John, the Gospel of Grace (7)

“Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

When the President, a dignitary, or some other celebrity is to visit a certain venue a key person, often called a “front man” or “key man” will go weeks before to make certain arrangements, to attend to details, and to make preparations so that the intended visit goes off smoothly with zero problems. This person is very, very important to the success of the anticipated visit of the more important person. So it was for the man called John the Baptist.

John’s account of what John the Baptist said and did are only slightly different from the synoptic gospels. John’s telling is more focused on Jesus and less on the Baptizer. It is quite evident that John the Baptist knew his role well. His posture was “more of Christ and less of me”.

John the Baptist’s primary purpose was not just to call people to repentance and to baptize them. He had an even greater purpose.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

John came to bear witness to the Christ of God “that all might believe through him”.  That people would come to believe though Him is always the end game.

Interestingly, John does not give very much detail about the Baptizer. Matthew, Luke, and Mark took care of that. John’s focus in the gospel that bears his name is the Christ, the Messiah. Who Jesus was, what he said, and what he did is the heart of John’s story.

However, John is careful to not miss the most important details of John the Baptist and his mission. In verses 19-28 John the Baptist makes clear that he is not the Christ or some prophet from the past. He also makes clear that he is not very important compared to the Christ. John (the author) very early in the book states the primary purpose of John the Baptist’s ministry.

  • That people would believe through Jesus. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. John 1:6,7

This is the reoccurring theme of  John’s gospel.

Then, later in the chapter John the Baptist himself gives his purposes.

  • To show people the “Lamb of God”.  “…he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29
  • That Christ might be revealed to Israel.   “I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel. ” John 1:31

This Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah, the “Lamb of God had a purpose too, and that was “to take away the sin of the world”. v29. Paul said it this way. God “justifies the ungodly” Romans 4:5. He also said God is “not counting their sins against them”. 2 Cor 5:19.

I recently read, “Jesus didn’t come to give us a better report card. He came to give us His report card”. Paul said it this way. “ For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Cor 5:21

Look only to Christ Jesus our Lord, He alone can give eternal life and a righteous record.

Royce Ogle



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