Behold the Lamb
29 The next day John 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 is preferred before me, for He was before me. 31 I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, “therefore I came baptizing with water. 32 And John bore witness, saying “I saw the Spirit descending from the heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. 33 I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me. ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. 34 And I have seen the testified that this is the Son of God.”
John and Jesus were cousins through John’s mother Elizabeth and Mary the mother of Jesus. Yet despite this fact there is no Biblical record of them ever meeting before. Yet it was John’s commission from heaven itself that He should prepare the way for Jesus. As it says in Isaiah 40:3, John was to be the voice of one crying in the wilderness; Making straight the way of the Lord.
The next day after John had encountered this delegation from Jerusalem made up of the Pharisees and members of the Sanhedrin, John saw Jesus coming toward him. John cried out, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said: ‘after me comes a man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’”
John is making a powerful statement regarding Jesus, First John recognizes that Jesus is the Messiah, Second, he recognizes that the Messiah has come to us in the form of a man yet is still Divine. We know this from the statement; “Is preferred before me, for He was before me.”
John was born approximately six months before Jesus, yet John is emphatic when he says, “He was before me.” John recognized in Jesus both the humanity, but more important the divinity of Christ. He knew from his understanding of Scripture that the one coming toward him, was not only the Messiah, but had also been the creator of this world. He furthermore knew that Jesus had been the member of the Godhead that directed the Israelites through the wilderness as they made their way to the promised land.
Here in lies the second significant part of John’s message. The first part if you remember was to always be ready to give a defense for what you believe and to urge the people to repentance and baptism. The second part is that the whole point of our message should be the good news about the Messiah. As John could see and pointed out, Jesus stood before him, as human as John was yet still divine. This should be our message as well. The messiah has come, He came and suffered as you and I do, and Christ suffered more than any of us can possibly understand. Yet, Christ is also Devine, part of the Godhead and in fact is the creator of the world (see John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:2, 3). Therefore, since Christ is one like us, yet one with the Father we have before the Father an advocate which is Christ Jesus who in all ways suffered as we suffer yet remained faithful and true having never sinned. Therefore, each of us has the responsibility as John did to spread the good news of the Gospel, that there is hope for this fallen world and there is hope for you and me for as John said, “Behold here is the Lamb of God that takes away sin.
Then John bore witness, saying “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him.
John had been given by divine inspiration that the promised messiah would come and when he, saw the Spirit of God descending out of heaven and resting upon Him, he was to know and bear witness to the fact that this was the promised Messiah.
You and I have not seen the things John saw, but John bore testimony of these things, and he came baptizing and urging people to repent, making straight the way for Christ the Messiah. John’s example should then become ours. As John did, we should become the voice of one crying in the wilderness; making straight the way of the LORD. Why? Because Jesus promised His disciples and all of us that He is returning once more to this earth. Therefore, as John was ready to proclaim and defend the hope that is within him, we should be ready to proclaim and defend the hope that is within us because of the one that came to John. Who came before John? Why of course it was Christ the Messiah. This gives us all hope for something more than this world.
This is the second part of John’s message, it is to proclaim the good news and hope of the gospel message to the world.