John 1:19-34 Pointing People To Jesus

by | Apr 17, 2024 | John, New Testament

I. John The Baptist

A. John Called People To Repentance Vs. 19-23

1. V. 19– The priests and Levites came to question John. The priests were Jews chosen to offer sacrifices to God, and the Levites were their assistants.

a. John’s father was a priest. (Luke 1) It was natural for the priests to ask John who he was. He wasn’t behaving like a typical priest or Levite.
b. The religious leaders must wondered why John was so far from Jerusalem, the religious center for priests, and why he was baptizing in the wilderness.
c. Application- When God calls His people to testify of Jesus, the location and manner in which they testify may not make sense to the religious majority.

2. John was clear about who he wasn’t.

a. V. 20- Not the Christ- Not the anointed one of God chosen to be Messiah
b. V. 20- Not Elijah (the prophet)- Malachi 4 said that Elijah would return from death and be the forerunner to the Messiah. (Malachi 4:5, 6)
c. V. 20- Not the Prophet- Deuteronomy 18 said that one day God would raise up another prophet for Israel similar to Moses.
d. John was very careful to not receive any inappropriate praise. He was humble.

3. What John did say of himself- “I am a forerunner”.

a. John assigned to himself a verse from Isaiah 40:3.
b. V. 23- “Make straight”– When kings would arrive to a city, the roads would be repaired. Low places (potholes) would be filled in, high places would be leveled, damaged portions of the road would be repaired and debris would be removed so that the king would have a smooth entrance.
c. John was issuing forth a call to repentance, a call for people to prepare their hearts for the revealing of the Messiah, the anointed savior from God.

4. Application- This is something the often happens when God is speaking to a person’s heart and mind. God prompts a person towards self-examination.; a call to repentance and change; a preparation to receive Jesus for the first time or in a new way.

a. Some heard John and repented. Others heard John and resisted and criticized.
b. Acts 2:37, 38 37Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” 38Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
c. Acts 7:54 When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth.
d. Some people are cut to the heart and respond in faith, others respond in unbelief and anger. They have the same conviction, but two completely different responses.

B. John Pointed People To Jesus Vs. 25-28

1. V. 24- This seems to be a new group, from or of the Pharisees. The Pharisees were middle class Jews, extremely conservative in theology, believing in the supernatural, but hypocritical in their faith, full of pride and arrogance. Jesus often condemned them.
2. The baptism of John was one signifying repentance and heart preparation for the
coming of the Messiah. Since John did not claim to be an expected forerunner or
promised person, they wondered why he was baptizing.
3. Vs. 26, 27- John explained that he had his particular ministry (baptism of repentance), but that there was one present in that day that had a greater ministry. (Jesus)

a. John indicated that the messiah still needed to be introduced to Israel. He was there
among them but unknown by them.
b. 27It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me– In that culture, elders had
pre-eminence over younger people. John was six months older than Jesus, his
cousin, but John knew that Jesus was to get the honor instead of him.
c. The loosing of a sandal thong was the job only of a slave. Jews held that a disciple of
a rabbi was to be willing to do anything for his rabbi, except for the loosing of a
sandal, which was considered too low of a task. John saw the greatness of Jesus as
being such that he wasn’t worthy to unloose his sandal.

4. May we be people that point others to Jesus. Not to us, our church, our philosophy, etc.

C. John Identifies Jesus Vs. 29-34

1. V. 29- John pronounces the title of Jesus that described His ultimate mission.

a. Jesus came to be the sacrifice for the sins of the world.
b. In the Old Testament, the innocent lamb was slain for the sins of the guilty.
c. Jesus became like a helpless lamb. He wasn’t helpless, but freely gave Himself.

2. Vs. 31-33 God had somehow spoken to John, telling him that as Jesus was baptized, the Holy Spirit would set upon Him, looking like a dove. This would be an identifying sign to John about who the Messiah was. (cf. Mathew 3:16, 17)
3. V. 34- John went on to testify that Jesus was the Son of God, the Savior sent from God.
4. V. 33- Baptizes with Holy Spirit- Jesus is the Baptizer, the Holy Spirit is the element.

a. Baptizo- to be overwhelmed, to be immersed, to be placed into, to be inundated
b. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the triune Godhead.
c. When a person becomes a Christian, they are indwelt by the Spirit of God.
d. To be baptized with the Holy Spirit is to filled, placed into, and overflowed with.
e. It means that the Christian receives that filling of the Spirit from Jesus.
f. This is meant to be a life changing event that is often repeated throughout one’s life.
g. Turn to Acts 1:4-8; 2:1-14; 4:8; 4:31; 9:17; 13:9.
h. Ephesians 5:17-22 17Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21submitting to one another in the fear of God.

5. Application- As we point people to Jesus; as we are pointed to Jesus…

a. John pointed people to Jesus through his personal experience with Jesus.
b. John spoke what he knew to be true of Jesus.
c. John declared that Jesus came to pay for the sins of humanity. Lamb of God
d. John declared that Jesus came to overflow people’s lives with the Holy Spirit.
e. Acts tells us that the Holy Spirit endues us with a spiritual power to testify of Jesus.
f. Acts tells us that we can be filled over and over with the Spirit of God.
g. Ephesians 5 tells us to “be being filled”. To choose to allow that to happen.
h. As we choose to be filled, and submit to that filling, we are changed and given power and desire to speak of Jesus because of the reality of who He is to us.