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.