There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
In the past there had been prophets who spoke to the people of Israel (1), because it was this nation that God had chosen through whom to reveal Himself by the mouth of messengers. Treasures-for-revealing were given by the Spirit of Purity to these special messengers, and of them John The Water-Anointing Man (John The Baptist) was the last and greatest (2).
His prophecy was the last revealed treasure. He said, “Mashiga (The Messiah) has arrived. So, repent and believe the gospel.”
[1. God did not choose India, Russia, Britain. He chose the little West Asian nation Israel. Why was this? Were Israel’s people better? Alas they were not!
2. This John was a different man from John the Gospel-Writer. John was a common name in Israel.]
He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
Two thousand years ago the nation of Israel had been crushed by the heel of the invading Roman army. Villages had burned. Crops were stolen. By sword and club men were forced to work; others hid in the mountains. At such a time how much were light and hope needed!
“See,” said John, “the light has come!” Light? what light?As the prophet of old had written, ‘Formerly there was gloom; but in future a great light will dawn. In the past there was sadness; but just as there is happiness after a bumper harvest, so joy will bubble over.’
Because people knew this prophecy, John was encouraging their faith by this means. He himself was not that light, but he was giving advance notice of another person.