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Lesson # John 1:29-34
Study Material - John 1:29-34
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29 The next day he saw Jesus coming to him, and said, 'Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 'This is He on behalf of whom I said, 'After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.' 31 'And I did not recognize Him, but in order that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water.' 32 And John bore witness saying, 'I have beheld the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. 33 'And I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, 'He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the one who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.' 34 'And I have seen, and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.'
Jesus has returned from the desert temptation event and now John the Baptist, who is not John the brother of James and the writer of this book, but John the Baptist who baptized Jesus, was now still preaching and teaching not about the one who was to come , but about the one, Jesus Christ, who was now walking among the people.
And he identifies Jesus as the Lamb of God. The lamb referring the sacrificial lamb which had been offered every morning and every evening in the ritual of the Levitical sacrifices since the time of Moses. The people had the ten commandments always before them which they in general looked to for their spiritual guidance, but they ignored the sacrifices which was intended to teach the work of Christ on the Cross, and the sheer repetition of the sacrifices was also intended to keep Christ always before the people on a daily basis. They were to study and learn from repetition and on a daily basis. God is always to be kept before us in our daily lives. But now here is in the flesh the reality of God in the form of a man who came into the world to be that single real sacrifice, and not merely a ritual sacrifice.
John also notes that this real sacrifice of Christ, which was still future at the time when John spoke, would take away the sin of the world. All those daily sacrifices over the past centuries, never took even one sin away from mankind. They never solved mans problem with death or eternal separation from God. They were nothing more than teaching aids, shadows pointing to the reality of the Cross, from which comes the light of the world, Jesus Christ. John knew very well about the impending sacrifice which Christ would endure. Many of the disciples did not understand it until after the resurrection, even though they lived with Christ for the next 3 ½ years.
John further states that Christ preexisted himself and also refers to Christ as a Man. Jesus was born six months after John, yet John acknowledges that He was a man yet preexisted him, John. Making Jesus the unique person of the universe, the Son of God, as identified in verse 34, and man as stated in verse 30.
That John did not recognize Him. John's mother, Elizabeth was the cousin of Mary, Jesus' mother, and they did not live very far from each other, yet in all those years, 30 years, John never visited Jesus, not conversed with Him, nor met Him in any way. Yet God told John that he would be able to identify Jesus as the son of God by his witness of the Holy Spirit descending on Him at the time when John baptized Jesus, which he did witness.
Jesus was to be revealed to Israel not by people hounding Him at the home of Joseph and Mary, but by means of the revelation of the Holy Spirit. God anoints and announces. Man does not advance himself by means of mans announcement. Man stands in witness of that which God does.
John was taking second seat now, and voluntarily, so that one who was greater than he would enter into the spot light. John baptized with water, water which does not save, but only teaches the principle of salvation. Jesus Christ came to baptize with the Holy Spirit, which is the true salvation, the true regeneration of the human spirit in the person who believes in Christ, the true imputation of eternal life into the human spirit of the regenerated, reborn person.
And John closes in principle his ministry, and turns over the reigns to the reality which the scriptures have foretold for thousands of years. We will see later the release of his own followers from John to Jesus and the reduction of John and the promotion of Jesus. Even those who refuse to leave John, will have no choice as John will be arrested and executed. John was not the savior, but did exactly what God intended for him to do during his short ministry, and though was humiliated by man in the performance of man's injustice and miscarriage of justice, will be glorified by God and will have rich rewards in eternity.
We never get our eyes on the messenger, the teacher, the priest, the minister, or whatever title you use to describe anyone teaching you. But you do get you eyes on the message. Communicators come with baggage, personalities, flaws of all kinds. If you were to focus on the communicator, then the first sign of some kind of flaw which you deemed distasteful, would distract you from your spiritual growth. At least here on this internet study you can't complain about how I look or how I sound because you cannot see or hear me. I suppose you can complain about my typing. Can't win them all!!!
John identifies Jesus as the Son of God, as the single person who preexisted him, and the one whom he, John, came teaching and preaching and baptizing in order to introduce Him to the world. John's ministry would end, though some would not accept that, but the real message was Christ. First for salvation and second for spiritual growth. Christ is the true topic of the scriptures, and the one on whom we need to focus.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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