After the opening summary, we zoom in on the details of John the Baptist’s testimony. The Jews sent the Sunday School Police (SSP) to question JTB. He must have been doing enough baptizing to have caused a ripple and the Jews in charge can never be too careful. They need to know exactly who or what they are dealing with in order to sanction all religious activity. There may be the occasional loose cannon that could get out of hand.
Q: “Who are you?” A: “I am not the Christ.”
Q: “What then? Are you Elijah?” A: “I am not.”
Q: “Are you a prophet?” A: “No.”
Q: “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us.”
A: “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”
These guys are under some pressure to come back and report. What exactly is it they have heard about JTB? Maybe the crowds he was drawing were talking. I mean he was in Bethany across the Jordan and that’s a ways from Jerusalem. They must have expected someone with this level of fame would claim the name of Christ or Elijah or at least a prophet.
If you are not one of these important guys then why are you baptizing? Well, because “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’” I’m clearing the path, I’m the opening act, and I’m setting the stage – that’s why. Oh and did you get the part where I’m the opening act for THE LORD? You’ve heard of him, right? He is so much greater than me I don’t qualify to untie his shoes.
The next day John sees Jesus coming toward him. In that moment do you think it runs through his mind – hey that’s my cousin? Instead and with no hesitation JTB proclaims: “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 ranks before me, because he was before me.’”
I think it is significant the he named him “The Lamb of God”. A little conjecture: Israel was looking for God to provide a king to rescue them. They were not looking for God to provide a sacrifice. It reminds me of Abraham and Isaac going up the mountain to worship and when asked Abraham reassures Isaac “God Himself will provide the lamb.”
Still you have to ask, “How did John know?” He did have extraordinary radar to the things of the Spirit. Remember John was the baby that leaped in his mother Elizabeth’s womb when a pregnant Mary came to visit her. But John tells us – the Spirit showed me. John knew Jesus not by flesh but by revelation from above. And John was not waiting 5 seconds to tell – this is the Son of God!
That’s kind of like how it worked for me. I didn’t know Jesus. Then by way of a friend, He walked toward me and I believed He was the Lamb of God. That moment was seared into my life forever – I went from “I don’t know” to “I know that I know that I know.”
He is a master planner, guiding every detail by His Spirit.
God will reveal Himself if I am listening to the Spirit.
About the World?
God loves so much He provides all that you need to come home to Him.