Thursday, February 17, 2011

John the Baptist Points Jesus Out To John's Followers

The day after John the Baptist had his contretemps with the Sanhedrin's delegation, he was again preaching and baptizing, just like usual. During the course of the day he looked up and saw Jesus walking towards him:
Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! He is the one I told you about when I said, 'Someone else will come. He is greater than I am, because he was alive before I was born.' I didn't know who he was. But I came to baptize you with water, so that everyone in Israel would see him. (John 1:29-31)
Did you notice that John answered the delegation’s last question? They had asked him five questions:

1) Who do you think you are?
2) Are you Elijah?
3) Are you the Prophet?
4) So who are you then?
5) What’s going on with this unauthorized baptizing?

The baptizing John was doing was part of God’s plan to reveal Messiah.
I was there and saw the Spirit come down on him like a dove from heaven. And the Spirit stayed on him. Before this I didn't know who he was. But the one who sent me to baptize with water had told me, 'You will see the Spirit come down and stay on someone. Then you will know that he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.' (John 1:32-33)
We know from the other gospels that this event had happened about six weeks before. John had not been able to identify Jesus until this moment because immediately after Jesus’ baptism He had gone into the desert for a forty day ordeal of testing.

John the Baptist did know Jesus as a person. He was Jesus’ second cousin. Mary, Jesus’ mother, and Elizabeth, John’s mother, were cousins. When Mary first went to visit Elizabeth, thirty years previously, Luke says John, already filled with the Holy Spirit, leaped inside Elizabeth because of Jesus, being carried inside Mary.

In fact John, the writer of this gospel, was also Jesus’ and John the Baptist’s cousin since John's mother Salome was Mary’s sister. So they were all family. But remember what John had already said in his gospel
The light came to his own people, and his own people didn’t welcome him. (John 1:11)
Even Jesus’ own brothers did not know who He was as they grew up with Him

When Jesus came up to John the Baptist to be baptized in the river Jordan, the gospels record John protesting, saying Jesus was really the one who should baptize him. Even before God revealed to the Baptist that Jesus was the Messiah, The gospels explain that Jesus grew every day in wisdom and that He had the grace of God upon Him.

In fact, the gospels say that Jesus grew in everybody’s esteem and good opinion. He found favor with God and with people. John had never known Jesus to ever do a wrong thing. That’s why he told Jesus, No, You should be baptizing me, because I know I’m a sinner, but I’ve never known you to sin.

What the Baptist was about to find out was that Jesus was not only perfect, but
I saw this happen, and I tell you that he is the Son of God.
When John baptized Jesus and saw the Holy Spirit come down and rest above Jesus and heard the Father say, “This is My Son in Whom I am well pleased,” that was the sign God had given to the Baptist. But he couldn’t announce Jesus to the world until now, when Jesus had returned from the desert.

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1 comment:

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