Sunday

19 January 2020

John 1:29-42

The next day he saw Jesus coming towards him and declared, ‘Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (v. 29)

Psalm: Psalm 40

Background

At the start of his public ministry, people are far from clear who Jesus is, or claiming to be. Perhaps this continues throughout his ministry. John, the forerunner, points to Jesus and declares he is "the Lamb of God". This causes a couple of John’s followers to perk up and they start to follow Jesus, likely to try and discover what John is spotting. The Lamb of God would have been a bit opaque as a declaration. It could mean the Passover lamb, perhaps the sacrificial lamb from the Temple, perhaps even the symbol of the Maccabees. In the Book of Revelation, this title of Jesus is used 29 times and, while familiar to us today, it would have been less clear to these disciples of John.

The questions and answers are of note. Jesus spots John’s disciples following him and asks, "What do you want?" (v. 38) They respond by asking where Jesus is staying because what they want is to be with Jesus, to learn from him. John has whetted their appetite to discover more about Jesus. They want personal experience. And Jesus, as usual, invites them to be with him.

And the knock-on effect? Andrew, one of the two, goes and finds his brother Simon and says, "We have found the Messiah" (v. 41). This all started with a sort of ambiguous declaration by John. The disciples wanted to know for themselves. They spent time with Jesus and came to realise he was the hope of their lives, and of the world. And immediately wanted to share this good news they had discovered.

 

To Ponder: 

  • When we read Scripture and don’t fully understand it, do we search for its meaning or give up?
  • How attractive is it for you to spend time with Jesus today? Or do we look to get by on the bare minimum?
  • How often in the past month have we tried to point someone to Jesus?

Bible notes author

The Revd Dr Stephen Skuce

Stephen Skuce is currently Director of Global Relationships for the Methodist Church. An Irish Methodist presbyter and former mission partner in Sri Lanka, he has served with British Methodism for the last 14 years in roles at Cliff College and as Methodism’s Director of Research.

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