Discover more from Read-Aloud Theology
The Message of John (Lesson 3)
John the Baptizer | John 1:29
"Behold, "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world."
John the Baptist plays a unique and pivotal role in the book of John.
He is introduced as "a man sent from God" (John 1:6) whose mission was to prepare the way for the coming of Jesus, the Messiah.
If you've ever been in a play, you know that every role is important. But some roles are critically important. John plays that kind of role in God's story.
John's role is that of a prophet, similar to the Old Testament prophets who were sent by God to prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah. He is called the "voice of one crying out in the wilderness" (John 1:23) and his message is simple and direct, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matthew 3:2).
To repent is simply to be honest about one's need for mercy. It is not a promise to do better as much as an expression of faith in the promise of God to forgive sin.
During John's ministry in preparing people to receive Jesus as the Messiah, many people came to him for baptism as a sign of their repentance, which is why he is called John "the baptizer."
John's role is also one of witness. He testifies to the coming of Jesus and bears witness to who Jesus is. He declares that Jesus is "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29) and that he himself is not worthy to untie the sandals of Jesus (John 1:27).
What a lesson in humility that we can learn from John! He was given a special role to play but still realized his calling was to point people away from himself and toward Jesus.
In calling Jesus the Lamb, John clearly envisions Jesus' role as the one who will give his life in death, shedding his blood for the sins of his people to save them from the demands of divine justice.
That role would be fulfilled by Jesus several years later upon a cross.
What was John the Baptizer's role in the kingdom of God?
What is the significance of John's statement "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world"? How does his testimony establish the identity of Jesus as the Messiah?
What lesson about humility can we learn from John the Baptizer?
How can we be effective witnesses for Jesus?
A Suggested Prayer
Thank you for the testimony of those who've helped us to know Jesus as Savior and Lord. We stand amazed that Jesus would be the sacrificial lamb for our sins. Thank you for saving us with his blood. Help us to display the same humility of John, and ultimately, Jesus. Enable us by your grace to be witnesses to the gospel by confessing our sins with confidence in your mercy.
We pray this in Jesus' name, Amen.