The Witness Of John The Baptist

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Now those who were sent were from the Pharisees. 25 And they asked him, saying, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”

26 John answered them, saying, “I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know. 27 It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.”

28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing. 

29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ 31 I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.”

32 And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. 33 I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.” (John 1:24-34, NKJV)

1:24-28 I Baptize In Water

“Wait a second, mister,” these guys say. “If you’re not the Christ, the Prophet, or Elijah, why are you baptizing?” Understand that to the Jews, baptism was only done to Gentiles that were proselytized into the Jewish faith. But here John was baptizing Jews.

John told them, “the reason I’m baptizing them is in preparation for the guy who about to come on the scene. He’s the Lord, and I’m preparing people’s hearts for Him.”

Sandal Thong Untying

The Jews’ Talmud said, “Every office a servant will do for his master, a scholar should perform for his teacher, except loosening his sandal-thong.” In other words, a disciple should do the work of a slave, except one thing: untying the teacher’s shoe. That was so low, that only the lowest slave in the household was called upon to do it.

So what John is saying is, “I’m not worthy to be this man’s disciple. I’m not worthy to even be His lowest slave.” How different from those in the church today who feel that Jesus is their slave, having to give and to grant every whim and wish that they claim by “faith.”

1:29-34 John’s Witness

The next day when John saw Jesus, he said, “Hey, everybody, this is the one I’ve been talking about!”

Behold The Lamb Of God

John says, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” We could spend a few hours just talking about the incredible depth of this title.

Jesus is the Lamb of God. The lamb that was prophesied by Abraham in Genesis 22, when he said, “God will provide Himself a Lamb.” God will provide who? Himself. Jesus came as the Lamb that would be sacrificed to take away the sin of the world.

Jesus is the ultimate Passover lamb. You remember the story: As the Lord was accomplishing the deliverance of the people of Israel from Egypt, He told Moses to tell the people, “Take an unblemished male lamb and kill it. Take some of his blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of your house.”

For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord. Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. (Exodos 12:12-13)

In God’s plan to provide salvation, He provided His Son, a sinless, spotless, unblemished male “lamb”. His blood causes judgment to pass over us.

Baptism In The Holy Spirit

In Mark, we read that John said:

 I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.What does it mean, that He will baptize us with the Holy Spirit? (Mark 1:8)

Well, in the book of Acts, we see in chapter 1 Jesus promises to do it, and then in chapter 2 He accomplishes it:

And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (Acts 1:4-5)

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord[a] in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:1-4)

The language is interchangeable: this is what John spoke of as being baptized, or filled, with the Spirit.

Understand that this is not the same as being sealed with the Spirit. Remember that as soon as we’re saved, we are given the Holy Spirit in our hearts as a pledge. This is a different working of the Spirit in our lives – filling us, baptizing us.

What is the evidence and result of being baptized with the Spirit? If you just read Acts 2, you would probably answer, “speaking in tongues.” But as you go through the book of Acts, you’ll see that many times believers were baptized in the Spirit and did not speak in tongues. So what is the evidence? It is what Jesus told the disciples:

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

There is one additional evidence that works hand-in-hand with being a witness for Christ. And that is that:

 …the fruit of the Spirit is love… (Galatians 5:22)

If you are truly Spirit-filled, your life and heart will exude the love of Jesus Christ.

Thank you for reading The Simple Christian Life. Please feel free to express your thoughts and opinions by leaving a comment! Simply Following Jesus In Spirit & In Truth.
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