I thought, “Look, Looking” would make an interesting title for this section of John chapter 1. When was the last time you tried to find something? Maybe you spent hours looking for it. If, on the other hand, you are trying to help someone else find something, you might point it out to them by saying, “look, there it is!” This is what I believe is happening here, as we examine the ministry of John the Baptist.
A complex statement is made at the beginning of this section. ”We have received grace in place of grace already given.“ One of the reasons the Jews needed a sacrificial system was to provide an instrument for the forgiveness of sin. This statement explains how Jesus Christ’s substitutionary death on the cross replaced the need for animal sacrifices to deal with the issue of sin. The “Law” given to Moses references the old covenant, while Jesus being full of grace (forgiveness) and truth (the message of the Gospel) references the new covenant.
Moving on to the next section, John the Baptist seems to be causing quite a stir with his preaching (a voice crying out in the wilderness). Those who heard him were so enthralled they were telling others about him. The Jewish leaders soon heard the news and they went looking for John to talk to him. It was their job to confront persons claiming to a messiah or a prophet and decide if they were legitimate. They asked John, “Are you the Messiah…the Prophet…or Elijah?” In verse 26 John attempts to help the Jewish leaders find what they were looking for, “But among you stands one of you,” adding, “But I am not he.”
A few days later John the Baptist points out Jesus to his own followers, “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” John knew who the Messiah was because he had inside information. In verse 33 we are told that John was watching for the person, whom after he was baptized would have the Holy Spirit come down on him like a dove and remain. This person will baptize with the Holy Spirit, which John observed in the person of Jesus (Mark 1:9-11).
Are you looking for truth? If you have found the truth and have been set free by it, are you willing to point out the way to others?
“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32