January 20, 2002

John 1:29-42

The very next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and yelled out, "Here he is, God's Passover Lamb! He forgives the sins of the world! This is the man I've been talking about, 'the One who comes after me but is really ahead of me.' I knew nothing about who he was-only this: that my task has been to get Israel ready to recognize him as the God-Revealer. That is why I came here baptizing with water, giving you a good bath and scrubbing sins from your life so you can get a fresh start with God."

John clinched his witness with this: "I watched the Spirit, like a dove flying down out of the sky, making himself at home in him. I repeat, I know nothing about him except this: The One who authorized me to baptize with water told me, 'The One on whom you see the Spirit come down and stay, this One will baptize with the Holy Spirit.' That's exactly what I saw happen, and I'm telling you, there's no question about it: This is the Son of God."

The next day John was back at his post with two disciples, who were watching. He looked up, saw Jesus walking nearby, and said, "Here he is, God's Passover Lamb."

The two disciples heard him and went after Jesus. Jesus looked over his shoulder and said to them, "What are you after?"

They said, "Rabbi" (which means "Teacher"), "where are you staying?

He replied, "Come along and see for yourself."

They came, saw where he was living, and ended up staying with him for the day. It was late afternoon when this, happened.

Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, was one of the two who heard John's witness and followed Jesus. The first thing he did after finding where Jesus lived was find his own brother, Simon, telling him, 'We've found the Messiah" (that is, "Christ"). He immediately led him to Jesus.

Jesus took one look up and said, "You're John's son, Simon? From now on your name is Cephas" (or Peter, which means "Rock).

<The Message >


1. The image of Jesus as Passover Lamb is both powerful and confusing.

Powerful - The Passover Lamb was slaughtered for the safety of the Hebrews in Egypt. Death would not come near them that different night. With the slaughtering of Jesus it seems that Death was not going to happen to the slave-masters of his time. They would get away with it (forgive them; they don't know what they're doing) and the work of GOD through plagues would cease.

Confusing - What does it mean for Very God of Very God to be interposed between GOD's vengeance and evil itself?

2. Want to know about Jesus? Spend time with him.

The presumption that Jesus has a place will be challenged later as Jesus talks about not having place to lay his head even though birds got a nest and foxes got a den and geese got a scurry.

After spending some time with Jesus there will be those who will try to control him and decide for him what he means (Judas and the Disciples right down to you and me). There will also be those who will want to leave after finding the cost. There will be those, as well, who will grow deeper into Jesus and extend the ministry to the Gentiles and other ritually unclean people.

What in this new year is your ratio of coming to learn from Jesus and coming to teach Jesus how to be more like John the Baptizer or yourself? Hopefully it is more like 60/40 than the other way around.

3. Whose child are you? Are you willing to be renamed?

There is almost the image of the hidden super-hero in the renaming. Can you hear Jesus speak to Bruce Wayne saying, "You're Thomas' son, Bruce? From now on your name is Batman (which means avenger of evil in the night).

Where between Rock and Batman do you fall?

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