“The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is 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 ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.”And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.”(John 1:29 – 34)
John – either the author of the gospel of John or John the Baptist is testifying and witnessing to the Jesus whose story we will be following again this year. This time with the focus of new converts coming to faith. That does not mean us oldsters can turn away and sit out the year. No, no, I am not going to let you do that beloved reader!
It is good to hear the enthusiasm of those who are newly coming to faith. Have you ever considered John the Baptist as newly coming to faith? Neither have I. It is an interesting idea and concept. But if you listen to the enthusiasm of John the Baptist (or the author of the gospel of John) you will hear an awe and coming to knowledge. Imagine for a moment meeting the person who have been extolling and preaching about. It must have been amazing and overwhelming to John to come face to face with the Son of Man and the Son of God who had been impelled to preach about. So, stop, and appreciate John’s vigor and enthusiasm.
“The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon. One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Anointed). He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).” (Verses 35 – 42)
This is also the passing of the focus from John the Baptist to Jesus. From this point on Jesus takes center stage in the gospel of John. But that is not the thought I want to leave you with. In our modern day parlance, these two disciples are just “hanging out” with Jesus. And these two invite a third, Simon, who will become a major figure in the ministry of Jesus. First, as an example of “not quite getting” what Jesus is about; and then as “a rock” that the future church will be modeled after.
We are setting out on a marvelous journey – again, for most of us. But let us journey as if we have all the freshness and enthusiasm of the young in faith. For each day has the potential to be a new day in following God and Jesus Christ. Selah!