“John testified about Him and cried out, saying, ‘This was He of whom I said, “He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.”’ For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace” (John 1:15–16).
John brought in other witnesses to the truth about the divine, preexistent, incarnate Word, the Lord Jesus Christ. He first called on John the Baptist.
That John “cried out” speaks of the bold, public nature of his witness to Jesus; he was “the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make ready the way of the Lord, make His paths straight!’” (Matt. 3:3). He was the herald, proclaiming the arrival of the Messiah, and calling people to repent and prepare their hearts to receive Him. Acknowledging Jesus’ preeminence, John said of Him, “He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.” Jesus, the Expected (literally, “coming”) One (Luke 7:19–20) came after John in time; He was born six months later and began His public ministry after John began his. Yet, as John acknowledged, Jesus had “a higher rank than” he did, “for He existed before” him. This is a reference to Jesus’ eternal preexistence.
The apostle also points to the witness of all believers, who “have all received” the fullness of blessing from the one who is “full of grace and truth” (v. 14). You can add your voice to that testimony by faithfully living out and proclaiming the truth of the gospel.
Spend some time today reflecting on all you have received from Christ, how “grace upon grace” has been added, multiplied, and stacked one on top of another in your life—day after day, year after year. Celebrate His grace and goodness with the measure it has been poured out on you.
From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610