After years of waiting, the Messiah had finally come, and the person announcing His presence was … Elijah? Or the mysterious Prophet maybe? John the Baptist was neither, of course, but it did beg the question.
I am not … No.” So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself? (Jn. 1:21-22, ESV)
His answer, of course, is where we find ourselves in our journey about Jesus in the Gospel of John. John the Baptist was simply, “the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said (Jn. 1:23, ESV).” His presence, and the message he preached was something beyond him—something that would serve as the jumping off point for the arrival of “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world (Jn. 1:29, ESV)!” And while these details in the story, alone, should be enough to pique our interest of just who this Jesus is, there is even more going on here than initially meets the eye. Something new is underway, and it is far bigger than anything that had happened before.
This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because He was before me (Jn. 1:30, ESV).’
The era of God incarnate—the Christ—has begun, and John the Baptist (along with Jesus’ first disciples) has a front row seat to it all. Upon the first invitations Jesus extends to the disciples to “come and see (Jn. 1:39),” the disciples are promised something monumental: “You will see greater things than these … Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man (Jn. 1:50-51, ESV).”
Here are some of my takeaways from Pastor Mike Halstead’s message this week and our study of this week’s passage:
- John the Baptist was a roadbuilder. He was part of the team that made the way for Jesus.
- The Greek term amnos (translated as “Lamb of God) used in John 1:29 is used only four times in the New Testament, and they all occur in reference to Isaiah 53. (It’s used twice in John 1, verses 29 and 36, as well as in 1 Peter 1:19 and Acts 8:22-23).
- Of all the disciples we see show up in this passage, only Simon has his name changed to Peter “the Rock” by Jesus.
- Nathaniel was seen “under the fig tree (Jn. 1:50)” by Jesus before Phillip even “called” Nathaniel to “come and see (Jn. 1:46)” him for himself.
- Jesus wastes no time drawing the line as to who He is, and what He’s come to do. He is going to make the way very clear, just like John the Baptist did upon his introduction to Jesus.
- Everyone that first met Jesus was immediately compelled to tell others about Him.
- We see the “power and spirit of Elijah,” God’s most powerful prophet prior, giving way to Jesus, who ushers in a new reality for all of us.
Now it is your turn. What are some of your takeaways in your study of John 1:19-51? (And if you have not done so yet, stop by the church to get your own journal to follow along with our series in the Gospel of John).
“And one of the elders said to me, ‘Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.’ And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. (Rev. 5:5-6, ESV)”
Our study of the GOSPEL OF JOHN in review: