Archive for March 20th, 2018

John 1:28-34

John 1:28-34 informs us that John the Baptist has been working in Bethany. “These conversations took place in Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing at the time”. He was busy baptizing people with water, preparing for the coming of the Messiah.  And then it happens, Jesus comes.  “The very next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and yelled out, Here he is, God’s Passover Lamb! He forgives the sins of the world”!  John the Baptist announces Jesus and what His mission is – to forgive the sins of the world.  He doesn’t do it quietly either.

Jesus is reminded of His destiny by the words John the Baptist uses – that he is the Lamb.  John was actually older than Jesus by a bit, but he recognizes and informs those who are listening that Jesus was around long before John the Baptist was born.  “This is the man I’ve been talking about, the One who comes after me but is really ahead of me”.  John’s entire life work has been to prepare the way for Jesus, and now He has come.  His days of being silent and hidden are ending, and He is entering His time of public ministry leading to the Cross and His ultimate purpose of sacrifice to cover our sins.

John has had a sole purpose, to prepare the way of the Lord.  “I knew nothing about who he was—only this: that my task has been to get Israel ready to recognize him as the God-Revealer. That is why I came here baptizing with water, giving you a good bath and scrubbing sins from your life so you can get a fresh start with God”. Jesus offers us a fresh start.  He is the One who can scrub our sins and set us free from the penalty that they carry.  That was John’s message – that Jesus is coming, and now has arrived – to deal with the sin problem we all have.  None of us are free.  We all need a Savior and John is proclaiming that Messiah has come!

John drives home the point of who Jesus is by declaring what he has seen and experienced firsthand. “John clinched his witness with this: I watched the Spirit, like a dove flying down out of the sky, making himself at home in him. I repeat, I know nothing about him except this: The One who authorized me to baptize with water told me, The One on whom you see the Spirit come down and stay, this One will baptize with the Holy Spirit. That’s exactly what I saw happen, and I’m telling you, there’s no question about it: This is the Son of God”. God gave John the Baptist the sure sign of how to know the Messiah. He would be the one on whom the Holy Spirit descended upon from heaven. John is a reliable witness regarding who Jesus is, because he has had confirming evidence from God.

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