Monday, January 10, 2011

looking for the lamb John 1:29-42

John was a prophet. Some say he was the veyr last Old Testament prophet. He spoke on God's behalf with a clear mission, to prepare the way. When Joh,

“...saw Jesus coming toward him he declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29-30 NRSV It was a true declaration. The words rang clear with the promise of God's chosen one coming into the world. Still that first time they heard John's words John's followers stayed with him.

Early on in John the Evangelist's Gospel we hear John the Baptist encouraging his followers to leave and follow Jesus. John saw something in Jesus when the Spirit of God descended upon him. This story isn't in John's Gospel, but it is in the other 3 gospels. It was a clear sign from God that he was up to something big and that Jesus was the one who God loved and was pleased with in the world. In John's Gospel we see that the Baptist was counting on this sign to help him make sense of his ministry.

...John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33 I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.” John 1:33-35 NRSV

And the very next day John told his followers again about the greater one who was to follow him: Jesus.

“The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, 36 and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus.” John 1:35-28

John's followers faced a great choice. They had followed a great teacher and now their great teacher was telling them to follow another who was even greater. Our lives are filled with choices about who to follow and which words we choose to hear. One of the key challenges in ministry in our day is to have boldness about Christ but humility like John about ourselves. Martin Luther explained, John

...declared unequivocally (John 1:20): “I am not the Christ [we shall return to these words later], but I have been sent to witness to Him. I am shouting and proclaiming that He is the Light and the Life of man, full of grace and truth.” John was commissioned to point to this Christ and to lead all mankind to Him, so that he might induce all who were dead in sin and sitting in darkness and the shadow of death (Luke 1:79) to come to Him, to believe in Him, to be animated and illumined by Him, and thus to become partakers of His grace and truth. For this was the purpose of Christ’s incarnation, death, and resurrection, that all believers in Him might be justified and saved. Martin Luther, vol. 22, Luther's Works, Vol. 22 : Sermons on the Gospel of St. John: Chapters 1-4, ( ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan et al.;, Luther's Works Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999, c1957), Jn 1:17. page 125.

We are to point people towards Christ not ourselves or own ideas of God.

When people do meet Jesus they will meet him as a great teacher who often teaches through questions. John's followers approached him and he asked, τί ζητειτε, “what are you searching/looking for?” They asked next “Rabbi where are you staying” Jesus replied, “Come and See.” The invitation is still there for anyone who needs to meet God. "Come and See." Come follow Jesus; hear him teach and see him heal. Look all around you and you will never find any like him, "Come and see." It is only the beginning; many more great things will come.

pax, John

Please keep Siri, our girls, and myself in your prayers in the days and weeks ahead. I ask God to give Siri and the girls health, prosperity, happiness, joy in his presence, and his love in this time.


Nancy Marshall said...

Praying for you all. How are you doing?

Jen said...

“Reconciliation is to understand both sides; to go to one side and describe the suffering being endured by the other side, and then go to the other side and describe the suffering being endured by the first side.”