The endorsement. The mission.
How cool would it be to know exactly where you fit in the history and development of the world? The World. Capital W World.
John the baptizer knew where he fit in Gods plan. The big Plan, capital P plan for the capital W world. The World for all time forward and backward.
“Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders[c] in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.”
21 They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”
He said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?”
He answered, “No.”
22 Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’”[d]
24 Now the Pharisees who had been sent25 questioned him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”
26 “I baptize with[e] water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. 27 He is the one who comes after me,the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.”
28 This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing.”
It’s good to know who we are and know our place but it is even better to know who Jesus is and his place in our world and our life.
“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”
32 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”’
Jesus is the son of God.
From our perspective in history we know what happened to him. He was beaten and crucified, hung, pierced with nails through his hands and feet, hung on a cross until dead.
John called him “the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”. This is what that image was about. Annually the Jews would take a perfect lamb, select it and set in in amongst the family as a pet for four days and on Passover slaughter it and eat it. You can read about in Exodus 12. The lambs blood was protection against the plague of death that was coming on Egypt. Painted on the door posts and top of the door frame.
This is a new thing that God was doing.
He came down, became a man and walked among us. He came to be a sacrifice for our sin. God would sacrifice himself for our sin. He will be our lamb for sacrifice.
God himself has paid for our sin by sacrificing Jesus on the cross.
I’m jumping ahead in the story only because John the baptizer saw what the mission was.
The forgiveness of sins is available to us all today.
Will we receive the gift?
Is there someone we know who hasn’t heard this news yet?