Tuesday, September 27, 2016

John 1 (Part 2)

 John 1:19-28 – Jesus Revealed to the World

John now continues writing about John the Baptist in John 1:19-18.  John the Baptist lived in the desert, he wore clothes made from camels’ hair, and he ate strange food.  He was the son of the priest, Zechariah.  He was not a political leader, but was powerful and many people listened to his message recognizing his authority was from God.  He told people to repent and be baptized.

The Jewish leaders asked John the Baptist questions:  Who are you? (Implying are you the Messiah).  Are you Elijah? Are you a prophet?  What do you say about yourself?  Why do you baptize?  John the Baptist replied, “I am not the Christ.”John 1:20.  “I am the voice of one calling in the desert.  Make straight the way for the Lord.” John 1:23.  “I baptized with water, but among you stand one you do not know.  He is the one who comes after me, the thongs of whose scandals I am not worthy to untie.”John 1:26-27. 

We learn a lot about John the Baptist.  He was a bold preacher and knew the Scriptures.  He never took the glory for himself.  He teaches us to be bold, to know the Scriptures and to be ready to quote it, and to be humble and always give Jesus the glory.

John’s baptisms with water were only a symbol of true spiritual cleansing.  Baptism is a witness for others.  The true cleansing was done by Jesus’ blood on the cross.  His baptisms only prepared for the real baptism with the Holy Spirit.

John 1:29-34 – Jesus’ Baptism

John the Baptist is the first to introduce Jesus to the World.  The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him.  “Look the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!  This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’  I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.” – John 1:29-31. 

Jesus is the Lamb of God.  Remember the story in Exodus 12 of the deliverance of the people of Israel from Egypt when the Israelites sacrificed an unblemished male lamb and put its blood on the doorposts so the angel would pass over their houses and not kill their 1st born?  Jesus is without blemish or sin.  Jesus is the Ultimate Passover Lamb.   He is our Deliver.

“Then John gave this testimony:  I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.  I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’  I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.”John 1:32-34.  For more on Jesus’ baptism see the other Gospels – Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 1:9-11, Luke 3:21-22.

God had previously told John that this sign of the Holy Spirit will show Jesus is the promised Messiah.  Jesus being baptized shows He is identifying with sinners.  This was His first public event of His ministry.  It was a picture of His death and resurrection.

Acts 2:38 tells us to repent, be baptized and our sins will be forgiven.  Then you will receive the Holy Spirit.  In John 7:38-39 we see that the Spirit is not given to believers until Jesus is glorified.  Today since He has been glorified, we receive the Holy Spirit when we first believe.  1 Cor. 12:13 tells us we are all baptized by 1 Spirit into 1 body whether Jew or Gentile.  When baptized we become Christians and are members of His church with Christ as the Head.  Each of Christ’s members has different roles and is dependent upon each other.

What does it mean to be baptized with the Holy Spirit?  Our baptism is only a symbol and witness for others.  We are baptized because Christ commands it of us.  It doesn’t save us.  Belief saves us.  When you first believe you are saved, you are baptized and sealed with His Spirit.  This is a one-time physical thing.  It occurs once for every believer – it’s a new birth.  All believers are baptized into Christ.  When our faith is exercised and we believe, the Holy Spirit indwells in us.  This is different from being filled with the Holy Spirit.  Being filled with the Spirit is proof of our salvation.  It is a continuous activity.  It is a daily thing.  When you are truly filled with the Holy Spirit; you will show the love of Jesus; you show self-control; you walk with the Lord and you obey Him.  He continually fills us with His Spirit as we stay in the Word and grow our faith.  We yield to His control.  His influence affects our character.  How we live our life is a witness to others. 

Are you truly filled with the Holy Spirit?

John 1:35-51 – Jesus Calls His Disciples

After Jesus was baptized John the Baptist and two of his disciples saw Jesus.  John pointed Jesus out to them.  Andrew was the 1st disciple of John and began to follow Jesus.  He told Simon Peter that they had found the Messiah.  Then Jesus found Philip and asked him to follow Him.  Then Philip found Nathanael and told him about Jesus.  (John 1:36-45). 

Andrew and John responded to Jesus because John the Baptist told them He is the Lamb of God.  He is the One who takes away the sin of the world.  Jesus asked them “What do you want?”John 1:38.  Jesus wanted them to know their own hearts and exactly what they were doing.    Why do you study the Bible or go to church?  Do you just go to make friends or because you are lonely?  Do you go just because you think you should?  Jesus knew the heart of Andrew and John just as He knows ours.  He wants us to clarify it in our minds.  He wants us to be committed to Him and always be willing to stand firm is all circumstances.
Philip couldn’t keep the good news to himself.  He found Nathanael and told him they had found the Messiah.  At first Nathanael doubts who Jesus is, but Philip didn’t argue with him.  He just said to come and see for yourself.  We should be like Philip.  Invite others and tell them to see for themselves.  Nathanael knew the law and was a thinking person.  He was honest and said exactly what he thought and asked questions.
Then Jesus showed Nathanael a small miracle of telling him He saw him earlier under the fig tree.  This convinced Nathanael and he calls Him Rabbi.  Nathanael now saw Jesus as the Messiah.  Jesus said, “You shall see greater things than that….  I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” John 1:50-51.  Jesus’ words can be better understood by referring to Gen. 28:10-22 – the ladder to heaven.  Jesus is the ladder from earth to heaven.  He is the only way to God.  “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”John 14:6  All the disciples would soon see Jesus do many miracles like opening the eyes of the blind, making the lame walk, feeding 5,000 with 5 loaves and 2 fishes, and even raise the dead.

The disciples of John the Baptist proved they believed in John’s words about Jesus by following Him and telling others and bringing them to Jesus.  True disciples tell others they have found Jesus and invite others to find Him, too.  They had been waiting for hundreds of years for the Messiah and now they found Him.  Messiah means Anointed One.

Do you believe that Jesus is the unique Son of God?
Do you believe Jesus is the Lamb of God and sacrificed His life on the cross for your sins?
If you are a Christian, are you a true disciple?
How have you invited others to find Jesus?
Have you confessed your sins to Him?
If you have yet accepted Jesus as Savior, will you prayerfully study the book of John and “come and see”?

Wow!  I love the book of John.  Next time we will study John 2.  Have a blessed day and thanks for visiting my site.  Hope to see you here again.

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