What is your Jesus story? In other words, what is your personal testimony? It may seem difficult at times to share our faith, but doing so is important to our faith. By the Holy Spirit, God strengthens and gives us the boldness to share what coming to Jesus in faith has done. He helps us to share the transformation that has taken place in our lives.
MEETING THE LAMB OF GOD–John 1:29-31
John the Baptist had the great honor of preparing the way for the Messiah. John had made himself ready for this moment and was anxiously awaiting his time to meet the Lamb of God.
Encountering the Lamb (John 1:29). As Jesus cleared the horizon he made his way through the crowd and into the view of John the Baptist, who broke out into praise and proclamation. This proclamation was bold, and it was a testimony of the effect that Jesus’ presence had on John. It was here that John proclaims that Jesus is the “Lamb of God.”
This statement first brings to our minds the images from the Old Testament of the Passover lamb (cf. Exod. 12) and, the Suffering Servant (Isa 53:7). The apostle John who recorded the words of John the Baptist would later pen the book of Revelation of the New Testament. There, he would describe God’s victorious leader as a “Lion” and a “Lamb” (cf. Rev. 5:5-6)
John the Baptist proclaimed that the Lamb of God would take away “the sin of the world” (John 1:29). We see that the problem with the world is sin. This is precisely why Jesus has come—to not only deal with the sin of the Jews but also with the sin of the whole world. We are also included in that phrase.
It is shown through our testimony that Jesus has indeed saved us from our sin. There is no greater feeling in the world than that of guilt and shame being taken away. When we come to Jesus in faith, we are justified before the sight of God.
Reaveling the Lamb by baptism (John 1:30-31). Even though John was born to Elisabeth six months prior to Jesus’ birth to Mary, he recognized that Jesus preexisted well before him. The phrase “for he was before me” signifies this and is repeated from verse 15. John realized that Jesus is not just another man but Deity.
John’s purpose in Jesus’ ministry was to be the forerunner, “the voice of one crying in the wilderness” (John 1:23). He prepared the way by baptism. This preparation was to be more than just factual knowledge of the Messiah but the introducing of a personal relationship. The phrase “made manifest to Israel” (vs. 31) speaks of a formal introduction or revealing of someone. John would accomplish this by the baptism “with water unto repentance” (Matt. 3:11). “The purpose of John’s baptism was twofold: (1) to prepare the people; and (2) to reveal the Messiah” (Utley, Robert, The Beloved Disciple’s Memoirs and Letters, Bible Lessons International).
The baptism of believers is certainly an important practice today. The symbolism contained within the act of baptism speaks of our crucifixion, burial, and resurrection with Christ into newness of life. Baptism can be then viewed as the first testimony of a new Christian to the world and the church. It is the initiation of the believer into the body of Christ.
TESTIFYING OF JESUS–John 1:32-34
What is the difference between John’s baptism and Jesus’ baptism? John in these verses demonstrates that his was with water and Jesus’ is with the Spirit.
Testimony of the Spirit (John 1:32-33). The Gospel of John is filled with teachings on the Spirit. John not only introduced the setting where Jesus appeared to John the Baptist in the Jordan but also introduced the Holy Spirit. For when John baptized Jesus, he saw, “the spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode on him,” and more importantly for John, “remaining on him.” This was critical for John. It shows the permanence and limitless portion of the Spirit that was on Jesus (cf. 3:34).
The dove was an emblem of meekness, peace, gentleness, and mildness. John was not implying that the Spirit was a dove but saw that he was like a dove. This descending and remaining on the Messiah was what John had been told to look for (cf. Isa. 42:1; 59:21; 61:1). He was not saying that this was the first time in Jesus life that the Spirit rested on Him and dwelled in Him. John merely pointed out that this was the proof that he was to be on the constant lookout for.
This sign would mean that Jesus was then the one “which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost” (John 1:33). Not only was Jesus the one who would take away the world’s sin, but He would also do something more. John would baptize by water, but Jesus would baptize with the Spirit. Jesus would later share in John’s Gospel what this would entail, but as of right now John was content to simply introduce Jesus. John introduced the Saviour, and Jesus introduced the Spirit.
This gives us a foundation for our personal evangelism. We are unable to do anything within ourselves to earn salvation. We are incapable of changing ourselves. It is also an impossibility that we can change the spiritual condition of others. That falls solely within the power of God. We can come to Jesus and introduce others to Him, but the soul is saved by God alone. We are to bring others and ourselves to Jesus so that He can take away our sin and baptize us with the Holy Spirit.
Testimony that Jesus is the Son of God (John 1:34). John’s purpose and ministry was to bear record. The author of this Gospel also understood the purpose of his gospel witness. “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” (20:31). John the Baptist felt the need to consistently testify, proclaim, and bear record that Jesus is the Son of God.
In John 1:7 we find that John was to “bear witness of the Light,” which is Jesus, the Son of God. Around thirty times Jesus is referred to as the “Son of God,” and eleven times He is referred to as the “Son of man.” “The gospel gives an unrelenting rebuttal. In John Jesus was eternally divine and fully incarnate—fully God and fully human” (Burge, Cohick, and Green, The New Testament in Antiquity, Zondervan).
The day after this encounter with Jesus, we find John with his own disciples. When the group found Jesus, John exclaimed once more, “Behold the Lamb of God” (John 1:36). This is something that he could not seem to get away from. Indeed we may share the same feelings. Our heart race and we feel a constant nudging of the Holy Spirit to stand and testify of God’s work in our life. It does not matter if it is at church, at work, at the marketplace or at the dinner table with our family. There is a great need to tell others about Jesus and what He can do for them.
Two of John’s disciples would leave his company and follow Jesus (John 1:37). One of these would tell their brother they had found Jesus and he too would become a disciple of Jesus (vss. 40-42). Later on Jesus would find a disciple named Philip who later found a disciple called Nathanael (vss. 43-51). All of this began to take place when individuals testified of Jesus.
The Holy Spirit will help us to testify about Jesus and lead others to Him. We must become willing to walk with Christ and tell others about Him. Winning souls is as simple as that. It is not always about knowing how to describe doctrines at great length. It is also not about how many large and impressive words we can use. Our Jesus story is simply sharing with others about our experience with Jesus in our lives. John showed it is as simple as saying, “Behold the Lamb of God,” (John 1:29).