God’s Word of Wisdom
John 1:19-34: Today’s reading begins with John the Baptist being questioned by the religious authorities who wish to know if he is the Messiah. John responds by saying he is not. When John sees Jesus the next day, he testifies that Jesus is the Son of God.
John the Baptist’s Message
19 The Jewish authorities in Jerusalem sent some priests and Levites to John to ask him, “Who are you?”
20 John did not refuse to answer, but spoke out openly and clearly, saying: “I am not the Messiah.”
21 “Who are you, then?” they asked. “Are you Elijah?”
“No, I am not,” John answered.
“Are you the Prophet?”[a] they asked.
“No,” he replied.
22 “Then tell us who you are,” they said. “We have to take an answer back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
23 John answered by quoting the prophet Isaiah:
“I am ‘the voice of someone shouting in the desert:
Make a straight path for the Lord to travel!’”
24 The messengers, who had been sent by the Pharisees, 25 then[b] asked John, “If you are not the Messiah nor Elijah nor the Prophet, why do you baptize?”
26 John answered, “I baptize with water, but among you stands the one you do not know. 27 He is coming after me, but I am not good enough even to untie his sandals.”
28 All this happened in Bethany on the east side of the Jordan River, where John was baptizing.
The Lamb of God
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming to him, and said, “There is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me, but he is greater than I am, because he existed before I was born.’ 31 I did not know who he would be, but I came baptizing with water in order to make him known to the people of Israel.”
32 And John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven and stay on him. 33 I still did not know that he was the one, but God, who sent me to baptize with water, had said to me, ‘You will see the Spirit come down and stay on a man; he is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen it,” said John, “and I tell you that he is the Son of God.”
Today’s Key Verse: John 1:29
The next day John saw Jesus coming to him, and said, “There is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
What questions do the religious leaders ask John? How does John respond? What does John say about Jesus? Accounts of Jesus’s baptism by John are recorded in Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 1:9-11, and Luke 3:21-22. Here, in today’s reading, John testifies to Jesus’s baptism (verses 32-34). What does John say? You may wish to compare his testimony with what is recorded in Matthew, Mark, and Luke.
Lord Jesus, you are indeed the Lamb of God who takes away my sin. You willingly sacrificed your life for my sake and rose again to free me from bondage to sin and death and grant me eternal life. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for loving me so. Amen.
And now, join us in a prayer of thanksgiving for the new Korean translation of the Bible in South Korea. Gracious God, last year a new translation of the Bible, the New Korean Translation, became available in South Korea. The previous version of the Bible had been revised in the late 1990s, but our prayer, Lord God, is one of hope that this new translation will make the Bible more accessible to younger generations and those unaccustomed to reading the previous Bible translation. We thank you, Lord God, for the generosity of Bible Society supporters who enable translation of the Holy Scriptures to continue so that all people will come to know the hope that comes from your Word and of the love and salvation you offer through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
John 1:35-51: Jesus calls his first disciples.