Friday, January 20, 2012

John 1:29-34

First off, I want to thank you for your prayers for Judi! She had her kidney removed yesterday. There was a 2-inch cancerous tumor, and they are very hopeful that it was contained and that there is no further cancer. They will be doing additional tests to be sure, but the outlook seems extremely positive, thank you, LORD!

I’m on my last day of antibiotics (doing cartwheels over that), and it seems like the infection has been controlled. Still have the facial numbness on the right side (although you would never know by looking at me), which is nothing more than a minor irritation. Monday I will have the root canal completed, then we’ll let everything settle before the dentist puts on the final crown. Onward to John...

Today’s verses describe the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry, when He first appears as the Lamb of God, as declared by John the Baptist:

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”

Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.” (John 1:29-34)

Somehow God had indicated to John the Baptist that he would know the Messiah when John saw the Holy Spirit come upon the Christ. John declared that his whole reason for being in the river baptizing was just so he could reveal the Christ to Israel (vs. 31). So, when he saw the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, come upon Jesus, he knew that this was the Lamb of God. I am glad to turn to Jon Courson’s Application Commentary: New Testament study on this passage for some very interesting observations!

In pronouncing Jesus the Lamb of God, John the Baptist hearkens back to Genesis 22:7-8, according to Courson. This is where Abraham has taken Isaac to Mt. Moriah and is preparing to offer him as a sacrifice to God. Isaac sees the fire and the wood, but asks, “Where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham, by faith, assures Isaac, “My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering.” (KJV) Here in John 1:29, that Lamb at last appears! Courson says that the cry of the Old Testament is, “Where is the Lamb?” The hope of the New Testament is, “Behold the Lamb!” And the summation of eternity will be, “Worthy is the Lamb!” (Rev 5).

Throughout the Bible the lamb is used to remove sin. Jon Courson points out how the “message of the Lamb of God becomes more encompassing as you trace it through Scripture.” (Courson, P. 440)  He refers first to Genesis 4:4-5, where Abel brings a lamb as a sacrifice for an individual. Then in Exodus, during the Passover, there is the lamb offering for an entire family. In Leviticus, the Jews were instructed on the sacrifice of a lamb for the sins of the nation. Finally, here in the New Testament, Jesus is the Lamb whose sacrifice is made for the sins of the world.

Okay, aren’t those exciting observations?? I just love the wholeness of God’s Word! It truly is His Story! Next week we’ll see the calling of the disciples. So much to apply to our own lives!


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