Robert E. Surgenor
In the opening of the gospel of John it is interesting to notice that the first Old Testament worthy (apart from John the baptist), that the writer draws our attention to is Moses. "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (1:17). It is remarkable that there is a striking similarity between the writer of the gospel and the writer of the Law, and for a few moments I wish to consider these interesting similarities with you.
The first similarity is how they commenced their writings. Both men, inspired by the Holy Spirit used identical words. Gen≠esis 1:1 commences with these three words; "In the beginning." John 1:1 commences with the identical words, "In the beginning."
Another thing worthy of notice is the subjects employed by each writer at the commencement. As Moses commences, he first records a prevailing condition, namely - DARKNESS. "And dark≠ness was upon the face of the deep." Paul refers to this darkness in his writings to the Corinthians. "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Corin≠thians 4:6). Evidently Paul looked upon the darkness in Genesis 1:2, as satanic darkness. Could it be that John is confirming this in his first epistle? "This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5). It is a darkness introduced through the sin of the underworld of evil spirits.
The second prevailing condition mentioned by Moses is LIGHT. "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." The darkness was not looked upon as good, but regarding light we read, "And God saw the light that it was good." Having divided the light from the darkness, Moses mentions the earth bringing forth various things which was an indication of LIFE.
Turning to the opening of Johnís gospel we find the very same things mentioned in reverse order. Instead of Darkness, Light, and Life. We find Life, Light, and Darkness. "In Him was LIFE; and the life was the LIGHT of men. And the light shineth in DARKNESS; and the darkness comprehended it not" Uohn 1:4,5). Again we find satanic darkness. Some feel that the word "comprehended" indicates that the darkness did not overpower or extinguish the light. Even though this is true, we are inclined to believe that John is referring to the fact that as a result of the fall the effects are that those in the darkness perceived not the Light. A comparing of verses 10 and 11 would seemingly uphold this view. "He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew (approved) Him not. He came unto His own (land), and His own (people) received Him not."
Moses introduces a LAMB at the beginning of Israelís corpo≠rate deliverance from bondage (Exodus 12). In like manner, John introduces the LAMB that taketh away the sin of the world at the commencement of his gospel in chapter one. Later in Israelís history, Moses records Godís provision for Israel in Exodus 16 and 17, namely MANNA and living (gushing) WATER. As John contin≠ues to write, he too, introduces the same elements, the MANNA in chapter 6 and the living WATER in chapter 7.
Moses, when speaking of Joseph records, "For God did send me before you to preserve life" (Genesis 45:5). In like manner when speaking of John the baptist, John records this concerning him, "There was a man sent from God" (1:6). Both men were sent of God, one to preserve life, the other to proclaim life.
It is also interesting to note that both men saw the promised land and that both men met each other. This took place on the Mount of Transfiguration, which of course, was in the promised land (Matthew 17:1-3).
Last of all, the similarity between Moses and John lies in the fact that both were chosen of the Holy Spirit to express God-breathed words by writing. Moses was chosen to commence the Holy Scriptures with five books. In like manner, John was chosen to conclude the Holy Scriptures by writing five books.
Both of these unique men enjoyed an unusual nearness to the Lord not experienced by others. "And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend" (Exodus 33:11). "If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make Myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all Mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold" (Numbers 12:6-8). Consider John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, and his nearness to His Lord at the supper, reclining on His breast, experiencing divine commu≠nication (John 13). View John in Revelation chapter one at the Lordís feet, and the tender right hand of the resurrected and girded Christ gently resting upon him with words of comfort, "Fear not."
We leave these two men for your consideration. May we ever appreciate their inspired writings. May we ever consider the man≠ner of their lives, and may we continually be devoted to the Holy One, Whom they served. Moses and John, two men of God!