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[John] was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light.

This verse (John 5:35) is in the middle of Jesus speaking about how His testimony is true, and that John the baptist testified about about Him, which is further proof of its veracity. I considered giving you the whole paragraph to read, but feel free to look at it here. The thing is, I think there is plenty to talk about in just this little verse.

When John started preaching in the wilderness, loads of people came out to see him. Some came to stare and gawk at the weirdo who lived off the land (talk about being organic!). Some came to repent and be baptized. They saw the first glimmer of light out there in the desert, and after generations of darkness, they were starving for it.

Jesus calls John a “burning and shining lamp.” And he was. But lamps eventually burn out. Whether it’s the oil-based lamps of the New Testament era or the electric lamps we light with electricity and high efficiency bulbs, eventually they will burn out and stop lighting the room. John was a temporary light, a transient beacon of truth and hope. He was a forerunner for Jesus.

Jesus, in contrast, is eternal light. God breathes through the pen of John (who wrote this verse) in Revelation 22:5 “And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.” His light will never go out, never dim, never stop.

The people found joy for a short time in the words of John. We are blessed to find joy forever in the Word, Jesus Christ.

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