John bore witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spoke, He that comes after me is preferred before me…
I. CHRIST'S SUPERIORITY TO JOHN THE BAPTIST.
1. John refers to and repeats previous testimonies, applying them to Him whom the congregation had just seen depart. The testimony was pointed, warm, confident, bold.
2. The substance and form of the testimony that, though Jesus was after John as to His birth and ministry, He was before him as to the dignity of His person, His mediatorial office, and above all His Deity.
II. CHRIST'S SUPERIORITY TO ALL BELIEVERS.
1. All the fulness demanded for their wants, the entire supply for their need, is treasured up in Him.
(1) This might be asserted of the Word.
(2) But it is here asserted of Him as made flesh.
2. What has the believer that he has not received from Christ? By nature he is empty.
3. How exalting to Christ the truth that all are and always have been, and always will be, dependent on Him.
4. We derive from Christ, not through merit, grace after grace, and grace corresponding in nature to that poured on Christ.
III. CHRIST'S SUPERIORITY TO MOSES.
1. Moses held a high place — the Law was given by him.
2. Nevertheless, no comparison could be made of Moses with Christ. He fulfilled his ministry and passed away, but Christ abides as the eternal administrator of grace and truth.
(1) The Law gives knowledge of sin and leaves us: grace and truth come with salvation from sin.
(2) The Law was the shadow of good things to come: the grace and truth of Christ were those good things.
IV. CHRIST'S SUPERIORITY TO ALL CREATED INTELLIGENCES.
1. God is invisible and incomprehensible to all except His Son Jesus Christ.
2. Many are sons of God, Christ alone is the only-begotten of the Father.
3. Christ has declared the Father as no creature has done, revealing His nature, perfections, counsels, by His teaching, example, and secret influence on the minds of His people.
4. The eternal life of the best of His creatures consist in the knowledge of Him.
(A. Beith, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.
WEB: John testified about him. He cried out, saying, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has surpassed me, for he was before me.'"