Wednesday, November 12, 2014

JEWELS from the GOSPEL of JOHN - The LAMB and the DOVE

The following is a series of short exhortations, brief commentary and writings to convey thoughtful meditation on God's Word. I have chosen the Gospel of John as the subject. These articles will not run contiguously on this blog but peppered throughout and in the midst of other articles (though some might be posted consecutively). I pray that these will be a blessing and an edification for the saints.

JOHN 1:29-34

29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.
31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.
32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.

The Baptist saw Jesus coming unto him - 
Many times when the LORD comes to us, He comes to bring revelation of Himself. This happens when the Spirit of Christ visits us as we traverse the broad expanse of His Holy Word and discover in that Country of canon blessed knowledge of the Christ. May we pray this day as we open the pages of Scripture, that JESUS comes to us and reveals Himself in greater, deeper and more glorious ways by which our love for Him grows accordingly.

The Baptist had revelation of Jesus and proclaimed Him as the Lamb. This is vernacular familiar to the Jewish people. They understood what a lamb was for - sacrifice. Yet this was no ordinary lamb, but THE Lamb - of GOD!! See GEN. 3:15; HEB. 10:18; 1 COR. 5:7 and 1 PET. 1:18-19.
He Who would bear the sins of His people (ISAIAH 53:6, 8, 10) and also the sin of the entire world would He take away! GAL. 1:4; EPH. 5:2; TITUS 2:14; HEB. 9:26.
John the Baptist knew that Jesus was the eternal one, for He preceded Him, for "He was before me" that is, long before John was ever born, Jesus is the I AM. We all know that John and Jesus were cousins, and that John was the older of the two (by six months) and yet here he plainly states that Jesus was before him; thus we understand what the Baptist was saying - just as the LORD Himself simply declared to the Pharisees: 

JOHN 8:58
Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

John testified of the nature of the Christ in JOHN 3:31 as well. Paul speaks of Him in COL. 1:17-18 as being the One Who is "before all things" and is Himself "the beginning" (He Who had no beginning, but is eternal). The author of Hebrews addresses the truth that the Son is not some high ranking cherub (a super-angel), but God Himself* (HEB. 1:8) Who dwells in eternity (ISAIAH 57:15).

* - For an in depth study on the Deity of Christ see the following TTUF article (part 1 of 5) here.

The Messiah was indeed manifested to Israel, just as prophecy indicated, as in the book of Malachi:

MALACHI 3:1
Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.

And based on this Scripture, John found authorization as the LORD's "...messenger [who would] prepare the way before Me..."
The Baptist recognized his cousin as the genuine, authentic Messiah of Israel when he saw the Spirit descend as a dove (note: the text doesn't say that the Spirit came down in the form of a dove, but as a dove) and in vs. 32 and 33 the writer of the Gospel of John (the apostle himself) states that the Spirit "abode upon Him" and "remaining" - this is wholly different than any other prophet in the OT, for they had the Spirit come upon them during separate occasions of anointed ministry, but then He would depart (and return again at other times). Not so with the Prophet of prophets and the Apostle of apostles:

JOHN 3:34
For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. (See also ISAIAH 61:1).

To examine someone who has the most powerful anointing, we need look no further than the LORD Jesus Christ Himself, and He must be the measure by which all other so-called ministers are compared. Too, too many preachers and televangelists who claim to have powerful anointings conduct their ministry and personal behavior contrary to the example of Jesus! If any claim that their anointing is of God, then let their conduct emulate that of the LORD Himself (not in the same measure necessarily, but in kindred quality at the least) for He is the baptizer of the same Holy Spirit with which He Himself is anointed!

Such chapters as 1 COR. 13 and GALATIANS 5, among many others, reveals just how one's conduct will prove out whether or not they are truly anointed. The LAMB anointed of God the Father with the Spirit who is seen "as a dove" are interesting as metaphors, because both creatures are known for their gentleness and peace. May we follow our LORD's example in being "gentle unto all men" (2 TIM. 2:24) and being "peacemakers" with "the Gospel of peace" (MATT. 5:9; ROM. 10:15) by which repentant sinners may find "peace with God" (ROM. 5:1) via Jesus Christ, the LAMB Who takes away the sin of the world!

This concludes this exhortation; the next JEWEL from the GOSPEL of JOHN will address JOHN 1:35-39, and is entitled: The LEADER that is the LAMB.

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