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John 1:29-42 – The Lamb of God

the-lamb-of-god-in-the-heaven-ceiling-of-the-vatican-embassy-in-sofia-bulgariaJohn 1:29-42 – The Lamb of God

 

The Baptist engaged in his baptising ministry in a profound obedience to the design of God. He simply accepted that he was doing what God had called him to do: to reveal the coming one to Israel. As John was prepared to accept God’s sent one, now he asks that Israel might accept the revelation of God which Jesus will bring.

 The Baptist ‘recalls’ the events which only he has witnessed. The descent of the Spirit indicates that Jesus is not only the Christ, but he is the Lamb of God. The Lamb of God takes away the sins of the world because he is from God. It is as the Lamb of God that he takes away the sins of the world. Only God takes away, or forgive sins. 

Through the use of a sacrificial lamb, the people of Israel established and renewed their union with God and among themselves after sin. Jesus is now presented as the lamb, but he is not of the same order. He is not a ‘cultic offering’ taken from among us. Jesus is ‘of God’ given to us. The former rites of a sacrificed lamb, so important to the history, faith and culture of the people of God, have now been transcended. God now gives the fullness of pardon to Israel and to the whole world through the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Jesus is the one through whom God enters the human story, his Chosen One, offering it perfect reconciliation with him.

This new way to establish union between ourselves and God has been made possible because the Lamb of God is the Chosen One of God. In Jesus of Nazareth, heaven and earth meet. The union between ourselves and the union with our God has been perfected in the gift of Jesus. 

(Adapted from This is the Gospel of the Lord – Year A, by Francis J. Moloney, pages 132-33)

John 1:29-42

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Lamb of God

29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32 And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33 I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.”

The First Disciples of Jesus

35 The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, 36 and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. 38 When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39 He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon. 40 One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Anointed). 42 He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).