John 1:29-34  John’s Identification of Jesus as the Son of God

Introduction:  These verses agree with the purpose of John’s Gospel for in them we see emphasized the Deity of Jesus.  John the Baptist explains to his disciples how he knew who the Christ would be.  John, most likely knew Jesus as they were growing up.  Jesus was a distant cousin of John.  Jesus was brought by Joseph and Mary to the feasts in Jerusalem each year.  They, most likely visited with Elizabeth and Zacharias each year at the time of the feast of Passover.  Remember that John leaped for joy while in his mother’s womb when Mary came into the room.  Elizabeth had no doubt told John that Mary’s Jesus was the Christ.  As we shall see from this text, John would rely on a higher authority to Identify Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God.

     “These things are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that believing ye might have life through His name.”


I.  John 1:29  The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

          The day after the priests and Levites had interrogated John he sees Jesus coming unto him.  It is fair to say that John always had a crowd around him.  Though he preformed no miracles the people believed him to be a prophet of God and the message he proclaimed was one of hope and good news.   It was only good news to those who would believe the message and repent of their sins.  The verse says “and saith, Behold…”.  This was a term used to get the attention of every one standing by.  It is like someone shouting “look!”  John used this to get everyone there to focus on Jesus as He approached.  It is most important that John referred to Jesus as the Lamb of God.  Had he used the term Christ the minds of the people would have seen a king.  Jesus is the Christ the promised messiah.  Jesus is the king of the Jews.  Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  But what men need to see in Jesus first and foremost is the Lamb of God.  John had been preaching repentance.  The people need to see that Jesus had come to take care of mans sin problem.  He would be the sacrifice for our sins.  Abraham told Isaac that God would provide himself a sacrifice.  All those lambs that were slain over hundreds of years pictured the Lamb of God that truly does take away the sin of the world.

          God provided the plan for mans salvation in eternity past.  It was arranged before man was made.  God’s plan was to pay mans sin debt by giving His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  According to Colossians 2:14, Jesus took the law which condemns men out of the way by nailing it to His cross.  In this way He has satisfied the conditions set by the God the Father for man’s redemption.  Our sin debt paid our part is to repent and accept God’s mercy and grace.  When we turn from our sin and turn to God believing in Jesus Christ as the savior, God is faithful and just to forgive us of our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.



II. John 1:30  This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.

     This is the third time John has used the phrase “after me…before me….he was before me”.  He wants everyone to know that Jesus is greater than all, himself included.  The phrase “he was before me” refers to the eternal nature of Jesus. Jesus is eternal God.  John has thus emphasized the Deity of Jesus to all who have come to him.  He is not ashamed of the truth and has gone on record that he believes Jesus is God almighty in human flesh.  John emphasizes again that Jesus is greater than he.  It is Jesus that is preferred over any human being.  He is the only one who can save.  He is the only one who can solve the problems which plaque the lives of men. 

III. John 1:31  And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.

     John lets those gathered about him know that he did not know Jesus was the Christ.  He said “I knew Him not”.  John knew who Jesus was.  He was a distant cousin to Jesus.  Their mothers were related and they no doubt kept in touch throughout the early years of the lives of their sons.  Elizabeth would have told John how he jumped in her womb when Mary came to see them.  He knew from his mother and father that Jesus was special.  He was no doubt told that Jesus was the savior of men, the Christ.  Elizabeth had called Him “my Lord” when she spoke with Mary.  John had the word of this father, mother, Joseph and Mary that Jesus was the Christ.  John would not rely upon these accounts but was given a sign from God.  A sign by which he would know for certain whom would be the Christ.  He was to baptize repentant believers.  In following these instructions the Christ would be revealed to him.  He would be manifest first of all to John and afterward to all of Israel.  The plan seems to have been for John to be engaged in baptizing and the Christ would come to him to be baptized and then the sign would come.  John’s part was to prepare the hearts of the people to receive the Christ.  The Christ would be manifest to them only after the voice of one crying in the wilderness had come.  That Jesus the Christ might be made known to the people was the whole reason for John’s baptizing.

IV. John 1:32  And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.

     John 1:33  And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.

     John had been told to look for the sign of the Holy Spirit.  After baptizing Jesus, John saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove and it abode on Jesus.  Matthew tells us that there also came a voice from heaven which said “this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”   You can not see a spirit.  John saw the spirit and it was in the bodily form like a dove.  As far as I can tell, only John saw the vision and only John heard the voice.  It was after this vision that John knew that Jesus was the Christ the Son of God.

          There is a thing that puzzles me here.  The sign John was looking for occurred after he baptized Jesus.  When Jesus came to John for baptism John forbid Him saying  (Mat 3:14) …..I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?”  John seems to recognize Jesus as being higher in authority before he baptized Him.  Had John believed what he had been told by humans about Jesus and thus knew with his mind that Jesus was the Christ?  By the phrase “I knew Him not” does John mean that he was not 100% certain that Jesus was the Christ until he had seen the vision promised him by God?    

          John, here in verse 33 states that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit.   What does this mean exactly?  John baptized with water.  This meant he used water to in the ceremony of baptism.  Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit.  This was done on the day of Pentecost after Jesus ascended back into heaven.  Act 1:4  And, being assembled together with [them], commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, [saith he], ye have heard of me.  (5)  For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

     John prophesied concerning the Holy Spirit coming upon the church and the cloven tongues like as of fire abiding on those gathered there on the day of Pentecost.  Jesus even though he had returned to heaven, was responsible for the events on the day of Pentecost.  Jesus baptized them with the Holy Ghost.  He empowered them that day and gave them boldness to preach the Gospel.

     Jesus was with the church on the day of Pentecost.  Jesus said where two or three are gathered in my name there am I in their midst.  Listen to the words of God as recorded by the writer of the book of Hebrews. Heb 13:5  [Let your] conversation [be] without covetousness; [and be] content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.  (6)  So that we may boldly say, The Lord [is] my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.


V. John 1:34  And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.

     John tells those standing there that he saw this vision and he goes on official record that Jesus is the Son of God.  Thus far, The major theme of the Gospel of John has been the Deity of Jesus.  Jesus is God, eternal God.  He stood as a lamb slain before the foundation of the world.  If you will believe that Jesus is the Christ, that is to say that He and He alone is the savior of men, and that He is the Son of God you can have everlasting life.  You must turn from your sin and turn to God and ask Him to have mercy on your soul, forgive you of your sin and save you from the fires of Hell.  If you will do this He will save you.  Romans 10:13 says “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”