This week, we continue our 60 journey together, walking through the pages of Scripture in order to learn who Jesus really was and is.
This is our 2nd installment of 60 days with Jesus. If you’d like to join us on the journey, there are daily readings through the Gospel of John - CLICK HERE to see those readings.
John’s Gospel is written to unbelievers to show Jesus is the Son of God. We see that explicitly in John 20:31 - “but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
Today we pick up with 1:19-51. The first 18 verses summarize John’s Gospel. Today’s passage, v19-51 is 4 paragraphs, which describes 4 days. v.29, 35, 43 – “the next day.” And in each section we learn something about who Jesus is and what he came to accomplish. Our mission at First McKinney is to help people find and follow Jesus. And John’s purpose for writing this section is to help us understand Jesus and what it means to follow Him.
Day One (v.19-28)
John the Baptist [from here, JB for short] is here as the forerunner to Jesus. JB was baptizing people at the Jordan River, and had attracted a great deal of attention. People where coming from Judea and Jerusalem to either be baptized or to find out what was going on. So, the Levites and Jews had sent a delegation to investigate and interrogate him.
In v 19 they ask: “Who are you?” This a profound question for each of us to answer.. to the believer as well as the non-believer. Notice the response JB gives. “I am not the Christ” (v.20). JB answers the critique from the Jews and Levites that He is not the Messiah or Elijah or a prophet but rather sent by God to point people to the coming Messiah. He simply points people to Jesus. In John 1:23 JB quotes from Isaiah 40:3 as the one preparing the way for the Lord. JB knew that it wasn’t about him. It’s all about Jesus. A little later in John 3:30 he says, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
Summary thought for Day 1: It’s not about me.
Summary question for Day 1: How do you answer the question: Who are you? [v.19]
Day Two (v.29-34)
The next day begins in verse 29 when Jesus comes toward JB. And the famous verse of John the Baptist “Behold, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.” The previous day, JB only hints of the coming Christ. But on this day, he identifies Him! Here is the spotless lamb.
Jesus' ministry begins with the example of baptism. This momentous event marked the beginning of his public ministry. Here, the story focuses on the evidence of the spirit remaining on Him as evidence of Jesus as Messiah.
Jesus shows from example, Baptism is a big deal. It’s one of the first steps to following Jesus. Jesus was baptized and commands the church to be baptized. Baptism is a public confession of faith in Christ. It is the biblical, public confession of faith in Christ. Peter said in Acts 2:38 - “Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ.”
Baptism illustrates Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection from the grave. In the Bible, Colossians 2:12 we find these words, “For when you were baptized, you were buried with Christ (going down under the water), and in baptism you were also raised with Christ (coming up out of the water).” We also see a picture of our new life with Christ. Romans 6:4 says, “By our baptism then, we were buried with Him and shared in His death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead…so also we may have a new life!”
However, it is important to note: Salvation is not conveyed in baptism. Salvation is not dependent upon baptism (or any other work for that matter) – it is an expression of your obedience to Christ. After you have personally accepted his forgiveness and acknowledged him as your Lord & Savior.
Baptism is a symbol. It is an outward demonstration of an inward commitment to Christ. There is nothing special about the waters. The waters don’t forgive or cleanse you or me of sin. It doesn’t happen that way. Ephesians 2:8-9, “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith.” Baptism is the proclamation of the Gospel of Christ. His death, burial, resurrection. It is a symbol of dying to self, and living with Christ. It is similar to a wedding ring. It’s announces to the world that you are united to another. The wedding ring does not make you married. If you lose your wedding ring, you do not cease to be married. It’s a powerful symbol that identifies you with Jesus.
- We are to be baptized to follow Christ’s example. The Bible says in Mark 1:9, “At that time Jesus came from Nazareth and was baptized by John in the river.”
- We are to be baptized in obedience to Christ’s command. In Matthew 28:19-20 Jesus said we are to, “Go, make disciples, baptizing them…, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Baptism – is in the imperative. It is a command.
- We are to be baptized to demonstrate to others that we are already a believer. The Bible says in I John 2:3 that, “We know that we have come to know Him, if we obey His commands.” One of those commands is to make public our commitment to Christ by being baptized.
Summary Thought for Day 2: It’s ALL about Jesus.
Summary Question for Day 2: Who is Christ to me? JB’s answer: “I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.” [v.34]
Day Three (v.35-42)
JB is speaking to an audience and encouraging his followers to follow Jesus [instead of him]. And that’s what true discipleship is: pointing people to follow Jesus. One of the people listening to JB is Andrew. Each time we meet Andrew in Scripture he is bringing someone to Jesus. In v.41 of this passage, Andrew finds his brother Peter and brings him to Jesus. Notice Andrew doesn’t have a book by his name, but his acts of discipleship and following Jesus are noted. Andrew brought people to Jesus. This is our duty as believers - to constantly point people Jesus. In other words, found people, find people.
Summary Thought for Day 3: Wherever God is, there we should be. In other words: Put your Yes on the table, Let God put it on the map.
Summary Question for Day 3: comes from v.38 - What are you seeking?
Day Four (v.43-51)
As we keep reading in John’s Gospel, we see JB, Andrew and Philip intentionally bring others to Jesus. Philip invites Nathanael to “come and see.” Again, this is a picture of what true discipleship is: inviting people into a relationship with Jesus. John’s Gospel points people to Jesus as the Son of God, the Messiah. We see here a "Come and See" approach. In other words, it is an interaction with Jesus that caused them to invite others into relationship with Him.
Summary Thought for Day 4: Jesus is worthy our complete devotion.
Summary Question for Day 4: is found in v.50 - “Do you believe?”
For the believer reading today: Who will you invite with you this Easter season? If you have more questions about baptism, please CLICK HERE for more options.
For the unbeliever/skeptic: What steps do you need to take in your relationship with God? For a good start, CLICK HERE for a clear and concise message of the Bible. If you have any more questions - or have prayed to trust in Christ - please feel free to CONTACT US anytime.