John Seeth Jesus
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. John 1:29.
At first glance there seems to be nothing much to observe here. John the Baptist just saw the Lord Jesus walking up to him. But there is far more to this event than meets the natural eye! This becomes evident when we read John’s twice repeated statement, “And I knew him not” in verses 31 and 33!
What we learn from this, is that John is not seeing just a physical person come walking by, that he can, with face recognition, identify! His mother and the Lord’s mother were cousins. (Luke 1:36). So there can be no doubt that he readily knew his cousin by sight. But that is not what is being deal with here!
Lets turn to Job and see what light he can shed on this. In Job 42:5-6 we read, I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes. That quite a confession!
Those words, but now reveal that there is a difference in his first, just hearing of the Lord, and his presently seeing Him! For his hearing of the Lord, that is, just being illuminated by religious facts, brought no repentance like the seeing of Him by the eye! Therefore we know that the seeing of the Lord had to be by divine revelation, granting Job the eye of faith! For faith is God’s gift (Eph. 2:8,9), and it has the quality of seeing Him who is invisible! (Heb. 11:1, 27).
The Apostle Paul grants us greater insight into this situation in 2 Corinthians 2:16-17. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, thought we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Christians are never again truly known by their physical appearance, for they are now a new creation of the Holy Spirit! They now must be known only by the same Holy Spirit who indwells others. And it is the same with Christ! He clearly told us in John 14:19, …the world seeth me no more; but ye see me! That is, those of the world, who are without the new birth having made them a new creation in Christ, have no spiritual eyes to “see” the Lord as the very Son of God!
Listen to John 6:40. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, AND BELIEVETH ON HIM, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. Just as Job only had repentance after “seeing” the Lord, so these who see the glory of the Lord Jesus by the Holy Spirit, also receive the gift of faith in order to believe on him!
There were those in the days of the Lord’s natural life on earth who saw him daily! But without faith being granted, they knew him not in redemption’s vision! John 6:36 But I say unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believed not.
Here is John’s testimony:
And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.
And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.
This is the same principle by which all the elect of God are brought into salvation! They are given to see the glory of Christ by the Holy Spirit! For without the revelation of his glory, Christ has no attraction to the heart! These would only say, he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. … and we hid as it were our faces from him; (Isaiah 53:2-3).
In chapter three of the Book of John we have revealed to us a private conversation that John the Baptist had with his disciples. The “Jews” had been in argument with them concerning the purging, or cleansing of baptism. (V.25). Then in the next verse we read of John’s disciples taking up the matter with him. From this we conclude that the purpose of the Jew’s argument must have been to set the Lord Jesus’ ministry in opposition to John and his ministry. And it is in John’s answer to his disciples that we learn of his inner joy!
John gives them a most important understanding that all senior preachers should impart to those younger ones called to preach Christ. He reminds them that they were never supposed to worship him, nor try to defend him as a person. He reminded them also that heaven alone establishes those who minister, and the degree of their effectiveness. (V.27). And he refreshed it to their minds that they were his witnesses of the fact that he had always insisted the he was, most certainly, not the Christ! (V.28).
Then he told them the most important thing that a preacher can relate to younger preachers. He explained that his inner, lasting joy never lay in the thrill of preaching. His joy was not from his calling to the ministry, nor from his gift assigned him by the Holy Spirit! He told them most emphatically that his inner joy came from hearing Christ’s voice, as the bridegroom, speaking to the Church, his bride! The Lord Jesus sets forth this to us in John 15:11, which states, These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
And didn’t this prove to be important to John in prison? The exciting time of his flaming ministry was over. He comes to decrease as the Lord increases. And he asks an almost unbelievable question. The only man set forth by heaven to state that Jesus of Nazareth was the Lamb of God, asks, “art thou the Christ, or do we look for another?” (Matt. 11:3). And what does the Lord give him? He made no effort to get him out of prison! He hired him no lawyer to appeal his case!
But he did give to John that which John proclaimed to his disciples was the very joy of his soul! The Lord sent his word to John! “Go and show John again those things which ye do see and hear!” He allowed him to hear the Bridegroom’s voice again!
Pastor Gene Breed