29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is he of whom I said, `After me comes a man who ranks before me, for he was before me.' 31 I myself did not know him; but for this I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel." 32 And John bore witness, "I saw the Spirit descend as a dove from heaven, and it remained on him. 33 I myself did not know him; but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, `He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.' 34 And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God."
Meditation: John calls Jesus the Lamb of God and
thus signifies Jesus' mission as the One who redeems us from our
sins. The blood of the Passover Lamb (Exodus 12) delivered
the Israelites in Egypt from slavery and death. The Lord Jesus
freely offered up his life for us on the cross as the atoning
sacrifice for our sins (1 Corinthians 5:7). The blood which he
poured out for us on the cross cleanses, heals, and frees us from
our slavery to sin, and from the "wages of sin which is death"
(Romans 6:23) and the "destruction of both body and soul in hell"
John points to Jesus' saving mission - to offer up his life as the atoning sacrifice for our sins
It is significant that John was the son of Zachariah, a priest of Israel who participated in the daily sacrifice of a lamb in the temple for the sins of the people (Exodus 29). John recognized that Jesus was the perfect unblemished lamb offered by the Father in heaven as the one and only sacrifice that could cancel the debt of sin, and free us from death and the destruction of body and soul in hell.
The Holy Spirit reveals who Jesus truly is - the Son of God and Savior of the world
When John says he did not know Jesus (John 1:31,33) he was referring to the hidden reality of Jesus' divinity. But the Holy Spirit in that hour revealed to John Jesus' true nature, such that John bore witness that this is the Son of God. How can we be certain that Jesus is truly the Christ, the Son of the living God? The Holy Spirit makes the Lord Jesus Christ known to us through the gift of faith. God gives us his Spirit as our helper and guide who opens our hearts and minds to receive and comprehend the great mystery and plan of God - to unite all things in his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:10).
Do you want to grow in the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ? Ask the Lord to pour his Holy Spirit upon you to deepen your faith, hope, and love for God and for the plan he has for your life.
1 I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry.
2 He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.
3 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD.
6 Sacrifice and offering you do not desire; but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required.
7 Then I said, "Behold, I come; in the roll of the book it is written of me;
8 I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart."
9 I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; behold, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O LORD.
Daily Quote from the Early Church Fathers: John points to Jesus' saving mission, by Cyril of Alexandria (376-444 AD)
"No longer does John need to 'prepare the way,' since the one for
whom the preparation was being made is right there before his
eyes... But now he who of old was dimly pictured, the very Lamb,
the spotless Sacrifice, is led to the slaughter for all, that he
might drive away the sin of the world, that he might overturn the
destroyer of the earth, that dying for all he might annihilate
death, that he might undo the curse that is upon us... For one
Lamb died for all (2 Corinthians 5:14), saving the whole flock on
earth to God the Father, one for all, that he might subject all to
God." (excerpt from the COMMENTARY ON THE
GOSPEL OF JOHN 2.1)