Summary: A lesson left for us by John the Baptist
What are we here for? What is the purpose of the church?
Let’s understand how important pointing to Jesus is.
We will look at John 1:29-42 and John the Baptist’s example of pointing to the Lamb of God.
John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’ 31 I did not recognize him as the Messiah, but I have been baptizing with water so that he might be revealed to Israel.”
32 Then John testified, “I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him. 33 I didn’t know he was the one, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Chosen One of God.”
35 The following day John was again standing with two of his disciples. 36 As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!” 37 When John’s two disciples heard this, they followed Jesus.
38 Jesus looked around and saw them following. “What do you want?” he asked them.
They replied, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”
39 “Come and see,” he said. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon when they went with him to the place where he was staying, and they remained with him the rest of the day.
40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of these men who heard what John said and then followed Jesus. 41 Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means “Christ”).
42 Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus. Looking intently at Simon, Jesus said, “Your name is Simon, son of John—but you will be called Cephas” (which means “Peter”).
[Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.]
And that’s the Gospel of our Lord. Thanks be to God!
John 1:29 The Lamb of God (?µ??? t?? Te??)
John the Baptist’s words are profound, “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” Revelation reveals the Lamb standing at God’s throne (5:6-13), opening the seven seals (6:1-16; 8:1), as shepherd of the nations (7:9-17), those who triumphed in his blood (12:11), his book of life (13:8), standing with the pure (14:1-10), singing Moses’ song (15:3), the Lamb’s victory (17:14), his wedding (19:7-9; 21:9), his city (21:22-27), his river of the water of life (22:1-3). Jesus is the Lamb of God (Latin: Agnus Dei), the Passover lamb (Exodus 12:1-28; 1 Corinthians 5:6-8).
John 1:29 The Sin of the World (t?? ?µa?t?a? t?? ??sµ??)
John saw Jesus coming towards him. Do we see Jesus in the heart of a fellow Christian, in the hungry, thirsty, stranger, naked, sick, or prisoner? Why is Jesus called the Lamb of God? The blood of an unblemished lamb on the door posts signaled the death angel to “pass over” the houses of the Israelites. Passover also commemorates Jewish liberation from slavery to sinful Egypt. The unblemished lamb pictures the sinless nature of Christ. Only the sacrifice of the sinless God-man could take away the sin of the world. Why “sin” and not “sins”? Could this mean all the wickedness of the world is one great burden or plague?1
1Plummer, Alfred. The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges. John. Cambridge University Press. 1902.
John 1:30 He it Is (??t?? ?st??)
This is He. He is the one. Not one of us is the Messiah. Yet, so many have a Messiah complex, delusions of grandeur, an inflated sense of self-importance? Why do so many leaders, politicians and preachers burden ourselves with the delusion that we must “save the world”? Like John the Baptist we should point to another who is the Messiah. Like a light on a hill we don’t illuminate ourselves but God. We are all appointed missionaries, sent by God to tell the story of Jesus and his love. John the Baptist was six months older than Jesus. Yet, Jesus was not just prefered before John. He was before him.
John 1:31-37 Look, the Lamb of God (?de ? ?µ??? t?? Te??)
Apparently even though John was Jesus’ cousin, he had not recognized him as being the Messiah. Often within families, greatness is not recognized except by outsiders. “Oh that’s just cousin Joshua!” Well, John was a humble man. He testified that he saw the Holy Spirit descend on Jesus, verifying that Jesus was the Son of God, the One who would baptize with the Holy Spirit. Again the next day he pointed his own disciples to Jesus the Lamb of God. From other passages, we deduce that these two disciples were probably Andrew and John. Every pastor is called to be so selfless and point disciples away from themselves and to Jesus?