on John 1 :7
That all men through him might believe - He testified that Jesus was the true light - the true teacher of the way to the kingdom of glory, and the lamb or sacrifice of God, which was to bear away the sin of the world, John 1:29, and invited men to believe in him for the remission of their sins, that they might receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost, John 1:32-34. This was bearing the most direct witness to the light which was now shining in the dark wilderness of Judea; and, from thence, shortly to be diffused over the whole world.
on John 1 :7
For a witness - To give testimony. He came to prepare the minds of the people to receive him Matthew 3; Luke 3; to lead them by repentance to God; and to point out the Messiah to Israel when he came, John 1:31.
Of the Light - That is, of the Messiah. Compare Isaiah 60:1.
That all men ... - It was the object of John's testimony that all people might believe. He designed to prepare them for it; to announce that the Messiah was about to come, to direct the minds of men to him, and thus to prepare them to believe on him when he came. Thus, he baptized them, saying "That they should believe on him who should come after him" Acts 19:4, and thus he produced a very general expectation that the Messiah was about to come. The testimony of John was especially valuable on the following accounts:
1. It was made when he had no personal acquaintance with Jesus of Nazareth, and of course there could have been no collusion or agreement to deceive them, John 1:31.
2. It was sufficiently long before he came to excite general attention, and to fix the mind on it.
3. It was that of a man acknowledged by all to be a prophet of God - "for all men held John to be a prophet," Matthew 21:26.
4. It was "for the express purpose" of declaring beforehand that he was about to appear.
5. It was "disinterested."
He was himself extremely popular. Many were disposed to receive him as the Messiah. It was evidently in his "power" to form a large party, and to be regarded extensively as the Christ. This was the highest honor to which a Jew could aspire; and it shows the value of John's testimony, that he was willing to lay all his honors at the feet of Jesus, and to acknowledge that he was unworthy to perform for him the office of the humblest servant, Matthew 3:11.
Through him - Through John, or by means of his testimony.
Was not that Light - Was not "the Messiah." This is an explicit declaration designed to satisfy the disciples of John. The evidence that he was not the Messiah he states in the following verses.
From the conduct of John here we may learn,
1. The duty of laying all our honors at the feet of Jesus.
2. As John came that all might believe, so it is no less true of the ministry of Jesus himself. He came for a similar purpose, and we may all, therefore, trust in him for salvation.
on John 1 :7
1:7 The same came for (that is, in order to give) a testimony - The evangelist, with the most strong and tender affection, interweaves his own testimony with that of John, by noble digressions, wherein he explains the office of the Baptist; partly premises and partly subjoins a farther explication to his short sentences. What St. Matthew, Mark, and Luke term the Gospel, in respect of the promise going before, St. John usually terms the testimony, intimating the certain knowledge of the relator; to testify of the light - Of Christ.