The first in a new series of sermons entitled “Sketches of the Son of God” looking at some of the portraits of Jesus in John’s Gospel.
It is sometimes said that – “a week in politics is a long time!” Well we now consider the very first week in the public ministry of Jesus, with the central figure on the first day being not Jesus himself, but one of his relatives, namely John the Baptist, about whom we know that:-
- He had a weird dress sense (camel hair garment and leather belt.)
- He had a weird diet (locusts and wild honey)
- He lived in a weird place (the wilderness)
So who then was this weird individual? A delegation of religious leaders checked him out and discovered that he was not the Messiah, or Elijah (Malachi 4 v 5), or the expected Prophet. Instead he was – “The voice of one calling in the desert, make straight the way of the Lord” (See Isaiah 40 v 1 – 3) In other words he was a signpost who pointed people towards Jesus.
Challenge – Are you a good signpost pointing people to Jesus via your lips and lifestyle?
As John the Baptist sign posted Jesus he used two key titles to help identify who Jesus actually was:-
1 – The Lamb of God (v 29.)
Now it could be argued that the image of the Lamb sums up the whole message of the Bible from beginning to end – see Isaac (Genesis 22 v 7); the Passover (Exodus 12 v 7); the wilderness wanderings (Exodus 29 v 38 – 41); the suffering servant (Isaiah 53 v 7); the testimony of John the Baptist (John 1 v 36); and the heavenly worship (Revelation 5 v 12.)
John’s description of Jesus as – “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” emphasises three truths:-
A – The Source – The Lamb is a gift from God.
B – The Significance – Like the scapegoat Jesus takes away sin.
C – The Scope – It is no longer Israel’s sin that is removed, but the worlds.
Challenge – Has your sin been forgiven by Jesus the lamb of God?
2 – The Son of God (v 34.)
John became convinced that Jesus was the Son of God at his baptism (Matthew 3 v 13 – 17) when he saw the dove descend upon him and heard the Father’s voice from heaven proclaim – “This is my Son, whom I love.” He is not the only one in the fourth Gospel to give testimony to Jesus as the Son of God – see Nathaniel (1 v 49); Simon Peter (6 v 69); the man born blind (9 v 38); Martha (11 v 27); and Thomas (20 v 28.) In fact the whole purpose of writing the Gospel was – “that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20 v 31.)
Challenge – Do you know Jesus as the Son of God?
Theme: “Sign posting the Saviour”
Reading: John 1 v 29 – 34
Preacher: Chris Hughes
Led by: Bev Sills