29. The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
30. This is the one I meant when I said, 'A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.'
31. I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel."
32. Then John gave this testimony: "I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.
33. I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.'
34. I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God."
This is a very interesting passage of scripture, the Gospel written by John is the only Gospel that expands on the introduction of Jesus to man at the start of his three years of ministry.
Just to back up, Jesus is now approximately 30 years old and we are told very little of those first 30 years. A very small few were told by God before Jesus birth what was about to happen. God spoke of Jesus as the Savior (save, make whole, heal, preserve, deliverer), Immanuel (God with us), Jesus (salvation), Christ (anointed one) and Son of God. Jesus Although born on earth in a humble stable, most of us don’t notice the fanfare from Heaven that accompanied his birth, the star illuminated the sky, the glory of the Lord shone around and music and song from Heaven broke out, creation noticed and joined with Heaven and celebrated this Life and praised God. That was pretty much it, we are also told Jesus grew in wisdom, stature and in favour with God in these early years. This last bit sounds a bit odd if you see Jesus as God (which he was and is), but we are told that he left all his divinity behind him (Philippians 2:6-8 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man).In this light I can understand Jesus growing in wisdom, but as God it would not be possible to grow in wisdom, where would the source of the wisdom be.
Now back to the day God publicly introduced Jesus. John the Baptist, a man (not just an ordinary man but an old school prophet) introduced Jesus in John 1:29 "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”. John like you and me probably more familiar with worldly ways introduced Jesus as “a solution for our sinfulness” this he could understand (What’s in this for me so to speak). Probably aware of the guilt that we all wear as men and women because of our short comings and failures, John was acutely aware that we are incomplete and walked burdened with our sin. You might say John’s immediate need swayed the words he chose when he introduced Jesus. To be fair to John the Baptist it is most probable that his mind did not allow him comprehend what it meant to baptize with the Holy Spirit and Fire. These are the words he used to tell the people in the desert about the one who was to come, but when that One stood in front of him he called out “The Lamb of God” which was a fitting and a beautiful introduction.
What I find amazing though is how God introduced Jesus to John. John 1:33 “I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, “The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit”. God’s plan is much more and therefore Gods introduction of Jesus is more revealing. Yes Jesus is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, but God did not call us to be washed clean, He called us to transform the very place we walk, to bring Heaven to earth, and to make a name for God on earth. (1 Chronicles 17:21 and who is like your people--the one nation on earth whose God went out to redeem a people for himself, and to make a name for yourself). We are unable to do this without being washed clean though and therefore I gladly come to the cross to be washed clean. Just because we are washed clean does not mean we can carry out our God given purpose.
Acts 10:37-38 offers insight into how we carry out our mission “You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached--how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how He went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with Him”. Jesus a mere man showed us how, He accomplished great things as a man because He was anointed by the Holy Spirit. When we are Baptized by the Spirit just like Jesus, abiding in Him we carry Gods presence everywhere we go and transform the very ground we walk upon.
The previous blog entitled “The God of the Increase” spoke of Elisha picking up Elijah’s mantle. Note he had to pick it up, note he asked for more and note as a result he received both. Jesus just like Elijah was taken into heaven. Just like Elijah’s mantle fell back to earth, so did Jesus' mantle fall back to earth. It took Jesus mantle 10 days to fall back to earth because it is alive and full of power and presence. Only one could pick up Elijah’s mantle, but do you know what?
All that come to Jesus can pick up his mantle. Remember you can be washed from sin and become a child of God but that does not mean you have picked up Jesus mantle, Luke 11:13 says how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" Are you hungry enough to ask? Jesus appeared to 500 people between the resurrection and his ascension, taught them and gave them instruction. Did you ever wonder why only 120 turned up on Pentecost morning, that’s just 1 in 4.
I met John’s Jesus in 1985 and Gods Jesus two years ago. This time 2 years ago God asked me to dance with him at our Sunday service in Lucan and I did just that, Two nights later at a prayer meeting in town I was so desperate for the life that’s spoken of in the bible that I cried out in a loud voice “Spirit of Life I love you” and just at that moment Heaven opened an I encountered Jesus is a way not known to me. Since that day onward I have fallen in Love with Jesus my savior in a completely different way and seen Him move in ways natural to this world because He made it but described as supernatural because the minds of men can’t comprehend it.
Isaiah 55:1 says "Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. To the world this makes no sense, how can you buy without money. To those of Christ you must participate in the buying process, Jesus has already paid the price so come buy without cost and remember your wallet never ever runs dry in Gods kingdom so keep shopping.