us”. And now Jesus– God with us– would completely supersede the temple and all its sacrificial functions. What ‘sign’ does Jesus offer? His resurrection from the dead.

Jesus’ replacement of the temple’s significance and function continues today in a surprising way. The church has been joined to Jesus as ‘the body of Christ’, animated by the Holy Spirit. His disciples, the Christian community, have become that temple; representing the living presence of God, revealing his glory to humanity!  (see 1Cor 12:27; 1Cor 6:19-20).

This realisation changes my relationships with other Christians, as they become the vehicle for revealing the glory of God to the world. The life of my local church is as near as many people will come to experiencing Jesus Christ. Reconciliation and forgiveness with other Christians now become a priority. Love– of the kind that Jesus demonstrated– is the new currency of ‘the temple’.

Gracious God, please change me that I might truly demonstrate what it means to be a member of the body of Christ, that body which is your temple. Transform my local church more and more to become a ‘spiritual household’, a holy priesthood offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to you through Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

 

John 2:1-11. Water to Wine

1    On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there,  2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.  3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”

4    “Woman,  why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. 8 Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, 9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

11    What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

Signs are only important because of their function. They relay attention upon something else. The sign saying, “Welcome to Sydney” is not Sydney itself– it simply announces that one has arrived at the edge of the emerald city. Presumably, if you keep on travelling along this road, you will come to the Harbour, the Bridge and the Opera House. You will find beautiful beaches, traffic jams, high rise overdevelopment and infrastructure projects in various states of repair. The sign is only important because it directs our attention to something much greater.

Jesus’ action of turning water into wine is only important because it is a sign announcing something far more significant. The passage has several clues to help us understand the message.

First of all, there is a timing issue. Jesus’ “hour” has not yet come (v4). Fulfilment is near but not yet. Further, the timing of the wine is back to front. Somehow, God has saved ‘the best’ wine in abundance until what seems like ‘the last’– the end. God is surely doing something wonderful, right now.

Next, the sign involves a significant transformation. The ordinary water for Jewish purification is changed to beautiful wine. The purification rituals of the Old Testament seem now to be surpassed by a great celebration. Traditionally, wine was always associated with blessing and abundance, good times and celebration. The water foreshadowing purification has become the fulfilment of the harvest, i.e. wine.

And finally, post-resurrection reflection upon this first of Jesus’ signs reminds us that the great wedding banquet of the Lamb is imminent.

Rev. 19:9    Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”

Rev. 21:1    Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”  for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.  2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.  3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’  or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Lord Jesus Christ, I praise you that you have replaced ritual purifications and washings with the celebration of your victory over sin. Thank you for inviting me to the great wedding banquet, where the best has indeed been reserved for last. Please shape my living now in anticipation of that great day. Amen.

John 1:40-51. What’s in a name?

  Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus.  The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.

Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter ).

The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.”

Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.

“Come and see,” said Philip.

When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”

“How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.

Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”

Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”

Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” He then added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man.”

As Jesus’ collects his first disciples, the titles ascribed to Jesus pile up and overflow. Let’s explore some of them together.

V41. “Messiah / Christ”: the anointed successor to King David who will rule God’s people with justice and righteousness forever. (2 Sam 7:9-16; Isa 9:6-7).

V45. “the one Moses wrote about in the Law”: a new Moses, who will speak directly from God (Deut 18:14-20).

V49. “the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”: the two titles are clearly synonymous and overlap with “Messiah / Christ”. See also Psalm 2, 110.

V51. “heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on…”: This is a reference to Genesis 28:12-15 where Jacob has a vision of a ladder bridging heaven and earth. The ladder is the intersection of heaven and earth, of God and man. The significance  of the vision is the reaffirmation of the covenant with Israel (Jacob). Hence, the reference is to the idea of ‘blessing to all people through the offspring’– this offspring is Jesus. Note also that Jesus substitutes the Son of Man for the Ladder– the two have the same function.

V51. “The Son of Man” is an ambiguous title. In Aramaic– likely the language which Jesus spoke most commonly in the north of Israel– the phrase can be a humble way of referring to yourself in the third person, in the way a Texan might say, “just little ‘ole me.” Alternatively, ‘the Son of Man’ referred to the exalted ruler given eternal power and glory by God in Daniel 7:11-14. Throughout John’s gospel Jesus refers to himself frequently as ‘the Son of Man’, deliberately trading off the ambiguity of the term.

The ascription of these titles to Jesus– and his willingness to receive them– challenge me to enlarge my view of him.

Jesus, I praise you that you are Messiah, Christ, the Son of God, the one who speaks directly from God, the intersection of heaven and earth, and the glorious Son of Man. Amen. 

 

John 1:35-39. The Lamb of God

   The next day John was there again with two of his disciples.  When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”

When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus.  Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”

They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”

“Come,” he replied, “and you will see.”

So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon.

For a second time now, John declares Jesus to be ‘the Lamb of God’. Two of John’s disciples hear it, immediately abandon John, and start following Jesus as their ‘Teacher’. Jesus seems at first a little surprised by this turn of events, but invites Andrew and the other disciple (Philip?) to tag along anyway.

So what does it mean to Andrew and Philip for Jesus to be ‘the Lamb of God’? In the Old Testament lambs were usually associated with the idea of sacrifice and the temple cult. A one year old lamb, without defect, was considered an appropriate sacrifice in many situations. But these sacrificial lambs were provided by sinners seeking a restored relationship with God. When did God ever provide a Lamb?

At God’s direction, as Abraham set out to sacrifice, his young son Isaac asked, “Where’s the lamb?” In Genesis 22:8 Abraham replies, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And so, in the fullness of time (and just in the nick of time!), God provides a ram for the sacrifice.

Whatever Andrew and Philip understood by John’s use of the phrase, “the Lamb of God,” the sum of his testimony prompted them to transfer their allegiance to Jesus.

Lord, grant that all my former allegiances be absolutely transferred to Jesus. May he fill my horizon. May his sacrifice truly stand in my place. Amen.

John 1:29-34. Testimony

   The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptising with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”

Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.” (John 1:29-34)

Here, now at last, is John’s formal testimony. He gathers up his preparatory remarks from earlier in the chapter and focusses them all upon Jesus of Nazareth. His concluding remark, “I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One” is framed in the perfect tense. This infers that John’s statement, made at a singular point in time, has enduring effect. His words echo down through time, even in the pages of this gospel, for the benefit of those who will hear. John declares that Jesus is God’s Son.

I know that in the NIV cited above John says, “…God’s Chosen One” but the best Greek text that we have actually has John saying, “this is the Son of God.” The usually very good NIV translation is perhaps trying to give the reader some kind of interpretive help but it robs us of the introduction of one of this gospel’s great themes (culminating in John 20:30-31). John’s testimony– both the baptiser and the gospel author– is that Jesus is ‘the Son of God.’ When John spoke these words, ‘Son of God’ did not necessarily mean “Divine second person of the Trinity”. Instead, this phrase meant something like, ‘a king in the line of David.’ The true kings of Israel were referred to as God’s sons (see D.A. Carson, The Son of God, Crossway, 2012). It was a messianic term. And yet, it is only as John’s gospel unfolds do we come to understand the greater reality that Jesus the Son of God is also truly divine, the second member of the Godhead.

In addition to the Baptist’s personal testimony, John also reports the action of the Holy Spirit. His dwelling with Jesus (an enduring reality) not only commissions him for his ministry, but also shows God’s recognition and approval. Jesus is truly God’s agent, acting with his authority and power, affirmed by the Spirit.

Once again, I am prompted to consider my response to this further revelation of Jesus. John’s ministry had a twin purpose– (i) to prepare Israel for their Messiah by calling people to repentance, and (ii) to testify to Israel as to the identity of their Messiah. “Turn back to God because here He is in our midst!” I wonder if our response to ‘God in our midst’ is true repentance?

How might this reality prompt you to prayer now?

John 1:19-28. The Baptiser

  Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders  in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was.  He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.”

They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”

He said, “I am not.”

“Are you the Prophet?”

He answered, “No.”

Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”

John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’ ”

Now the Pharisees who had been sent questioned him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”

“I baptize with water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know.  He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.”

This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing. (John 1:19-28).

The prelude complete, John’s gospel now moves into narrative mode. The prophet Malachi (4:5-6) created the expectation that Elijah– whether resurrected or a ‘type’– would come as a heralding prophet immediately prior to the Messiah’s arrival. The ministry of baptising and preaching repentance would be seen as “turning the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents”. So the delegation from Jerusalem are asking reasonable questions of John.

Verse 24 employs a narrative technique used frequently throughout John’s gospel. A further detail is introduced into the story that heightens the drama. Only now do we find out that the delegation from Jerusalem also included a group of Pharisees (imagine some foreboding music now added to the soundtrack). The Pharisees were the ultra-orthodox religious party– ‘different’ to the priests and Levites previously introduced in verse 19. Their scrutiny ups the ante on John. He’d better know his bible and he better be careful what he says.

John’s series of denials—all of which could be true in one sense or another— serve to give increased attention to the quote from Isaiah. The reason for John’s denials is unclear. Perhaps he refers only to his own perception of his calling. His later queries addressed to Jesus suggest he knew little detail of God’s plan in progress. But what is clear is that he believes he is announcing the arrival of the LORD coming to his temple (Isaiah 40:1-5). “The time for exile is complete. Get ready because God is coming. His glory is about to be revealed and everyone will see it together– not just the high priest in the temple.”

This interaction between John and the Pharisees feels a bit like two boxers testing each other out at the beginning of round 1– a jab here, a poke there. In verse 26, John’s answer to the Pharisees’ interrogation sounds incomplete. “I baptise with water…” Yet he does not continue, “but the one to come will baptise with the Holy Spirit.” Instead, enigmatically, John simply affirms that he is indeed baptising with water, and then he redirects to his purpose of revealing the coming One, whose sandal he is not worthy to untie. Instead of John, the Pharisees need to pay attention to the One who is to soon be revealed. He is already among the people of Israel, so they must be alert; be ready.

I’m moved to ponder my own response to the coming of Jesus– his second coming. Like the Scribes and Pharisees, God’s word tells me he’s coming. I have a rough idea of what to expect. The prophets continue to speak. I’m curious about any signs or hints of his impending arrival. But is my heart ready to receive his revelation for all that it will be?

Lord, prepare my heart to receive you when you come. Thank you for all who have come before me, all who have sought to prepare the way for your coming. Grant that I might be ready: no excuses, no regrets. Amen.

John 1:15-18. God revealed by God

John 1:15    (John testified concerning him [the Word]. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ ”) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.  17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and  is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

These few verses are contested ground, and on several levels. And yet, the author’s point is obvious: Jesus is first. The Baptiser’s testimony is that although Jesus comes ‘after him’ (temporally), he is ‘before him’ in two ways (i) he was pre-existent, explaining v1-14; and (ii) he is ‘before him’ in rank and greater in honour. See John 1:30. So on both counts, Jesus is first.

This testimony is significant because John was widely regarded as God’s prophet. John the Baptist is the first major witness to step forward in this gospel. The signs of Jesus and the words of Jesus will also play their part in verifying his identity, divine origin and nature. These are all put forward to commend belief in Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God (John 20:30-31).

The NIV struggles to translate the original language at verse 16. Out of Jesus’ fullness– his completed work and fully recognised person– we have received ‘grace over and against grace’ (χάριν ἀντὶ χάριτος). So it seems that Jesus gives us grace replacing the grace that was already given in the Old Testament. This is one blessing after another. Indeed, Jesus supersedes Moses.

Already in this gospel I am being drawn to recognise that, before Jesus, I am in the presence of such greatness that I cannot remain unmoved. Undoubtedly I am dwarfed when standing before Moses– the great law-giver. But Jesus Christ is far greater, because he is the one who brings grace and truth from God.

Jesus supersedes Moses because what he brings from God is from God’s very heart. Jesus stands in such unique relationship to the Father– he comes straight from his bosom, as the ‘only-truly-born’ Son.

Heavenly Father and my Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for revealing yourself to me. Thank you that your Spirit has enabled me to receive this revelation, believe it, and benefit from it. Thank for your grace upon grace, one blessing after another. Please graft into my heart a response befitting your kindness to me. Amen.

John 1:14. Incarnation.

John 1:14    The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

I like camping with friends. It’s like making a new home together, as an extended family. We pitch our tents side by side, share our meals, pool our resources and live in close community. Camping friends get to know one another very well, simply by doing life together in close quarters.

When the eternal Word became fully human, he pitched his tent right in our midst and moved on in. He ‘tabernacled’ with us. This tabernacling is so much better than the Exodus desert experience of God living among his people in a mobile temple made from seal skins and acacia wood. Instead the author of this gospel declares that, when up close and personal with Jesus, he saw the glory of God revealed in a man. The eternal Word was visible and tangible, revealed and made known. Yet he retained his unique and divine glory— full of grace and truth— but he was among humanity as one of us.

So our God is not aloof and remote. He has made himself vulnerable to our touch, open to our friendship and our experience. All this changes how I see God.

Lord, as you have given yourself to me, so I give myself to you. Amen.

John 1:9-13. Receiving the Light

John 1:9    The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.  10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.  11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—  13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

The metaphor of light is now deepened. We have already noted that in John ‘light’ can refer to the observable light emanating from the source (akin to photons of light), or light can refer to that which is revealed by the light– enlightenment. The true light (Jesus) emanates from its source (the Father) and gives light (enlightenment) to everyone.

What does it mean to ‘receive’ Jesus, the light? It must mean more than simply agreeing that he existed. Verse 12 parallels ‘receiving’ with ‘believing in his name’ so the two are closely connected. But I suggest that ‘receiving him’ means more than acknowledging that he is ‘God who has come from God’, to be the saviour of the world, as this gospel testifies. No, to actually receive him requires that he be installed as my God, my Saviour, and my Lord. ‘Receiving’ him is personal.

John’s gospel reveals much about Jesus. I can learn a lot and pass an exam on the topic of Jesus… but remain unchanged. I can agree with all that John teaches, but not know Jesus.  Receiving Jesus requires me to engage in a relationship with him such that his life becomes my life. While my old life is discarded, I am (we are!) born of God. We are children of God.

The distinction between Jesus as “Son of God” and the status given to his people to become “children of God” (τέκνα θεοῦ) is significant. It is a profoundly close association but not the same. The power given is that of “becoming”; yet even in the fulfilment they are not the same. As we shall see in verse 14, Jesus is unique in his relationship with God, as God, in the persons of the Trinity. And yet, as God’s children by adoption, we are invited and enabled to share in relationship with him.

Dear God, I am humbled and surprised. 

I was an orphan lost at the Fall
Running away when I’d hear Your call
But Father, You worked Your will
I had no righteousness of my own
I had no right to draw near Your throne
But Father, You loved me still

And in love before You laid the world’s foundation
You predestined to adopt me as Your own
You have raised me so high up above my station
I’m a child of God by grace and grace alone.*

Amen.

 

*from ‘Grace Alone’ by Dustin Kensrue.

John 1:6-8. The witness

John 1:6    There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

John– not the author of this book, but the baptiser– is all about testimony. He testifies concerning the light of humanity, given for all, still shining in the darkness. While respected as a prophet, he is not the light. He simply testifies to it for one clear purpose: that we might believe.

What is his testimony that I might believe it? He testifies that:

  • Jesus surpasses John in stature and honour because he was before him (Jn 1:15).
  • John is sent to make preparations for the arrival of ‘the Lord’ (Jn 1:23). This arrival of ‘the Lord’, God himself, is foretold by Isaiah 40:1-5.
  • Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (Jn 1:29).
  • The Spirit of God has come down from heaven and remained on Jesus (Jn 1:32).
  • Jesus is the Son of God (Jn 1:34).

This testimony– especially in first century Israel, as well as now– is revolutionary. Looking back over the list, ponder each point again slowly. Consider how it might confront your regular patterns of thought.

Dear God, grant that I might embrace John’s testimony to Jesus and so enlarge my vision of who he is. Amen.

John 1:1-5. Genesis

John 1:1    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.  5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

We begin at the very beginning of all things, echoing Genesis 1:1-5. Whereas Genesis is concerned with the very widest array of ‘origins’ issues– Who is God? Why has he created? Where do humans fit in the cosmos?– John is concerned specifically with the origins of ‘the Word’ (whom he soon reveals as Jesus of Nazareth). Here we learn that the Word is God and has always been God. We also learn that the Word was with God– literally ‘towards God’, which requires a distinction between God and the Word and yet a relationship of intimacy between the two.

Just as in Genesis 1, after announcing God as creator, the next major theme introduces light. The Word has life within him, the life which is the light of all humanity. Without this light of life, humanity is overcome by darkness.

The metaphor of Light is significant throughout John 1-12. God the Father is the source of light, Jesus is the light that shines (akin to the photons of light that share the nature of the source and which emanate from the source), and then there what is revealed by the shining of the light. This is the testimony to be received by humanity. What is revealed by this light? God himself.

Dear God, I am delighted to learn that before the beginning you were in relationship– Father, Son and Spirit. I stand amazed that you sustain the life of humanity collectively– and me individually– from your Word. In him is my light and my life. Amen.