The Berean Expositor
Volume 53 - Page 62 of 215
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1: 29 - 2: 11.
pp. 207 - 214
John the Baptist not only denied that he was Elijah or the Messiah, but also that he
was the specially promised Prophet of Deut. 18: 18 (John 1: 21). His ministry and his
baptism were unique. He gives the reason for the baptism. It was that He (Christ) "might
be revealed to Israel" (1: 31). This was its main reason and we shall be wise if we keep it
in this setting:
"Then John gave this testimony: `I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove
and remain on Him. 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'. I have seen and I testify that this is the Son
of God" (1: 32-34, N.I.V.).
Up to this point John did not know who the Messiah was. But God had told him of
the enduement by the Holy Spirit, and having seen this, he now was certain and stood
before the One Whose sandal he was unworthy to unloose.
"Look", he said, "the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world" (1: 29).
Note the singular "sin", not personal sins (plural). The enduement of the Holy Spirit was
given the Lord at the commencement of His public ministry. This was in line with the
prophetic statements of Isaiah. Christ was the ruler of David's line marked out in
Isa.xi.1-5, "The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him". He is the divine Servant of
Isa.xlii.1, "I will put my Spirit on Him", and also Isa. 61: 1, "The Spirit of the
Sovereign Lord is on Me . . . . .". Peter's words in Acts 10: 38 confirm this, "God
anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power . . . . .". Thus He was now
ready to accomplish the will and work of the Father in making Him known to men.
The calling of the first Disciples.
There follows now a witness given on four consecutive days, the record of which was
as it were a spiritual diary:
1st day. The testimony of John to those sent to him from Jerusalem (1: 19-28).
2nd day. John's testimony to all who attended His baptism at Bethany beyond Jordan. The
Lamb of God. The Son of God Who baptizes with the Holy Spirit (29-34).
3rd day. John's further testimony. The Lamb of God. The Messiah and Andrew (35-42).
4th day.  The witness of Philip and Nathanael. Him of Whom Moses wrote. The Son of
God, Son of Man and King of Israel (43-51).
John's commenting and pointing to the Lord as the Lamb of God, was heard by two
disciples who were following Him (1: 37). He knew that their interest was quickened, so
He turned round and asked them what they wanted. Hardly knowing what to say, they