January 12, 2020
The Perfect Lamb of God Begins Discipling His Followers
The Lamb of God
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who [a]is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.”
And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.”
The First Disciples
Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!”
The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?”
They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), “where are You staying?”
He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where He was staying and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour).
One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the [b]Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.
Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas.
“But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, ‘My father!’ And he said, ‘Here I am, my son.’
Then he said, ‘Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?’” Genesis 22:7
Surely you are familiar with the events of Abraham being told by God to sacrifice his son Isaac in place of a perfect lamb, only to be saved by God for his obedience and replaced by a ram to be sacrificed on the altar. Our sacrifices on the altar are all replaced by the sacrifice of the Lamb of God. The ram or any other sacrificial animal slaughtered and burned on the altar as a sacrifice to God had no relevance to “taking away the sin of the world. No, rather the sacrifice of animals was an act of obedience and represented a one-time payment for some sin. Since man was enslaved in sin, multitudes of animals were thusly sacrificed for those sins.
In today’s reading, we read of the arrival of the ultimate sacrificial lamb: “THE LAMB OF GOD”! John says “Behold!” As used here, it simply means LOOK but it carries with it a sense of grandeur or excitement almost as if a trumpet blast or drum roll. “The Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.” (v29). John goes on to relate firsthand observations that convinced him that this is indeed the Son of God. You see, this set of circumstances comes days after John the Baptist has baptized Jesus and observed the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove landing on his shoulder and further hearing directly from God:
“When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:16-17
Right away, we are to understand that Jesus the Christ (the Messiah) was born and lived among us in preparation for His sacrifice on the cross. That sacrifice being the payment of the sin debt of all mankind for all time. Jesus the Christ – A Living Sacrifice!
As we read on, we find two of disciples of John the Baptist. When John announces the coming of Jesus, these two begin following Jesus. As they tagged along behind Him, Jesus turns and asks why they are following Him, what do they want. Their only answer was to ask where Jesus would be staying. Jesus said if you really want to know, “Come and See” [here’s a little clue for us] FOLLOW ME! If you really want to get to know Jesus and what He is all about, it demands that we FOLLOW Him. They did f0llow Him and hung around all day grasping every bit of understanding about this Jesus that they could. One of the two was Andrew, the brother of Simon, who we know more as Peter. Andrew convinced Peter to accompany him back to see the Messiah. Jesus the omniscient knew immediately who Peter was and said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah, you shall be called Cephas. (which is translated, A Stone).
Wow! Please pause and think about this one event at the close of today’s reading. Jesus took one hard look at Peter and knew all about him. He knew that Peter would be an impetuous. eager to please, bumbling guy that would need a lot of discipling. Of all the apostles, I identify with Peter the most. But Jesus said that Peter would be called Cephas (a stone).
"And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it," (Matt. 16:18).
I know that neither Jesus nor man will ever view me with any such importance, yet it gives me hope, that in all my weaknesses and life’s failings, God encourages me and uses me.
The crux of all of this is that every one of the disciples had failings and weaknesses. Jesus used every one of them save one who refused to “follow” Jesus and chose to go it alone for his own selfish motives. It isn’t enough to be discipled or to be a disciple. The purpose of following Jesus and being discipled is to do just as Andrew did: LEAD OTHERS TO CHRIST!
When you walk out that door, you enter the mission field. The fields are ripe for the harvest! It is NEVER too late to evangelize for the Lord.
We love and serve God by loving and serving each other – EVERY each other.
Let us pray –
Let us now go forth loving and serving God by loving and serving each other – EVERY each other.
I humbly and sincerely ask for your prayers!