John The Baptist Validates Jesus

John the Baptist said, “With my own eyes, I saw it and can testify without reservation. He is the Son of God” (Eyewitness John 1:34)

Eyewitness: p. 35
In your Bible: John 1:19-34

In John the Baptists’ ministry we get the first glimpse of Jesus’ role on earth. We see the excitement of John when he saw Jesus, whom God sent. Most of the people there missed the impact of what John claimed:
He is the Son of God (Eyewitness John 1:3).
He is the Lamb of God Eyewitness John 1:29).

John the Baptist was Questioned


The Jews sent a group of priests to challenge John the Baptist – this interchange revealed important information. They wanted to know who John was.
“Are you the Messiah?” He answered – “NO.”
“Are you Elijah?” He answered – “NO.”
“Are you the Prophet foretold by Moses?” He answered – “NO.”

Then, quoting from Isaiah the Prophet, John said, “I am the one who is shouting, ‘clear the path in the wilderness because the Lord our God is coming”‘ (Eyewitness John 1:26,27).

John the Baptist Sees the Lamb of God


The next day, John saw Jesus and shouted, “Look! The Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” . . . (Eyewitness John 1:29).

What was John the Baptist thinking about when he used that phrase – Lamb of God? Bible Scholars* present several answers to this question:
1. The Passover Feast was coming soon, so the reference John could have been making was – there is one true sacrifice that can deliver you from death.
2. John as the son of a priest, he knew all of the rituals of the Temple and its sacrifices. In the Temple, a lamb is offered every night and every morning for the sins of the people. But Jesus alone is the only true sacrifice, which delivers man from sin.
3. John said, “This is the One your Prophets dreamed of coming.”
4. This lamb, strange as it may seem, stood for “the conquering champion of God,” who fought and defeated sin – Jesus is the Lamb.

For clarification, Bible scholars* say here it’s not that John the Baptist didn’t know who Jesus was, rather John didn’t know what Jesus was. The Holy Spirit revealed to John this Jesus was the Son of God. John the Baptist made it clear his role was to point men to Christ.

John gave this proof: “I would not have known him, but the one who sent me to baptize, said, “The man on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit” Eyewitness John 1:33.

Application: You and I understand and use the term Lamb of God. It is woven into our worship and praise. Though our understanding is different than the Jewish belief, we can grasp the meaning as we look at Old Testament Scripture.

Prayer: Father what a wonder you are. Thank you for Jesus the Lamb of God.

Question: What do you learn from reading John the Baptists’ revelation of who Jesus is? What does this mean in your life with him?

* The Daily Study Bible, The Gospel of John, Volume 1, William Barclay, The Westminster Press, St. Andrew Press, Edinburgh, Scotland, Second Edition, November 1956, pp.64,65.

The Point Is

“What God wants from you is to believe in the one he has sent” (Eyewitness John 6:29).

Eyewitness: pp.103-107
In Your Bible: Matthew 14:22-33; Mark 6:45-52; John 6:14-21

The story – Jesus fed 5,000 men plus women and children. A lot of people in one setting! He did it with a boy’s lunch (five loaves and two fish). They even had more food left over than when they started. All who were there were amazed.

The Crowd Missed the Point


The crowd wanted miracles to prove who Jesus was. The people said, “What must we do to perform the works of God?” Jesus said, “What God wants from you is to believe the one he has sent” (Eyewitness John 6:29). Basically Jesus explained that it’s simple and not complicated.

Jesus wanted to correct their thinking, “You were not searching for me because of the miracles but because I filled your stomachs with bread. Do not work for food that spoils. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. God the Father sent me for this purpose” (Eyewitness Matthew 14:27).

Peter Missed the Point


Jesus sent his disciples ahead in a boat to Capernaum. When a storm arose, they desperately fought the wind and the waves. Before dawn, Jesus came walking on the water toward them. But they thought he was a ghost and were frightened. Jesus comforted them and said, “It’s all right, I am Jesus, you do not need to be afraid” (Eyewitness Matthew 14:27).

Then Peter put Jesus to the test . . . “Sir, if it’s really you, tell me to come walking to you on the water.”
“Come!” Jesus said
(Eyewitness Matthew 14:28,29).
Peter started walking on the water, but became frightened after a few steps and began to sink. Jesus held out his hand and grabbed him. As soon as Jesus climbed into the boat, the wind calmed.

Even after the miracle of the loaves, they had not learned what God could do. . . . Utterly amazed and worshipful, the disciples said, “Truly you are the Son of God!” (Eyewitness Matthew 14:32)

Application: The point is — God wants you to believe in the one he has sent. Miracles meet needs, Jesus’ teaching meets needs and change man’s thinking to Kingdom Living. Even today, Jesus can help you with things that seem impossible.

Prayer: Father, I believe in you, I’m available, teach me daily, and use me to further your Kingdom.

Question: Today we have Jesus’ words and accounts by eyewitnesses of his miracles always available in Scripture. We know he is the Son of God. Consider what keeps you from believing who he is and limiting what he still does?

It’s About Time

Jesus said, “My time is up, the Son of Man is about to be handed over to the hands of sinners” (THE MESSAGE Matthew 26:45,46).

THE MESSAGE: Matthew 26:45,46
In Your Bible: Matthew 26:45,46

God spoke the world into existence. And He called light “day” and the darkness “night.” There was evening and morning, one day (Genesis 1:1-5 NASB). Time measurement is a God thing. Mankind divided it up into smaller and smaller segments. Jesus used the term “time” in reference to when he was to do something or when his Father directed him to do something.

Time To Begin Miracles


The first instance where Jesus referred to “time” was at the wedding at Cana. You remember, where he turned water into wine. He actually told his mother he wouldn’t do it upon her request to remedy the lack of wine. Jesus said, “This isn’t my time” (THE MESSAGE John 2:4). But he did turn water into wine to honor his mother and the host of the wedding.

Bible scholars* believe Jesus’ purpose was to teach his disciples before doing wonders or miracles.

In another instance, at the Feast of the Tabernacles, his disciples wanted Jesus to come out in the open and show the world, what he was able to do – miracles. Jesus said “This isn’t my time” (THE MESSAGE John 7:6). BUT he actually did go to Jerusalem secretly after being rejected in Samaria.

Jesus’ purpose was not to show off miracles before many people – nor was it why God sent him. Jesus came to teach the message of God, about Kingdom living help, heal mankind, and to confront the evil one face to face.

Signs of the End Time


Jesus taught his disciples many parables including some of these foretelling views of what will happen to believers before the second coming:
• Because you are believers you will be hated by people everywhere
• The Good News of the Kingdom will be preached throughout the world
• Believers will be arrested and imprisoned, but that will give them a chance to testify about me (Jesus)
• The Holy Spirit will give you words to speak when you are imprisoned or are called to testify about me (Jesus)

Predicting the time of the Messiah’s return, Jesus said, …..”The exact day, the exact hour? No one knows that, not even heaven’s angels, not even the Son. Only the Father knows” (The Message Matthew 24:36).

The Father Shows Jesus His Time Is Near

At preparation for the Passover in Jerusalem, Jesus told his disciples, “Enter the city. Go up to a certain man and say, ‘The Teacher says, My time is near. I and my disciples plan to celebrate the Passover meal at your house.'” The disciples followed Jesus’ instructions to the letter, and prepared the Passover meal THE MESSAGE Matthew 26:18).

Later that evening at Gethsemane after Jesus prayed, the Father revealed what he must endure. Jesus had to awaken the disciples, whom he told to pray with him, again and again. Jesus said, “Are you going to sleep on and make night out of it? My time is up, the Son of Man is about to be handed over to the hands of sinners” (THE MESSAGE Matthew 26:42-46).

The Message reveals Jesus’ frank statement. “I’m not making any of this up on my own. The Father who sent me gave me orders, told me what to say and how to say it. And I know exactly what his command produces: real and eternal life. That’s all I have to say. What the Father told me, I tell you” (THE MESSAGE John 12: 49,50).

Application: Obeying the path the Father chose for him was his task, including – TIMING. This we can see through a picture not available to the disciples, family, nor any one person until the Father and the Holy Spirit placed it together in a book called the Bible. Glory!

Prayer: Father, help me grasp that time is in your hands. Just as you, Father, had specific times for Jesus to do things, I’m learning you have specific timing for me too. Thank you for giving me the Holy Spirit to guide me into your timing as I walk with you.

Question: What have you learned from this brief rundown of time or timing from God’s perspective?

* Matthew Henry’s Commentary in One Volume, Matthew Henry, Regency Reference Library, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1960,1961, p.1514.

A Few Words – In Jesus Name

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“When he touched them and spoke a few simple words, he healed each one” (Luke 4:40).
Eyewitness: pp. 50, 52, and 226.
In Your Bible: Mark 1:32-39; Luke 4:33-44; John 14:12-14.

Jesus Touches and Heals Many

As Jesus traveled throughout Galilee people got a close look at this wonder-working man. Many with diseases and some tormented by evil spirits came to him. When he touched them and spoke a few simple words, he healed each one (Eyewitness Luke 4:40). Jesus’ actions fulfilled what the prophet Isaiah wrote long ago: Truly he has taken our infirmities and carried our pain (Eyewitness Isaiah 53:4).

Evil Spirits Obey Jesus Words


Evil spirits knew who Jesus was. They screamed as they came out of many people, “You are the Son of God!” Because they knew Jesus was the Messiah, he did not allow them to say more. On a Sabbath, when Jesus was teaching in the synagogue, a man possessed with an evil spirit came up and screamed in torment. Through this man, the evil spirit spoke. “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? I know who you are, the Holy One sent from God. Have you come to destroy us?” (Eyewitness Luke 4:34).

“Silence!” Jesus commanded, “Come out of him!” The evil spirit left the man without harming him. Word of this encounter quickly spread throughout Galilee.

The powerful Son of God works day and night to meet peoples’ needs and confronts the tormenter of man directly. Yes, evil spirits know exactly who Jesus is. Jesus told his disciples, “Listen, learn of me and trust me. Don’t be distressed,” Jesus said. “You trust God. Trust me as well” (Eyewitness John 14:1).

Words with Authority – In Jesus Name

In the Gospel of John, Chapter 14, Jesus says believers can:
* Do the works he does
* Do even greater works
* Ask for anything

The believer must ask under the direction of Jesus (through spiritual discernment) and the authority of Jesus.

The Amplified Bible puts it this way: “And I will do, [I myself will grant] whatever you ask in My Name [as presenting all that I AM], so that the Father may be glorified and extolled in (through) the Son” (John 14:13).

What a blessing from the Father/God. Jesus does the work. We do the asking – rightly asking. He told us “To reveal the Father’s glory in the Son, I will do whatever you ask under my direction and authority” (Eyewitness John 14:13,14).

From this perspective, it’s really simple if understood and amazing to ponder……..and act upon.

Application: We want our words to be powerful, simple, and direct. When we go about doing good, let our actions speak for themselves and honor Christ Jesus. Jesus tells us to ask anything of him – but we should do so under his direction and authority.

Prayer: Father, help me touch people with your love, your compassion, and your power so they may know who you are.

QUESTION: What spiritual things do you see happening around you? How do you grasp the capability and power given the believer by our awesome God? Let’s chat about this.

A Command – An Invitation

“As he walked along, he saw a tax collector, Matthew, son of Alphaeus, also called Levi, sitting at a place where people pay taxes. ‘Follow me,’ Jesus said” (Eyewitness Matthew 9:10).

Eyewitness: p. 56
In Your Bible: Matthew 9:9,10

Command

The word “command” implies to direct, instruct, give an order, or imposition of a task, duty, or responsibility. Jesus speaks to us as well as The Twelve he started with. He speaks to mankind with a command – he doesn’t need to plead. He’s gentle, meek, yet God all powerful and incarnate. Why do we balk and take so long to grasp this?

Many who encountered Jesus became followers. The first Twelve got hands-on training and teaching, saw miracles, and observed people receive God’s compassion.

God did this in the Old Testament times – He commanded the creation process (Genesis 1:1-31). But he did not live among them and teach them daily face to face. He used Abraham, Isaac, Joshua, and King David to list a few. God taught his Law, statutes, and expectations on how to live, do good and confront evil.

Living for God – Kingdom Living – is a theme Jesus dwells on throughout the Gospels. We may claim we cannot understand it. But more often we just don’t want to exchange our culture – what we’re doing – for Kingdom Living. It takes time for the concept to sink into our spirit and allow our thinking to be spiritually focused/Bible focused.

Jesus Dining With Matthew


Jesus told the Pharisees and teachers of the Law truth but they didn’t understand it. When they saw Jesus eat with Matthew and outcasts, they were sure he made a mistake. They observed his teaching and living, they knew he was a righteous man. They asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such people?” (Eyewitness Matthew 9:11).

Even though what the Pharisees and teachers said wasn’t spoken to him, Jesus heard it. He replied to them, go learn what the prophet [Hosea] said, “I wanted to show you love, not make sacrifices–to know God, not make burnt offerings.” He goes on to say, “I have not come to invite repentance to those who think they are righteous. I have come for those who know they are sinners” (Hosea 6:6).

Jesus speaks to everyone, but when minds are closed, only the heart can be reached – through the Spirit of God. The searing truth remains, God’s love can overcome any barrier.

Application: We must understand our culture is not an excuse to sin. As followers of Jesus we must reach for the Kingdom of God in righteous living – Kingdom Living. Yes, you belong to Jesus……Live for him.

Prayer: Father, thank you for providing a way to remove my sin, stay close to you by your love through Jesus – then begin Kingdom Lifestyle. I want to obey and follow you.