John 1:29-34 JOHNS IDENTIFICATION OF JESUS AS THE CHRIST
In our previous text a delegation of Jews came to John the
Baptist from the Sanhedrin Council in
to question John and find out if he claimed to be the Christ.
John informed them that he was not the and that the Christ was
already in their midst. In our text today John identifies Jesus
as the Christ.
I. The timing of John's announcement
V. 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." Note that this took place on the very next day after the
Pharisees that the Christ was already in their midst. He could
have meant only that Christ was somewhere among the people of the
land. However, since he was able to point out the Christ the
very next day, it is likely that me meant that the Christ was
right there in the crowd as he spoke. It is very likely that the
Pharisees were still present in the crowd when John made the
identification. They would surely want to stay long enough to
observe John hear what John had to say to the crowds in order to
give a full report to the Sanhedrin Council about his activities.
So we cannot be absolutely certain that they were still present,
but we can be reasonably sure that they were.
John said, "Behold!." That is, he called out to the crowd so
as to get the attention of everybody. It is like saying, "Hey,
everybody! Listen up! I want all of you to hear this."
II. The wording of the announcement
John pointed out Jesus to that crowd and said, "Behold the
Lamb of God..." You will note that John did not use the word
"Christ." He did not say, "Behold the Christ of God." If he had,
the people would have immediately drawn up a picture in their
minds of a king, because the people all thought of the promised
Christ as the future king of
king to deliver them from the Romans. Indeed, He was the future
king, but He had not come to reign as king at this time. Rather,
He had come to suffer and die on the cross. Therefore God did
not want John to use a word that would call to their minds a
king. God wanted John to use a word that would call to their
minds a man who would suffer tremendously. So John said, "Behold
the Lamb of God..." (A meek and lowly one).
A lamb had been used as a symbol of suffering and death down
the years of
went up the mountain to make a sacrifice, Isaac said, "We have
the fire and we have the wood, but where is the sacrifice?"
Abraham answered, "The Lord will provide a sacrifice." They
looked around and a lamb was caught in the bushes and that lamb
was offered up as a sacrifice to God. Abraham really had in mind
that Isaac would be the sacrifice, but the lamb in the bush was a
substitute for Isaac. That lamb had represented the Christ who
is a substitute for sinful man.
the children of
blood of the lamb was sprinkled on the door lintel of every home.
That passover lamb represented the Christ, who would be slain in
order that sinful man might be delivered from bondage to sin.
The people of
through the blood of the passover lamb, but lost sinners would be
delivered from bondage to sin through the blood of the Christ.
Every year the people of
kill the Passover lamb in order the picture the Lamb of God who
would save men from sin.
Once the tabernacle was built and the sacrificial offerings
upon the brazen altar were started,
the children of
required to offer a lamb as a whole burnt offering every morning
and another lamb as a burnt offering every evening. The lamb was
completely burned on the altar. This was done to portray that
one day The Christ, the Lamb of God, would suffer on the cross of
In Isaiah chapter fifty-three the prophet Isaiah uses a lamb
to portray the suffering of the Christ. I want to read some of
these verses to you. As I read listen for two things. Listen
for the suffering of the Christ and listen to the comparison
between the Christ and a lamb.
Isaiah said, "He is despised and rejected of men; a man of
sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our
faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely
he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did
esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was
wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our
iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with
his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid
on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the
slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he
openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from
judgment: and who shall declare his generation: for he was cut
off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my
people was he stricken," Isa. 53:3-8.
John said, "Take a look at Jesus. Jesus is the Lamb of God.
Jesus is the promised Christ of God, who will suffer and die for
the sins of the world. He will die not just for the people of
world. Jesus will suffer and die that guilty sinners can repent
of their sins and be saved."
V. 30, "This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man
which is preferred before me..." John the Baptist had repeatedly
told the people that Jesus would be preferred before him. That
is, Jesus would have a higher rank than himself. John was but a
prophet of God, but Jesus is the very Son of God. He is Deity
God dwelling in a human body. John had authority from God to
preach and to baptize, but Jesus is Almighty God. He has all
authority both in heaven and in earth. He has all power and
(V. 30), "...for he was before me." From the fleshly point
of view, John was six months older than Jesus, but in reality
Jesus was in existence long before John was ever conceived in his
mother's womb. Jesus, as the Son of God and as the Word of God,
existed before the world was ever formed. He is eternal just as
God the Father is eternal. There never has been a time when He
did not exist.
III. How John himself had learned that Jesus is the Christ
V. 31, "And I knew him not..." John is saying, "When I first
started preaching telling you folks that the Christ was about to
come, even I did not know who He was." It is possible that John
was acquainted with Jesus as a fellow human being. Mary, the
mother of Jesus, and Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist,
were cousins. That made John and Jesus kinfolk in the flesh. So
John may or may not have known Jesus as a fellow human being.
But even if John did know Jesus during the first part of his
ministry, John did not know that Jesus is the Christ.
John then goes on to explain how he got to know that Jesus is
the Christ. (V. 31), "...but that he should be made manifest to
previous day, the delegation from the Sanhedrin had asked him why
he was baptizing and he had not directly answered their question.
Now he tells them, at least, one of the reasons he was to baptize
people. The Christ would come to John to be baptized by him and
it would be during that baptism that God would give John a sign
so that he would know that this particular man is the Christ.
That event has already taken place. Before the delegation
came to question Jesus, John had already baptized Jesus and had
already seen the sign. He already knew that Jesus is the Christ.
John explained, V. 32, "And John bare record, saying, I saw
the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon
him." God had told John in advance that when he would see the
Holy Spirit descending like a dove and lighting upon one whom
John was baptizing he would know that this is the Christ.
V. 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."
I am not certain at what point of time God told John this.
He could have told him this before he ever baptized anybody. At
any rate, every time John started to baptize a man, John would
get very excited. He would anxiously watch to see if the Holy
Spirit was going to come down upon that man in the form of a
dove. Day after day went by and no dove came down. Man after
man was baptized and none of them were identified as the Christ.
But finally, it took place. One day Jesus came to John to be
baptized. John knew that Jesus was a very righteous man even
before he baptized Him, but he did not know that He is the
Christ. Then, as he was baptizing Jesus, all of a sudden he saw
the dove coming down and it lit upon Jesus. I would think the
dove lit upon Jesus just as He was coming up out of the water
rather than before He went down into the water. At any rate, the
Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove came down and lit upon Him and
just sat there. He did not fly away.
Our writer does not mention it, but Matthew says that at this
point that God the Father from heaven spoke and said, "This is my
beloved Son..." V. 34, "And I saw, and bare record that this is
the Son of God."
IV. Some things worthy of notice
Now get this: The Sanhedrin Council has now made an official
inquiry concerning the ministry of John the Baptist. John has
given his official answer that he is not the Christ, he is not
Isaiah and he is not one of the other prophets come back to life.
John has also now given his official announcement to the
Sanhedrin Council and to the whole nation
announcement on behalf of God the Father concerning His Son.
Jesus is the Christ. Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus is the
Savior of the world. Jesus is the Savior of all who will repent
of their sin and place their faith in Him to save them from their
God has loved man enough to send His Son --- His only
begotten Son --- so that every man, woman, boy and girl in the
world has opportunity to be saved.
joy and returned to
should have reported to the Sanhedrin that the Christ has come
and that Jesus of
Council should have set about to spread the news to all the land.
The Christ has come! The Christ has come! The Christ has come!
The Christ has come and Jesus of
delegation did return to
that they reported to the Council that John the Baptist said that
reaction. "Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! Can you imagine that? Can you
imagine a carpenter's son being the Christ? Can you imagine a
son being the new king in
not certain that these were their exact words, but I am certain
that they made up their minds right then that they did not
believe John the Baptist and from that moment onward they were
set in their opposition to Jesus.
Right now those men are suffering in the fires of hell. They
suffer in hell. They rejected the one and only way whereby they
could be saved. They refused to accept God's official witness.
They refused to believe every witness that God presented that
Jesus is the Christ.
Even so today there are countless numbers of people who are
headed for the fires of hell simply because they refuse to
believe God's message about His Son. Jesus Christ is the Son of
God. Jesus is the Lamb of God. Jesus is the Savior of the
world. Jesus is the only hope that men have of staying out of
the fires of hell. Jesus is the only way to heaven.
If John the Baptist were here today to preach in this service
he would tell us the same thing that he told the people of that
day. He would urge us to place our faith in Jesus Christ and be
saved. He would urge all who are saved to give their lives in
submission to Jesus and serve Him faithfully.
It is too late this morning for those who heard John's
witness to trust in Jesus and be saved. But it is not too late
for you. If you keep on putting it off until some other time, it
will soon be too late for you also. I am asking you to come
today and put your faith in Jesus and be saved.