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11: John Begins Shutting Down His Ministry

May 14, 2009

Major Text: John 1:19-51

Outline:

  1. John Meets with the Jewish Leaders                     John 1:19-28
  2. John Meets with Jesus                                          John 1:29-34
  3. John’s Disciples Follow Jesus                              John 1:35-51

Context/Discussion/Comments:

John is baptizing/ministering at Bethany on the east side of the Jordan River.  This is not the same Bethany which is outside Jerusalem.  Priests and Levites come to question John to see if he is the Christ.  John, evidently, has attracted much attention with his preaching.  I think they realize he is not the Christ but recognize that he is pointing to another, Jesus, who is to follow him.  That is the Christ that worries them.  John quotes from Isaiah 40:3 in describing his role.  They question his authority [“Why are you baptizing?”] and John reiterates that the Messiah is coming.

Ironically, Jesus shows up after His desert experience and John points Him out to his followers as the Lamb of God who will wash away their sins.  He was before John was and He is the reason John baptizes and ministers.  John continues to tell his followers how he knows Jesus is the Christ.  It is because he saw the Spirit descend on Him when Jesus came to be baptized by John.  John assures his followers that Jesus is indeed the Christ.

So Andrew, John, Peter, Phillip, and Nathanial follow Jesus based on John’s testimony.  These disciples of John are now followers of Jesus and they travel home together to Galilee.

Lessons/Application:

  1. One’s testimony and life should attract the attention of leaders and ordinary people alike.
  2. Our testimony should always point to Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, who takes away the sin of the world.
  3. We are to use our gifts and influence to testify of Jesus. We must be bold, not cowardly. Speak the truth as revealed to you by the Holy Spirit.
  4. Turn from following false christs to following the true Christ. Follow Jesus. Don’t follow man.

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