Wednesday in the First Week of Ordinary Time

John 1:19-34

Behold, the Lamb of God

Today we begin in earnest our trek through the Gospels for the year during “Ordinary Time.”  I am going to try to go in historical sequence the best we can discern from the four gospels.

We saw John the Baptist on Sunday when we discussed our Lord’s baptism. John had created quite a stir and even the expectation that he, himself, might be the Christ.  You see, it had been four hundred years (!) since Israel (the Jews) had seen a prophet.  Malachi, the last of the prophets, was about 400 B.C.  So when John arrived on the scene preaching repentance and even baptizing, which the Pharisees obviously considered extraordinary, many people asked themselves, “Is he the one?”  So the Pharisees, a highly respected group mostly made up of educated laymen who were leaders among the Jews, sent a delegation to ask John if indeed he were the one.

In that day, there were thought to be three persons whom God would send to redeem his people: 1) the Christ, obviously; 2) Elijah, the one who was to prepare the way before the coming of Christ (Malachi 4:5-6); and, 3) the “prophet” foretold by Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15).  John denied being any one of the three but instead identified himself as “the voice of one crying in the wilderness” of Isaiah 40:3.  Jesus, however, did affirm that John was the “Elijah” who was to come first to prepare the way (Matthew 17:9-13), which we must assume even John did not know about himself.  The apostles later affirm that Jesus was also the “prophet” (Acts 3:22; 7:37).  John owned that he was not even worthy to untie the coming one’s sandals – the task of a slave in that day.  The most important part is what John said about Jesus: “The Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the word.”  John said that Jesus “was before me” and saw the Holy Spirit light on him as a dove, and remain on him.  And so John bore witness, “This is the Son of God” who “baptizes with the Holy Spirit.”

All of this points to our Lord’s deity: “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world,” “he was before me,” “Son of God,” “baptizes with the Holy Spirit.”  Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit at his birth, but at his baptism received further affirmation of his mission to save his people.  And now, seated at the right hand of the Father, he sends the Holy Spirit to call out a people from the world.  He is the Father who loved them from eternity, the Lamb who gave himself for them, and the Spirit who births them anew.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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