I. Title. The Testimony Of John The Baptist. 4.
II. Text: John 1:29-34. All verses come from the Updated American Standard Version. https://www.uasvbible.org/
29 On the next day he saw Jesus coming to him, and said, “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This one is the one about whom I said, ‘After me is coming a man who is ahead of me, because he existed before me. 31 And I did not know him, but in order that he might be manifested to Israel, because of this I came baptizing in water.” 32 And John bore witness saying, “I have seen the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33 I myself did not recognize him, but the one who sent me to baptize in water that one said to me, ‘the one upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon him, this one is the one who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I have seen, and I have borne witness that this one is the Son of God.”
III. Comments. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary (Abridged Edition): New Testament.
A. John 1:29.
1. The chronological scheme of this section is indicated by the reference to successive days: the first day, when the delegation from Jerusalem questioned John (1:19-28); the “next” (second) day, when John saw Jesus approaching (1:29-34); the “next” (third) day, when John pointed out Jesus to his disciples and when they visited him (1:35-42); and the “next” (fourth) day, when Jesus “decided to leave for Galilee” (1:43-50).
2. The witness of John the Baptist was positive as well as negative and focused on Jesus rather than on himself. Verses 29-34 contain his presentation of the person of Jesus. Two aspects stand out in the titles by which he introduced Jesus. “The Lamb of God” reflects the sacrificial character of Christ’s mission, probably alluding to Isa 53:7 (cf. v.36; Ac 8:32; 1Pe 1:19). The sacrifice of a lamb as a substitute or as an atonement for sin appears frequently in the OT, beginning with Abraham in Ge 22:2-8. In Lev 14:10-25, a lamb was prescribed as a guilt offering. The book of Revelation also refers to “the Lamb” (Rev 5:6-13; 6:1-3, 5, 7; et al.), though it employs this title as a triumphal title, memorializing the completion of Christ’s sacrificial work. The title “Lamb of God” here in Jn 1:29 therefore refers to the atoning work of Christ, who by one final sacrifice of himself removed the guilt of our sins and opened the way to God. John the Baptist limited his own function to introducing Jesus and declared that only the latter could take away sin.
B. John 1:30. This verse is essentially a restatement of v.15, with one significant addition. John calls Jesus “a man who comes after me.” The Greek word for “man” in the verse is the word for “male.” It intimates the headship of Christ over his followers in the sense of the man-woman relationship in marriage.
C. John 1:31. The identity of the Messiah was unknown to John the Baptist. This does not mean that John did not know Jesus personally, for, after all, they were relatives (Lk 1:36). John’s ministry was twofold: he was to lead his hearers to repentance (Mk 1:4) and to reveal the Messiah to Israel. Somehow John understood that the revelation of Messiah would take place in conjunction with his baptizing ministry; therefore, he remained faithful to his calling. However, even after Messiah had been revealed to Israel at the baptism of Jesus, John continued the other aspect of his ministry.
D. John 1:32-34.
1. The second aspect of John’s witness to Jesus (see comment on v.29) concerned the title “Son of God.” This aspect was related to the work of the Holy Spirit, who both authenticated the mission of Jesus and was the seal of his work in individual lives. John announced that Jesus would impart the Holy Spirit to his followers. To “baptize with the Holy Spirit” means that just as the common experience of baptism in water signified repentance and confession of sin, so the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the seal and dynamic of the new life. Repentance and confession are the conditions on which the believer receives the gift of the Spirit (cf. Ac 2:38; Gal 3:2; 5:16-25). The manifestation of the presence of the Spirit in Jesus’ case was visible (see Lk 3:21-22), though this gospel records the Baptist’s later reflection on that event.
2. John the Baptist’s solemn avowal that he had seen the descent of the Spirit on Jesus and that he is “the Son of God” is the climax of his testimony. The significance of the title can be best understood in the light of 1:18 . John’s emphatic declaration was the reason why the disciples left him to follow Jesus.
IV. Comments. The Bible Knowledge Commentary.
A. This passage (John1:19-1250) is from “Jesus’ Manifestation To The Nation”.
B. The major part of John’s Gospel describes the public ministry of Jesus to the nation of Israel. It is a “book of signs,” a narrative of seven of Jesus’ miracles that point to Him as Messiah. Along with the signs are public discourses explaining the significance of the signs and two long private interviews (chaps. 3-4).
V. My Comments.
A. It is important to understand that which is written in the above comment (IV.B.).
B. Consider the role of John the Baptist, who was a forerunner of Jesus. From John 1: 6-7; “6 A man was sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This one came as a witness, in order that he could bear witness about the light, so that all might believe through him.”
C. Consider the audience in the above scripture about Jesus, being the nation of Israel, with varying results. From John 1:11-12, “11 He came to his own people, and his own people did not receive him. 12 On the other hand, as many as received him, he gave authority to them to become children of God, to the ones believing in his name.” At this time in the ministry of Jesus, it was directed at the salvation of the nation of Israel, with personal salvation taking place..
1. Consider the words of the forerunner, John the Baptist. Notice the word in verse 2, “Repent.”
a. Matthew 3:1-3: 1Now in those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, 2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” 3 For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said,
“The voice of one crying out in the wilderness,
‘Make ready the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.’
b. Repentance is explained in the Greek Lexicon:3340. metanoeó: to change one’s mind or purpose. Usage: I repent, change my mind, change the inner man (particularly with reference to acceptance of the will of God), repent.
c. The repentance, as spoken by John The Baptist, relates to the Jews’ acceptance of Jesus as God’s prophesied Messiah, “Israel’s Messiah.,” (Isaiah 9:6-7, 740 B.C.), (Deuteronomy 17:15, 1451 B.C.).
d. The ministry of Jesus to the Jews of Israel, in relation to national restoration, is seen in the following verses:
(1) Matthew 4:17: From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heavens has drawn near.” The Kingdom that Jesus mentioned was the Kingdom that was prophesied in the Davidic Covenant (2 Sam 7:4-12, 1042 B.C.).
(2) Matthew 10:5-7: “5 These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them: “Do not go off into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans; 6 but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as you go, proclaim, saying, ‘The kingdom of heavens has drawn near.'” Jesus sent His disciples to Israel, saying that the Kingdom was not “here,” but “near.” If Israel had accepted Christ as Messiah, they would have gone into the Kingdom, then.
(3) Luke 9:1-2: “1 And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.” Again, Jesus sends out His twelve disciples to preach the Kingdom, and gave them supernatural powers.
(4) Luke 9:1,11: “But when the crowds found out, they followed him, and he welcomed them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God and cured those who had need of healing.” Jesus spoke of the Kingdom.
(5) Luke 10: 1, 9: “1 Now after these things the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every city and place where he himself was about to go. 9 And heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.'” Jesus now sends seventy of His followers to teach about the kingdom.
e. The consequence of Israel’s rejection of Christ, as Messiah, is seen in Luke 13:3. “No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
D. It was through belief in Christ that some Jews accepted Him as Messiah. It was due to unbelief, that other Jews did not accept Christ as Messiah. Once the ministry of Jesus turns to individual salvation, the message of “belief,” is the same. The word, “repent,” is not spoken by Christ to individuals as a part of salvation. The opposite of belief is unbelief. Both words are mentioned in Christ’s words to individuals in the following verses.
1. John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, in order that whoever believes in him will not be destroyed but have eternal life.” In these words of Jesus, He is “to the point,” that it is due to belief in Him that one has eternal life. Eternal life begins at the time of belief. Anyone who was present in this setting, and believed in Jesus, was saved and did not have to return for sessions two, three, four, etc., and didn’t have to do anything of works to attain salvation, or to keep that salvation. No one can repent enough to attain salvation. The “growing in Christ” that occurs in a person’s life comes as a result of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God, with His influence on the believer. (John 14:16; 16:7-11; 1 Cor 6:14-16; 2 Cor 5:17). In 2 Cor 5:17, the “old things and new things,” are the old spirit, which needs to be regenerated through the new birth; and the new spirit which has been born again, having been regenerated.
2. John 3:18: “The one who believes in him is not judged, but the one who does not believe has already been judged, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” In this verse, Jesus is very clear as to the blessings of belief, and the consequences of unbelief. The judgment of condemnation in the lake of fire (Rev 20:15) awaits anyone who does not believe in Christ. That judgment for unbelievers will change to a blessing of spending eternity with Christ, at the time that they believe in Him. John 17:3 shows belief in Christ as being intimacy.
3. John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one believing in me, though he dies, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone living and believing in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I have believed that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” Notice the question that Jesus spoke to Martha, “do you believe?” (the word,” this,” relates to that which Jesus told her about belief in Him.”).
VI. John the Baptist was sent to the Jews of Israel with a message of national restoration (John 1). Isaiah 40:3-5 (712 B.C.) was a prophecy of John, “the voice of one crying in the wilderness.” In John Chapter 3, the context shifts to personal, individual, salvation. The latter days of the ministry of John The Baptist can be seen in John 3:22-36 (30 A.D,); he was beheaded in Matthew 14:10 (32 A.D.). Christ continued His ministry to national Israel, and to individuals, within the confines of Israel. It can be seen that at the time of John 13, the message of Christ was no longer one of Israel’s restoration, but was of personal salvation. The rejection of Christ by Israel, in Matthew 23:37-39, was the turning point in the ministry of Jesus from Israel to individuals. At that time, Jesus no longer spoke publicly, and will not do so until at the time of His second coming, at which time Israel will recognize and welcome their rejected Messiah (Zechariah 12:10, Ryrie Study Bible note, Matthew 23:39.)
VII. Conclusion. The message of John The Baptist and Jesus, of national restoration for Israel, to the Jews of the nation of Israel, was that of repentance in receiving Jesus as the Messiah, as Jesus being God’s choice to be the King of Israel (Deuteronomy 17:15), as Jesus being “God with us,” (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). The message of individual salvation, was that of belief in Jesus, and only belief in Jesus. Scripture shows that salvation does not come by “asking Jesus to come into your heart,” or by saying a sinner’s prayer, or by showing a life of repentance. Jesus never told anyone to repent of their sins in order to believe in Him for individual salvation. The following scriptures show “belief,” and only “belief,” as being necessary for anyone to be saved.
A. The message of Christ is spread throughout the world through God’s Holy Spirit to everyone (John 1:9). “As many as receive Jesus, He has given authority to them to become children of God, to the ones believing in his name (John 1:12).” The purpose of the Gospel of John is that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name (John 20:31).
B. Consider these words of scripture about the new birth (John 1:11-13): “11 He came to his own people, and his own people did not receive him. 12 On the other hand, as many as received him, he gave authority to them to become children of God, to the ones believing in his name; 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 3:3) 3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly I say to you, unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:8) “The wind blows wherever it wants, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from and where it is going. So is everyone having been born from the spirit.” The truth of the new birth is that it happens by God’s Holy Spirit, “to those who believe in His Name.”
C. It is only through the new birth that God’s Holy Spirit takes up residence within each believer in Christ (John 14:16-17). Once we have been born again, we can not be unborn. We can not force God’s Holy Spirit from within our spirit. No one can remove the Holy Spirit from us; neither can we (John 10:28-30). It was not “through us” that we “walked to salvation;” and it can not be “by us” that we “walk away from salvation.”
D. While Israel’s blessings were primarily physical, earthly, and material, the church’s blessings are primarily heavenly and spiritual (The Coming Kingdom, Andrew M. Woods, Pg 152).
E. Israel will see the Kingdom restored at the time of the return of Christ at the Battle of Armageddon. (Zechariah 14:1-4; Matthew 24:29-31; Mark 13:24-27; Luke 21:25-28; Revelation 19:11-21).