Sunday, January 31, 2010

Life of Christ Devotional - Jn 1:35-51

The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?” They said, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and spent that day with him. It was about the tenth hour. Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter). The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.” Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip. When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false.” “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that.” He then added, “I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."
John 1:35-51

John the Baptist had been announcing that the Messiah would soon be revealed. And when he witnessed Jesus with his own eyes, he knew who He was. More than that…he knew why He had come. It was for this reason that John says, “Look, the Lamb of God.”
To us, this phrase may seem confusing, but for the Jewish people, it was packed with significance. The reason is because the lamb was used in the sacrificial system for the forgiveness of sins for the Jewish people. Instead of punishing the people for their sins, God accepted a sacrifice of a lamb each time the people came before him seeking His forgiveness. The lamb was a symbol of a substitutionary sacrifice that the Jewish people knew very well. The lamb was substituted in order to cover the payment for the sins due to the people.
And now, John the Baptist says Jesus is the “Lamb of God”. By saying this, John declares that Jesus would be the ultimate sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins. It was an amazing announcement that most people would not fully understand at this time. But in time, as Jesus spoke to the people and performed miracles to validate His claims, they would understand more and more who Jesus was and why He came.
And so Jesus began His ministry by inviting men to follow him. These men are known as His disciples.
A disciple is a student and Jesus was the teacher. As the disciples learned from Jesus, they would then teach others so they too could understand who Jesus was and why He came.
The teaching about Jesus would be important because most people found it difficult to accept that Jesus was the promised Messiah. They had come to expect a mighty ruler, a king or someone of great influence who would come to destroy their enemies and make their nation great throughout all the earth. Instead, Jesus was a humble man, the son of a carpenter, from a small insignificant town called Nazareth. Could this truly be the Savior of the world?!
John writes this book of the bible in order to explain who Jesus was and why He came. Without hesitation, he insists, “Yes, Jesus is the Savior of the World!” And now he will reveal the life, the teachings and the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus to give evidence to support this amazing claim.
You be the judge. Examine the evidence and decide for yourself: “Who was Jesus and why did He come?”

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