Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

John 1:30-37
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: John 1:30
v30: After announcing that Jesus is the “Lamb of God,” John the Baptist made another equally startling statement. He said, “This is He concerning whom I said: ‘After me comes a man who is greater than me for He existed before me’” (literal). Basically, he pointed at Jesus and said, “This man pre-existed His human birth.” And that’s what the apostle John understood him to say when he heard him speak these words, which is why he quoted this statement in the introduction to his gospel (v15). In his introduction John explains that Jesus is God’s divine Son who existed in heaven before He became a man, and one of the proofs he uses in support of this fact is this statement made by John the Baptist.

Monday: John 1:30
v30 (continued): As we noted in the comments on verse 15, there is no explanation given to us as to how John the Baptist knew this truth. Physically, he was six months older than Jesus (Lk 1:36), so if Jesus were merely a man He could not have “existed before” John. It’s possible John the Baptist understood the prophecies in the Bible which indicate that the Messiah existed in heaven before He was born (Mic 5:2; Isa 9:6). It seems quite likely that his mother, Elizabeth, would have told him about Mary’s miraculous conception and the words the angel Gabriel spoke to her (Lk 1:31-35). Elizabeth certainly believed Mary when she told her she was a virgin, which means her child must have come from heaven. And John also may have taken literally the words he heard the Father speak when he baptized Jesus, “You are My beloved Son, in You I was well-pleased” (literal) (Lk 3:22). Any one, or all of these, may have been the source of John’s revelation, but regardless of how he received it, the point of this verse is to tell us that he boldly declared the truth on that day when he looked up and saw Jesus walking toward him.

Tuesday: John 1:31
v31: The prophet Isaiah said the coming Messiah would not only be “like a lamb that is led to slaughter” (Isa 53:7), he also said He would have “no [stately] form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him” (Isa 53:2). In other words, the Messiah would come from a humble background, not a regal one. It would be the power of God that revealed His greatness, not His own physical strength or stature. And John confirms that this was exactly the case with Jesus. As far as the world could see, Jesus was merely a carpenter from a small village called Nazareth (Mt 13:55; Jn 7:41-42, 52).

Wednesday: John 1:31
v31 (continued): Though it’s likely that John’s parents had told him about the miraculous circumstances surrounding Jesus’ birth, 30 years had passed since those events had taken place. During those years Jesus had been an outstanding young man (Lk 2:52) with exceptional insight into Scripture (Lk 2:46-47), but He did no miracles or signs that proved He was the Messiah. Nor did His humility and gentleness match John’s expectations of an angry Messiah who was going to separate the wheat from the chaff (Mt 3:10, 12). So though John highly respected his cousin (Mt 3:14), during those years he did not know that Jesus was the Messiah. All John knew was that the Messiah was coming soon, and his assignment was to baptize people to prepare them to meet Him.

Thursday: John 1:32-34
vs32-34: As Jesus was approaching, John explained to those standing nearby that God had told him that the Messiah Himself would come to be baptized and that John would be able to recognize Him because God would confirm that this person was the Messiah by a very specific sign: During the baptism John would physically see the Holy Spirit descend from heaven and remain on that person. This would not be a vision he could see only with his spiritual eyes, but he would actually observe this coming of the Spirit with his physical eyes so that there would be not doubt in his mind (Mt 4:16; Mk 1:10; Lk 3:21-22; Jn 1:32, 34). Apparently when this happened the Spirit took on a physical form and settled on Jesus like a dove alighting on Him (Lk 3:22).

Friday: John 1:32-34
vs32-34 (continued): God also told John that the person upon whom he saw the Spirit rest (Isa 11:2-3) would perform a ministry similar to his own: the Messiah would also baptize people, only instead of immersing them in water, He would immerse them into the power of the Holy Spirit. We need to remember that by making such a statement about the Messiah, John was not announcing something new, he was repeating a promise that had been made numerous times by the prophets of Israel. Over the centuries the prophets had declared that the coming Messiah would do many wonderful things, including delivering God’s people from oppression, gathering them back in the land, turning their hearts to God and governing them with righteousness. But one of the greatest promises of all was that they said He would finally bring the era of the Spirit. God’s presence would come to dwell within His people (Jer 31:33-34; Eze 36:27; 37:14; Joel 2:28-29) and would surround His people. They would literally be immersed “baptized” into the glory of God. Not only would His presence fill the land of Israel, but the entire earth would be baptized in the Holy Spirit (Isa 11:9; 24:23; 60:19-20; Hab 2:14; Zec 14:6-7).

Saturday: John 1:32-37
vs32-34 (continued): For 30 years John the Baptist had not recognized that Jesus was the Messiah, but now at last, did, and he boldly announced this fact. He said, “And I have seen [the Spirit rest on Him] and have testified (like a witness in a courtroom) that this is the “Son of God.” Notice John used the same title “Son of God,” which he heard God the Father call Jesus at His baptism (Mt 3:17; Lk 3:22). vs35-37: The apostle John, and probably Andrew, were standing nearby when John the Baptist said these things (vs35, 40), but when they heard him repeat his statement about Jesus being the “Lamb of God,” on the next day they decided it was time for them to act. This time their rabbi had stared intently at Jesus as He was walking by and said, “Behold the Lamb of God!” There was no mistaking what John was telling them, so the two men decided that if this was really the Messiah, then that was the person they should follow. So it appears they simply left John and began to walk at some distance behind Jesus. 

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