Sunday 15 January 2017

Bible Book:

“Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (v. 29)

John 1:29-42 Sunday 15 January 2017

Psalm: Psalm 40


There are so many threads in this passage that we have a quitecomplex tapestry.

  • Jesus as the Lamb of God (verses 29, 36)
  • John the Baptist as no more than a witness to Jesus (verses 32,34)
  • An echo of the account in the other Gospels where Jesus isbaptized, identified as God's Son and empowered by the Spirit(verses 32-33, cf Mark 1:9-11)
  • The promise of the Holy Spirit, given by Jesus to those whobelieve in him (verse 33)
  • The importance of discovering for ourselves who Jesus really is(verses 38-39)
  • The idea of witnessing to others what we have discovered(verses 36-37, 40-41)
  • The new identity given to Peter, echoing the story set atCaesarea Philippi in Matthew's Gospel (verse 42, cf. Matthew16:13-20).

This interweaving is typical of John's Gospel and offers plentyof food for thought. But many readers are likely to focus on verse29. It brings together three Old Testament images:

  • the lamb eaten still at Passover each year in Jewish householdsin celebration of deliverance from slavery in Egypt and thebeginning of the long journey to freedom and maturity in thepromised land
  • the many sacrificial victims offered in the temple ritual todeal with the contamination of sin
  • the scapegoat, on whom each year at the feast of the Atonementthe sins of the people were symbolically laid to be carried awayinto the desert and lost.

All of these give an insight into who Jesus is.

To Ponder

  • What might it mean to say that Jesus takes away the sin of theworld?
  • How might we bear witness effectively today to what we havediscovered about Jesus?

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