JOHN 1:29-34: “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.” And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.” (NKJV)
OBSERVATION: I can still remember the first day I “saw” Jesus! I will never forget it. I grew up in a Christian home. I went to Sunday School, Catechism, and Parochial School. By the time I entered High School I had been to church more than probably most of my friends, but I still had not “seen” Jesus. I knew about Jesus. I read about Jesus. I sang about Jesus. Yet – I never really “saw” Jesus – until that day!
When I read this account of the Baptism of Jesus, I was struck with the revelation of John the Baptist when he “saw” Jesus – “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” At first glance this may not be significant. Yet my thoughts intersected this unrelated verse.
- “Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible….For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.” (Luke 1:36-37, 44 NKJV)
John was Jesus close relative. They were roughly only months apart in age. Although the Bible does not give us any background regarding this, is it too far fetched to think that they played together as children? When Jesus went to Jerusalem for the feast and stayed back at the Temple, is it possible that the company they were traveling with included John? No doubt over the 30 years of John and Jesus life, they must have intersected, known, and possibly experienced many interactions of life together. John knew Jesus, he had been with Jesus – but he had never “seen” Jesus – until that day!
What was different on that day? It was the gift of revelation from the Holy Spirit. John was ministering in the power of the Holy Spirit and his heart was prepared to receive from God. When Jesus came to be baptized, when Jesus came to begin His earthly ministry, God opened up John’s eyes to truly “see”. This is the difference between knowing about Jesus and “seeing” Jesus. When our hearts are turned toward God in sincere repentance we are in the position to truly “see” Jesus. John was not only preaching repentance – he was practicing repentance. He was calling others to prepare their hearts for the coming Messiah. And because of this, when his close relative Jesus, his childhood playmate came to him, he saw something different. He saw “JESUS”!
This morning I am moved with two considerations. I need to “see” Jesus, and, I want others to “see” Jesus! I need to keep my heart in a posture to see Jesus as my Savior, Baptizer in the Holy Spirit, Healer, and Soon Coming King. I need to see Him as my personal Lord, my personal Savior, my personal Friend! I need to see Him as the risen and glorified Son of God who is ruling and reigning over all the affairs of my life. And seeing this – I need to be moved by His heart. I need to be broken and brought to intercession for the lost. Without this revelation from the Holy Spirit they cannot see Jesus. They may know about Jesus, they may even believe that He walked this earth. Yet, without revelation He will remain a historical figure, a Bible story, a simple carpenter, a teacher of parables. Without revelation they will never “see” Jesus as the Lord and Savior they so desperately need!
Lord, open the eyes of my heart, I want to “see” Jesus! Lord, open the eyes of the hearts of those who today are walking in darkness and let them “see” Jesus! There are many whom we have witnessed to for years, have attended church for years, and continue in brokenness and sin – when You have come to set them free. It is not another service that will change their lives. It is a revelation, a revelation of Jesus! Pour out Your Spirit upon us Lord and open our eyes I pray.
In Jesus Name!