John 1:29, 35-37 The next day John saw Jesus coming towards him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”
When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus.
John was beautifully fixated on his commission, whatever it meant to him personally. This is precisely what his father Zechariah prophesied over him at his birth, that he would prepare the way for the Messiah. (Luke 1:76) It is very clear that he had made his purpose clear to his disciples from the beginning of his ministry, because two of them immediately left him to follow Jesus. Now that’s a true minister of God! Not many people willingly surrender their own territory, so to speak, to another, but that was what John was all about. What he said about Jesus is of course of extreme importance. This was the first public declaration of Jesus’ ministry by a human being since the angel had declared it to the shepherds at his birth, and as such must not be overlooked. John was saying, in no uncertain terms, that Jesus was there to die. I wonder how John and Andrew, John’s two disciples here, understood that? They probably thought it was allegorical in some way, because there was certainly no tradition of human sacrifice in Judaism. However, the only thing that wasn’t done to Jesus was burning on the altar. Tradition tells us that John (the apostle – I wonder if there was ever confusion while he was a disciple of John the Baptist) was young at this time, 16 or perhaps even less, and it would be hard to overstate the impact of this experience on his life. Tradition also tells us that he was the only one of the 12 to die a natural death, well past 90, so he had plenty of opportunity to live out the commitment he made at this point. Both John the Baptist and John the son of Zebedee are magnificent examples for us to follow, as we follow the Lamb.
I confess to a certain kinship with John the Baptist, because the majority of the people who have entered the Family of God through my ministry have gone on to serve Him in other locations, literally around the world. If they had all remained here, this would be a very different church indeed! However, I am not here to build “my ministry,” but the Kingdom of God, so I am to leave things in His hands. Like John the Baptist, I am consistently to point people to Jesus, and let Him assign them to serve wherever He wills. Like John the apostle, I am to live my life in close fellowship with my Lord, communicating His love and grace to all who will receive it.
Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for all the people who are indeed serving You in many different places now, whom You brought into Your family here. I confess to looking at current numbers and getting discouraged. Forgive me. Help me indeed seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness, allowing You to use me however You desire, so that Your purposes for me may be fulfilled on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!