After yesterday’s biblical smack-fest in The Word, I was surprised to find myself still eager to press back in this morning. There seems to be some relational psychology involved, for when you trust and love your Father, a good smack-down is welcomed because you know that He only provides insight into the things that will improve your life.
I didn’t have that kind of earthly father, which makes me so incredibly grateful to now have a trustworthy, loving and all-knowledgeable Heavenly Father whom I can now go to for direction, care, understanding, compassion, wisdom, and healing.
Truly, He is Abba Father! Today I come and sit at The Master’s feet, speak O Lord.
John 1:29-34 (ESV)
29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
30 This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.”
32 And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33 I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’
34 And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”
- He takes away the sin of the world
- for this purpose, I came… that he might be revealed…
- I saw the Spirit descend… on him
- I have seen and borne witness… this is the Son of God
- John baptizes with water, but Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit
- Behold! What an awesome word. I can imagine someone shouting that in a crowd and scaring everyone… BEHOLD!!! These first few passages in John 1 continue to impress upon me the magnitude of what is happening here. This is the revelation of The Messiah. Take a moment and imagine the incredible buzz. I think back to my conversion experience where my mind was blown that God was actually real and everything in my life changed. This is no small thing… BEHOLD!!!!
- The Lamb came to take away the sin of the world. Again… WOW, what a claim! For thousands of years A Messiah was prophesized, was this really Him? Could it be that centuries of waiting on the promises is over? We read of the historical event and ponder, but I often wonder, how will Jesus be received when He returns again? How will I receive Him? I imagine seeing reports on the news of a man in the Middle East or Isreal “claiming” to be THE ONE and would anyone believe Him? Would I believe the claims? Will He come in a blaze of glory so we know for sure or will there be room for doubt?
- John’s “purpose” was not his ministry of baptism, that was his calling and how he served God. His purpose was to reveal Christ to the world. How much is our (my) calling the same? I find it so easy to make plans on how I can serve His church and His people but is it for my ministry to increase or for Him to be revealed to a dying world? I think of the admonitions in Revelations to the churches, “I see your service but you lost your first love”. In what ways have I learned to play church and lost sight of The Lamb?
- Was John the first to witness the Trinity? The One who sent him to baptize must have been God, and he was told of the Spirit descending upon Jesus was the way he would recognize The Messiah. And how true is that still today? The voice of God (however we hear Him) reveals the Holy Spirit who gives us insight into the Heart of Christ. Is there anything more beautiful than the wholeness of the Trinity and what the Triune God offers and reveals to us all? I’m feeling very grateful at the moment.
- John’s entire life was about this moment; the revelation of Christ to the world. It ultimately cost him his life, but how much would you suspect he would say it was all worth it? I know there are places in me that resist being completely poured out for His glory, how much regret will that bring when I meet Him face-to-face? What more in me needs to die (pride, fear, doubt, self-sufficiency) so that He may increase?
- I don’t remember being baptized as a young child, but I sure remember my profession of faith and baptism as an adult. It was a season where everything in my life was changing, truly it was revelation of the old man dying and new being born. The beautiful reality is there is no “un-baptism”. Once we are born again through The Spirit, He dwells in and with us for eternity. Our sin does not separate us, for The Lamb died once for all transgression. How many times do I fall back into self-condemnation thinking I should what, be more perfect? Be less human? This journey of sanctification is hard, but I will never again need to be re-baptized.
Lord, Your Word continues to challenge and exhort. We are born into a sinful world and at some point, everyone hears “behold!”, and from there we get to choose what we do with that proclamation. I do regret that I heard the claims when I was young but it wasn’t until my 40’s that my heart turned to The Lamb. I am grateful that you prompted my heart to want to know you more, that you remained true in not leaving me as I was, and even now promise to not leave me as I am. You are a faithful God who continues to love and grow me through unmerited grace and favor, and that brings great comfort and joy to me this morning. It is true that you aren’t finished with me yet. At least for today, I will hang on tightly to the word BEHOLD and be deeply aware of all that comes with that proclamation.
Feel encouraged the join the conversation, what if anything do you take away from today’s passage?
Blessings in Christ,