October 8, 2020
24 Then the Pharisees who had been sent 25 asked him, “If you aren’t the Messiah or Elijah or the Prophet, what right do you have to baptize?”
26 John told them, “I baptize with water, but right here in the crowd is someone you do not recognize. 27 Though his ministry follows mine; I’m not even worthy of being his slave and untying the straps of his sandal.”
28 This encounter took place in Bethany, an area east of the Jordan River, where John was baptizing.
Jesus, the Lamb of God
29 The next day, John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’ 31 I did not recognize him as the Messiah, but I have been baptizing with water so that he might be revealed to Israel.”
32 Then John testified, “I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him. 33 I didn’t know he was the one, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Chosen One of God.” -John 1:24-34 NLT
Finishing up the conversation with the religious leaders and John, he tells them that he only baptizes with water, after being questioned why he is baptizing and not the Messiah. John is helping those perform a simple act of repentance. Keep in mind that the only one can forgive sins, and that is the Son of God, the Messiah himself. Baptism is new to you. You are washed from everything and start fresh.
John said he is not worthy of being Christ’s slave by unfastening his shoes. Jesus called John the greatest prophets of them all (Luke 7:28.) Why is John letting his pride get in the way to serve Christ? For us to be serving Christ, we should still help. I will be the first to admit that I am not a Pastor. I tell people that it doesn’t make sense for me to be giving the Word of God, and I am doing everything against his will intentionally or not. I have friends that say you are a Pastor. I’m not. I study the Word. I sin as much as the next person in line. The whole idea is to serve and teach, and pride goes away. Understanding people’s sinful ways is a way to help. John did not understand Christ. I can say that I don’t understand him that well either if I have people telling me that I need to be a Pastor, but yet to become one. The irony of everything! Yes, I am checking myself too.
In Exodus, a lamb was sacrificed for the sins of people. In Isaiah, the Messiah prophesied and be led to the slaughter like a lamb. The Messiah paid the penalty of our sins, the ultimate sacrifice. Dying on the cross removed all sins, and this is how we are forgiven. The world’s sin is everyone’s sins, one wrong or two; everybody’s sin. When you sin, ask for forgiveness and confessing the evil to him.
The most incredible humility we can have is preaching and teaching. It takes us to a whole different level when we teach about Jesus and bringing people to him. John reminds us to be an example of incredible humility. There is nothing wrong with doing other work for Christ, but preaching and teaching are the greatest you can see. It shows honor towards Jesus to be bold and talk about him, even if people believe it or don’t believe it. Be content with teaching the gospel and showing Christ your love for him.
I didn’t know anything about Jesus and John as relatives. Luke 1:36, “What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month.” Jesus’s mother, Mary, and Elizabeth, are cousins. Elizabeth is John the Baptist mother. I learned something today, and I hope someone here did as well. John told everyone that Jesus is the Messiah, but God gave a sign to John to show him that Jesus honestly was sent from God. Because John and Jesus were related, he had an idea who Jesus was. After Jesus’ baptism, John realized that Jesus is the Messiah. You can read about Jesus’ baptism in Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 1:9-11 & Luke 3:21-22. John tells everybody about Jesus. He points them to Jesus. Once they understand, they get baptized and start all over again with new life, thoughts, wisdom, boldness, caring, etc. That is the core foundation of John to get others to Christ by preaching and teaching. God wants the same out of us. Teach and talk with those about Jesus, what he can do, where he came from, as we do with our real friends.
Father, thank you for our lesson about you, John’s foundation, and learning about the relationship with you both. I pray boldness over who is reading this to share the knowledge they learn and pass it on to others that may not know. You are calling them, and they don’t see it yet. I am one of them. Allow us to be open-minded, and practice meditation to understand you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.