1:29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
1:30 This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’
1:31 I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.”
1:32 And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him.
1:33 I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’
1:34 And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.”
John was a major tool that was used to usher in the coming of Christ. He started spreading the message of the gospel before Christ came and set the stage for those who were about to be exposed to the one and true Savior who would change the course of history and their lives.
In this passage we see how John was so clear and audible in how he preached the good news of Christ. There is not one thing that he said that did not get reaffirmed when Christ came into the world. The phrase “Lamb of God” was something that would have made a lot of sense to the Jews. A lamb was used a sacrifice for during Passover and furthermore was used in a prophecy that was stated about a lamb being lead to the slaughter house. This was used to prove the point that Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice when He went to the cross to save sinners from their sin.
Another important note that John mentions that is later affirmed when Christ comes is the idea of Jesus come to take away the sins of the world. World meaning humanity in general but not every specific person. John made it clear that Jesus’s sacrifice for sin reaches all human beings without distinction. However, the affect of Jesus’s sacrifice is only for those who choose to believe.
The message of the Gospel is full of hope and is meant to give us a sense of joy. For those of us who have accepted Christ into our hearts we are sharing in a wonderful gift of living under God’s Grace in our lives each day. For those who have not yet made the decision to accept Christ, believe that He is the only one that gives true joy, satisfaction and peace. He came to this world to put an end to all of sin.
He paid the ultimate sacrifice by dying on the cross and saving us from eternal punishment. When we choose to give our lives over to Him, suddenly our hearts and lives are made new and even in the midst of life’s hard circumstances we can still experience joy because of who God is, what He’s done and the hope we have in Him. Trust Him with your life today, surrender your worries, anger and doubts to Him and allow for God to change your heart in a way that nothing or no one else can.
John the Baptist is not only the forerunner of Christ but he is the example that all other Christians should model. John was more than just a simple baptizer; he had a legion of faithful followers. His name was known even to the Roman rulers over Judea, by which he was eventually executed. But what is so special about John? Here are a points about John that I think all Christians should emulate.
- He always pointed to Jesus. It was never about himself or his gifts or his ministry. It was all about the Lord.
- He was humble to the core. John famously said that he was not even worthy to untie the straps of Jesus sandals.
- He was faithful till the end. John had some questions like anyone else but he went to the grave believing that Jesus was the messiah and he eventually lost his life as a martyr, though it was not necessarily because of Jesus that he was executed.
- He spoke truth to everyone without exceptions. John was famous for condemning the marital practices of Herod (Antipas). Herod’s wife was married to his brother (Herod Philip) when he first met her. But since she was of Jewish decent Herod found it expedient to divorce his current wife and steal his brother’s wife (since he would be ruling over Judea). Once it was clear that Herod Philip was not going to be ruler I am sure Herodias (Philip’s wife) was more than pleased to divorce her husband and marry Herod Antipas.
Either way, this divorce and remarrying business of Herod Atipas, so that he could gain favor with the Jews who he was positioned over, backfired since the Jews universally viewed divorce as evil. John the Baptist was a vocal and well known critic of Herod Antipas and Herodias. It was this behavior that eventually lead to his beheading.
- John cared not for the riches and things of this world. John was believed to be one of the Essenes, a reclusive sect of Judaism that lived in the desert and were highly critical of the Jews who collaborated with the Roman empire.
I could go on about John but I will leave the rest up to the reader. John’s life is worth examining. Be encouraged knowing that we have so many Christian brothers and sisters who went before us and have already set the path for us as John has.