The Baptist’s Life Mission (John 1:36)

John 1:36

Implicitly or explicitly, we are all pursuing something in life. Call it a life mission, overarching goal, reason for living, or what have you, we all have one. In one sentence John the Baptist made his life mission known.

If we had to stamp a date on the picture, it was the Spring of 27 A.D. The Baptist is standing on the banks of the Jordan with two of his disciples. He sees Jesus passing by and says, “Behold, the Lamb of God (John 1:36)!”

The Baptist was told that Jesus was the Lamb of God through divine revelation. He said, “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God (John 1:32–34).”  

The Baptist was only telling his disciples what he was told. This became his life mission, pointing others to Christ. No matter how much his own disciples revered him, he made it clear that he was not the one they should focus on. Rather, he said, “behold not me, no not me at all, but behold the Lamb of God.”

Ought we to do the same? We live in a look-at-me culture. Whether through social media feeds, success in our careers, standing out in the community, we are tempted to put the focus on us. The Baptist, however, shows us the better way. He says, “Please do not look at me, look at him; look at Jesus. If my life counts for anything, it is that people would look past me and see him.”

A mature Christian is marked by this desire to point to Christ. They do not let their left hand know what their right hand is doing (Matthew 6:3). They do not try to appear religious, but go into their room, close the door, and pray to their Father in Heaven (Matthew 6:6). They do not store up their treasure on earth, but in heaven (Matthew 6:19-20). However, they do claim to know nothing more than Christ and him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:2). They do not shy away from speaking about Christ, even if such proclamation invites persecution against them (Matthew 5:11; John 3:24). They say look not at me; look at Jesus.

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