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.

A Glimpse of God’s Compassion

…….”Today, God has visited us” (Eyewitness Luke 7:16)

Eyewitness: pp. 75,76
In Your Bible: Luke 7:11-23

The disciples and increasing crowds followed Jesus to Nain. They eagerly listened to every word he spoke and expectantly watched everything he did. At the town gate, they met a large funeral procession. The sorrowful scene centered on a widow, who lost her only son, funeral musicians, and many wailing townspeople.

FUNERAL PROCESSION MEETS JESUS

Luke emphasizes Jesus’ overwhelming compassion, as he came upon this mourning widow. Many Bible commentators say this may be the most touching story in the Gospels.

When Jesus saw the widow, he was filled with compassion and said to her, “Do not cry” (Eyewitness Luke 7:13). Then he walked over to the bier, a flat stretcher bearing the corpse, and touched it. Immediately, the men carrying the bier stopped walking. Then Jesus commanded the corpse to get up.

IMG_0192Amazingly, the widow’s dead son came alive again. He sat up and began to speak. Jesus presented him with new life, back to his mother. Jesus showed his deep compassion for the widow and the power of God to raise her son to life.

Now, the very large crowd stood in awe of what Jesus had done. They knew what they witnessed – God in their midst. They praised God saying, “A great prophet has risen among us,” and “Today, God has visited us” (Eyewitness Luke 7:17).

JOHN WANTS TO KNOW ABOUT JESUS

Word of Jesus raising the widow’s son from the dead spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee and Judea. John the Baptist heard of it from his disciples while in prison at Machaerus, east of the Dead Sea. And he sent two of his disciples to ask Jesus if he was the One to come.

“Go tell John what you have seen and heard,” Jesus replied. “The blind see, the lame walk, and lepers are cleansed. The deaf can hear, the dead are raised, and the needy receive words of hope. Tell him a man is blessed when he puts his faith in me” (Eyewitness Luke 7:22,23).

John the Baptist received verification of who Jesus was. Great testimony of what Jesus did – people knew it must have been God!

Application: Jesus’ compassion continues today. He is aware, he cares, and he wants God’s best for you.

Prayer: Father, thank you. Your compassion overcomes our sorrow and grief. Yes, your lovingkindness is everlasting and your faithfulness touches us deeply in times of need.

Photo of young boy healed by Jesus from: Jesus His Life and Times, Fleming H. Revell Company, Old Tappan, New Jersey, 1979, The Genesis Project.

About Jesus’ Famous Cousin…

Welcome: First time to visit this devotional blog? Check the ‘concept’ page to see why the Eyewitness, the Life of Christ in One Story and The Message are used as main Scripture references. The goal of this devotion is to present Scriptures with the idea of opening the eyes of your heart. Dig in and enjoy. If you would like to follow this blog, click on the ribbon at the lower right and complete the information to receive it by email.

“REPENT,” HE SAID, “FOR THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS NEAR” (Matthew 3:2 Eyewitness).

Eyewitness: pp. 31,32
In Your Bible: Matthew 3:1-12; Mark 1:2-8; Luke 3:1-18

IMG_0219Often people are recognized by what they wear, what they say or how they say it. That’s truly the case of the prophets of God. They wore unusual garments, were often loners, and fearlessly brought God’s message to the people whether the listeners wanted to hear it or not!

THINGS WE KNOW ABOUT JOHN THE BAPTIST

* His father was Zacharias (Luke 3:2 New American Standard Bible, NASB).
* His mother Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit when Mary, pregnant with Jesus, greeted her (Luke 1:31 NASB).
* In Elizabeth’s womb, John leapt with exaltation at this greeting (Luke 1:44 NASB).
* His clothes were like that of a prophet – rough and rudimentary (Matthew 3:4 NASB).
* He ate extremely simple foods – locusts and wild honey (Matthew 3:4 NASB).
* People came from Jerusalem, Judea, and the Jordan Valley to hear him (Matthew 3:5).

Baptism of Repentance

Baptism of Repentance

Luke’s Gospel illuminates John the Baptists’ emergence, by pinpointing the exact time frame – the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar and he mentions five other governmental rulers.

HIS MESSAGE – A DEMAND AND A PROMISE

The Demand: Man must repent for his sinful life.
* Turn from evil to God.
* Clean his heart and live a godly life.

The Promise: The Spirit of God (breath and power of God) will be poured out on mankind.
* The Spirit can bring order out of disorder.
* The Spirit enables man to see truth – God’s truth.

When crowds of people came to be baptized, John the Baptist didn’t mince words. He said, “You bunch of snakes. Who warned you to flee God’s judgement? The way you live proves whether you have left your sins and turned to God” (Luke 3:7 Eyewitness).

When the people heard John proclaiming the need for repentance (God’s message) in the wilderness, for the first time they understood, they were sinners. This was a new concept for the Jews. After all they were Sons of Abraham.

Hearers of this message were compelled to ask, “What shall we do?” John the Baptist gave these guidelines on how to live:
* “If you have two garments, give one to the poor. Share your food with the people who are starving” (Luke 3:11 Eyewitness).
* To the tax collectors who also asked what to do, he said, “Do not collect any more taxes than the government requires” (Luke 3:13 Eyewitness).
* To the soldiers, he said, “Be content with your pay. Never extort money or make false accusations” (Luke 3:14 Eyewitness).

With many other words, John the Baptizer encouraged the people and preached about how they could gain hope for salvation (Luke 3:18 Eyewitness).

We often think of John the Baptist as a wild man shouting in the desert to the Pharisees “You brood of vipers”……. maybe he was and maybe they were! But most important, to those who would listen, he showed how to gain hope for salvation – Jesus the Christ.

Application: Today we can do something about our sin nature. Face up to it – Repent..Turn Away. John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus with a powerful direct message. He pointed to the Messiah and the Holy Spirit which were to come, bringing life everlasting through Jesus.

Prayer: Father, thank you for showing all mankind that repentance, turning away from sin, then turning to you cleanses our heart.

Photos: Jesus – His Life and Times, Fleming H. Revell Company, Old Tappan, New Jersey 1979.