Again the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. 36 and looking at Jesus as He walked, he (John) said, “Behold the Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 38 Then Jesus turned and seeing them following said, to them, “What do you seek?” John 1:35-37a
For John, the last two days had been very busy. First John had defended before the Pharisees and members of the Sanhedrin the reason and authority for what he was doing. John was quick to point out by use of the scripture that his authority had come from God, in that He was making straight the way for the coming messiah. He was doing this by urging the people to repent and baptizing them.
Then just yesterday, the Messiah had returned to John after having been gone for forty days after his baptism having been temped in the wilderness. John immediately recognized who Jesus was and proclaimed Him to be the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world. Now the next day, John is standing and talking with two of his disciples, when Jesus once more comes. Once again John proclaims Jesus to be the Lamb of God. The two disciples heard John and decide to follow Jesus.
To review, the first part is always being ready to give a reason for the hope that is within you and by whose authority do we give this message. For John the hope that was within him was the soon coming of the Messiah. For us this hope that is within us is the Gospel message and the soon coming Lord in Clouds of glory at His second coming. The third part which we will now explore is discipleship.
People, love to follow people. I have heard the statistic that 90 percent of the people are followers and only 10 percent are leaders. Leaders tend to attract followers. It is clear, John the Baptizer was a leader and in the tradition of that time he had his disciples, followers, that heard and liked his message and decided to follow him and learn from him.
But John shows us the true meaning of mentoring or being a leader. First, John recognized that there was someone greater than he. He was more than willing to defer to Christ and by doing so recognized and gave us an example of how we should be. John’s authority and power of his message came from heaven and not anything that he John the Baptist did. Yes, he lived an exemplary life, but John was humble enough to recognize the source of his power was not within himself, it came from heaven above.
Second, he did not crave the adoration of those that followed him or those wishing to become his disciples. Instead, he pointed them to the one coming after him. So, on this day after Christ had been baptized, Jesus again came to John, and John upon seeing Him, pointed two of his disciples toward Jesus, and they asked if they could follow Jesus.
We have a tendency to follow the popular leader of the time, whether it is political, someone from the entertainment world, or a religious leader we tend to follow their example and buying in on their philosophy or teachings. But John took a different approach, he refused to allow his disciples to focus solely on him and instead continued to teach them by pointing them to Him that is the true teacher, the True Lamb of God.
It should be the purpose of each leader and teacher to point others, not to themselves, but to the source of life and light which is Christ the Messiah. As John humbly preached the gospel message of his day, we should preach the gospel message of our day in the same way, drawing others to Christ, making Christ the central theme of our message and not focusing on self or our own selfish desires.
Christ came to model before us the character of God and Christ never took credit for the things He did, instead He gave the credit to God.
The apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4:13 that I (Paul) can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. John new the power of his message did not come from Himself and Christ new the power of His message did not come from Himself but from the Father. You and I should also understand as John, Jesus and Paul did that our strength is not within ourselves but is from heaven itself through Christ. Therefore, we should be ready to give the reason for our hope with meekness and love, making straight the way of the Lord who is about to return in Clouds of glory pointing others to Christ as John pointed his disciples and listeners to Christ. This is the essence of the gospel message. To Glorify and make Christ the entirety of our message, not seeking glory for self, but to draw all others to Christ, who came to show us the character of the Father.