What are we here for? What is the purpose of the church?
Let’s understand how important pointing to Jesus is.
We will look at John 1:29-42 and John the Baptist’s example of pointing to the Lamb of God.
John 1:29 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.”
35 The following day John was again standing with two of his disciples. 36 As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!” 37 When John’s two disciples heard this, they followed Jesus.
38 Jesus looked around and saw them following. “What do you want?” he asked them.
They replied, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”
39 “Come and see,” he said. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon when they went with him to the place where he was staying, and they remained with him the rest of the day.
40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of these men who heard what John said and then followed Jesus. 41 Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means “Christ”).
42 Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus. Looking intently at Simon, Jesus said, “Your name is Simon, son of John—but you will be called Cephas” (which means “Peter”).
[Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.]
And that’s the Gospel of our Lord. Thanks be to God!
John 1:29 The Lamb of God (Ἀμνὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ)
John the Baptist’s words are profound, “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” Revelation reveals the Lamb standing at God’s throne (5:6-13), opening the seven seals (6:1-16; 8:1), as shepherd of the nations (7:9-17), those who triumphed in his blood (12:11), his book of life (13:8), standing with the pure (14:1-10), singing Moses’ song (15:3), the Lamb’s victory (17:14), his wedding (19:7-9; 21:9), his city (21:22-27), his river of the water of life (22:1-3). Jesus is the Lamb of God (Latin: Agnus Dei), the Passover lamb (Exodus 12:1-28; 1 Corinthians 5:6-8).
(Revelation 5:6-13, Revelation 6:1-16, Revelation 8:1, Revelation 7:9-17, Revelation 12:11, Revelation 13:8, Revelation 14:1-10, Revelation 15:3, Revelation 17:14, Revelation 19:7-9, Revelation 21:9, Revelation 21:22-27, Revelation 22:1-3, Exodus 12:1-28, 1 Corinthians 5:6-8)
John 1:29 The Sin of the World (τὴν ἁμαρτίαν τοῦ κόσμου)
John saw Jesus coming towards him. Do we see Jesus in the heart of a fellow Christian, in the hungry, thirsty, stranger, naked, sick, or prisoner? Why is Jesus called the Lamb of God? The blood of an unblemished lamb on the door posts signaled the death angel to “pass over” the houses of the Israelites. Passover also commemorates Jewish liberation from slavery to sinful Egypt. The unblemished lamb pictures the sinless nature of Christ. Only the sacrifice of the sinless God-man could take away the sin of the world. Why “sin” and not “sins”? Could this mean all the wickedness of the world is one great burden or plague?1
1Plummer, Alfred. The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges. John. Cambridge University Press. 1902.
John 1:30 He it Is (οὗτός ἐστιν)
This is He. He is the one. Not one of us is the Messiah. Yet, so many have a Messiah complex, delusions of grandeur, an inflated sense of self-importance? Why do so many leaders, politicians and preachers burden ourselves with the delusion that we must “save the world”? Like John the Baptist we should point to another who is the Messiah. Like a light on a hill we don’t illuminate ourselves but God. We are all appointed missionaries, sent by God to tell the story of Jesus and his love. John the Baptist was six months older than Jesus. Yet, Jesus was not just prefered before John. He was before him.
John 1:31-37 Look, the Lamb of God (Ἴδε ὁ Ἀμνὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ)
Apparently even though John was Jesus’ cousin, he had not recognized him as being the Messiah. Often within families, greatness is not recognized except by outsiders. “Oh that’s just cousin Joshua!” Well, John was a humble man. He testified that he saw the Holy Spirit descend on Jesus, verifying that Jesus was the Son of God, the One who would baptize with the Holy Spirit. Again the next day he pointed his own disciples to Jesus the Lamb of God. From other passages, we deduce that these two disciples were probably Andrew and John. Every pastor is called to be so selfless and point disciples away from themselves and to Jesus?
John 1:38-39 Come and See (Ἔρχεσθε καὶ ὄψεσθε)
Jesus asked the two disciples of John what they were looking for. What are we looking for? Have we found it in the Babylon of this world? The two disciples said Rabbi, meaning teacher? Are we in church to teach others our opinions or to be taught by Jesus? Jesus’ first invitation was to come and see. Yet, what do we see in churches, faulty people or Jesus and His Spirit at work in those faulty people? This event was so important to John, that he even remembered the time of day it occurred. Is there a deeper meaning, that if we begin to follow Jesus, we will eventually truly see?
John 1:40-41 Christ (Χριστός)
Messiah is Hebrew for Christ. Both words mean the anointed one. It refers to a male anointed by divine command as king, high priest or patriarch.1 John calls Jesus the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, God’s Son. Andrew announces him as the Messiah. Jesus is who they say his is, Savior of the world. Andrew’s reaction is an example for us. He does not argue with his brother, but simply announces. It is up to Simon to choose what to do. When truth fills our hearts, we don’t wait around for others to come to us but go, telling them what we have found.
1Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon, Unabridged, Electronic Database. Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission. BibleSoft.com
John 1:42 Peter (Πέτρος)
Simon’s name is Shimon in Hebrew, meaning doubtful, offspring of a hyena or wolf.2 It would be changed to Peter, meaning a rock.3 This would indicate the change in character that Peter would experience with the teaching of the Holy Spirit. He would be changed from a person of variableness and doubtful mood to foundation strong, a person of rock solid character. An ancient Christian custom continued in some churches, is to give a new name at baptism. More importantly is the change that comes with conversion. These foundational leaders of the Christian faith without visible support, only faith and Jesus as their teacher, pioneered what we enjoy today.
2Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon, Unabridged, Electronic Database. Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission. BibleSoft.com
3THAYER'S GREEK LEXICON, Electronic Database. Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2006, 2011 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission. BibleSoft.com
Let’s continue pointing to Jesus, because only there will we and others find the answers to life.