“Who do you think you are?”
We’ve all heard that question asked at one time or another. It’s not a casual inquiry about our identity – it’s a challenge that is asking what right we think we possess to say or do a particular thing.
In our study in the gospel of John this week, John the Baptist will be asked that type of question. We’ll be reading ch 1:19-34 in our study.
When leaders come to investigate John the Baptist’s ministry, they are not trying to get to know him and understand him; it is an interrogation from the start.
They go down a list of possible people God could be sending, asking if he’s Elijah (Malachi 4:5) or “the Prophet” (Deut 18:18-19) – but John Baptist bluntly rejects every suggestion. I think there could have been a temptation to get all cryptic with these guys, maybe drop some hints that suggest a deeper importance to his work. John the Baptist doesn’t do that. If John the Baptist is a witness to who Jesus is, what do we learn about Jesus from the way John Baptist carried himself?
John the Baptist does answer their query – and what does he use to identify himself to them? How might we use Scripture as a basis for our own identities?
The next section, v29-34 has John the Baptist elaborating on his testimony. He describes something he saw happen with Jesus at his baptism, and then he described him as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”. How does John’s description of Jesus help us to know Jesus better? What do those titles and events tell us about the ministry Jesus as Messiah will undertake? What are the ramifications for us, who believe and accept him – how will it help us in our new lives as children of God (v12-13)?
I’ll tell you, there’s something about this book. I sensed that this was an important study we are undertaking, and that has only grown since we’ve started it. I hope you can join us as we get to know Jesus through John’s gospel!
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