29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”
Thoughts: Some say John the Baptist was no prophet, but he was a prophet in that he identified the purpose and mission of Jesus. John's vision of Jesus was true of Jesus as The Messiah, The Passover Lamb and The Suffering Servant in one person. Isaiah 53 also prophesies that by the Messiah's wounds we are healed and that he was led like a sheep to the slaughter (53:7) and bore the sins of many (53:10). As the blood of the Passover Lamb protected the people of God from death (Ex. 12). John points out the great news to his disciples that is the same great news to us. The great news for us is that Jesus is the One who takes away our sins so that we might not suffer the consequences of them- but even have eternal life because we are forgiven (Jn. 3:16). Our response is to believe John's testimony and believe in the ability of Christ to take away our sins.
Prayer: Thank you Lord that you not only came, but you came to take away our sin by sacrificing your life.
John Calvin Abridged: The time had come for John's ministry to end and Christ's ministry to begin. It was as if the sun were rising and the dawn was disappearing. The principle office and chief favor of Christ was by the sacrifice of his death to reconcile us to God. By appeasing the wrath of God He makes us holy and righteous. There are other blessings from Christ but from this single source flow all the other blessings of Christ. By using the description "Lamb" he reminds us of the sacrifices prescribed by the Law. The Jews understood atonement happens by sacrifice, and John may have been referring to the paschal (Passover) lamb. Similarly, we see baptism as a symbol that our sins are washed away. The Baptist indicates that it is not just every kind of sin that alienates us from God that is removed, but also of the whole world and not just those of the Jews. John says that Christ is to be preferred to him, and that he did not know him by human knowledge, but this was revealed to him from God.