1. John 1:6 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

Which John is being referred to?

John 1:6 (ESV)

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

In the Gospel of John, the name John always refers to John the Baptist. John the apostle, the son of Zebedee, is not referred to by name in this Gospel (John 21:2). As the author he conceals himself behind the phrase the disciple Jesus loved (e.g., John 13:23).1

John the Baptist’s ministry ministry began around AD 29 in the Judaean wilderness along the Jordan River (Luke 3:1–3; Matthew 3:1–2). He wore a garment of camel hair with a leather belt, reminiscent of Elijah’s clothing from 2 Kings 1:8 (see Matthew 3:4; Mark 1:6). His primary message was calling Israel to repentance in preparation for the coming of the messianic age (Matthew 3:2; Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3). John was arrested and imprisoned by Herod Antipas for criticizing his marriage to Herodias, Herod’s brother’s ex-wife, which was unlawful under Jewish law (see Leviticus 18:16; Matthew 14:3–4; Mark 1:14; Luke 3:19). Eventually, Herod had John beheaded (Matthew 14:5–12).