Summary: At Jesus’ invitation we “come and see” where He is staying, and what we see is that our sins are gone, that we have a clean slate and a fresh start, that we are adopted into God’s family, reconciled to our Father, and that we have eternal life.
Live With the Lamb: John 1:35-39
I want us to think just now of the one most important reason why anybody should follow Jesus Christ over, say, Mohammad. Or why would we follow Christ over Buddha, or Confuscious, or the religion of Hare Krishna, or Hinduism or Taoism. You kids here today are going to hear when you grow up that all religions are basically the same. You follow Christ I follow Krishna. You read the Bible I read the Bhagavad Gita. You have your path I have mine. Why should we follow Jesus over any of the other religious leaders in the world? You say, “because Jesus Christ created the world, and nobody else did. Yes, that’s good. You say, “He rose from the dead, He’s alive, unlike the others.” Yes, that’s good too.
But there is one big reason, one main reason why anyone should become a follower of Jesus Christ, and that one reason is also why we should totally reject the religions of the world. The reason? Because Jesus Christ, alone, takes away our sin.
Let’s see that today as we look together at verses 35-39:
35 The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, "Look, the Lamb of God!" 37 When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38 Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, "What do you want?" They said, "Rabbi" (which means Teacher), "where are you staying?" 39 "Come," he replied, "and you will see." So they went and saw where he was staying, and spent that day with him. It was about the tenth hour. John 1:35-39 (NIV)
Last week we read of John the Baptist’s invitation to “look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” We see that his intention was to point people away from himself and to Jesus Christ. And here we see two disciples going away from John to Jesus. Why? They heard John speak of Christ as the Lamb of God, and so they followed Jesus. They heard him speak of Christ as the Lamb of God, that takes away the sin of the world, and this made them follow him. What promise of hope is in that introduction! It’s the promise of the removal of sin. And that promise is like a magnet, drawing these two men, and then drawing unnumbered millions down through the ages.
Let’s apply this to ourselves this morning. Did you know, that the greatest reason ever for someone to follow Christ is that Jesus Christ takes away sin. Let me speak to the children here today: there is a reason why you should become a Christ-follower if you are not already. He takes away sin.
There is a reason why you should not follow Mohammed in the Muslim religion, there is a reason why you should not follow Buddha in the Buddhist religion. There is a reason why you should not follow Sun Myung Moon in the religion of the Moonies. There is a reason why you should not follow Mizra Husan of the B’hai faith. All these religions have millions of followers, but they are all wrong. They are deceived and enslaved, and covered with guilt and they are wrong.
I’ve read the Koran, I’ve read the Bhavagad Gita (the “Song of God” in the Hindu religion). It says, “The main objective of the Gita is to help people struggling in the darkness of ignorance cross the ocean of transmigration and reach the spiritual shore of liberation. The central teaching of the Gita is the attainment of freedom from the bondage of life by doing one’s duty” (Introduction to Bhavagad Gita). So they recognize the problem, we are enslaved and need liberation, we are in bondage and need freedom. The goal of the Bhavagad Gita is liberation, freedom from bondage, isn’t that great? It’s a great goal, a wonderful goal. The only problem is did you notice how we attain that goal? “By doing one’s duty.” And here is where we might as well throw away the whole teaching/the whole religion. How can we “do our duty” when we are enslaved? How can we perform service when we’re in bondage? They got the problem right, but the solution wrong. Only Jesus takes away the sin of the world, thereby simultaneously freeing us from condemnation and securing our liberation, freedom, deliverance, release. We should follow Jesus because He takes away the sin of the world.
I’ve read Tao-Te-Ching in Taoism (which means “the Path”, or “the Way”). Taoism has 20 million followers today. Taoism says that “the development of virtue is our chief task. The Three Jewels to be sought are compassion, humility and moderation” (introduction to the Tao-Te-Ching). Wonderful! Very good goal, the development of virtue; compassion, humility and moderation. The problem is we are born captive to sin, self and Satan. We need to have our sin removed before we can develop virtue in our character. The Tao-Te-Ching says: