Bearing Witness

Key Verse: “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
—John 1:29

Selected Scripture:
John 1:19-34

JOHN THE BAPTIST WAS a primary witness to Jesus. It was prophesied of him that he would be the voice of one crying in the wilderness, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord.” (Matt. 3:3; Isa. 40:3) He also came to “bear witness of the light.”—John 1:6,7

When priests and Levites came from Jerusalem, they questioned John: “Who art thou?” (John 1:19) To this he replied, “I am not the Christ. And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.”—John 1:20,21

This last question, inquiring about his being ‘that prophet’, related to a prophecy of Moses, in which he said, “The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken.” (Deut. 18:15) The Apostle Peter quoted this prophecy (Acts 3:19-23), and applied it to the kingdom work of Christ to be accomplished during the “times of restitution of all things.”—vs. 21

John knew he was not this great prophet whom Moses had promised. In exasperation they finally said to John, “Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?” (John 1:22) Quoting from Isaiah 40:3, he said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord.” (John 1:23) John’s mission was to prepare the way for the Lord by witnessing of him. Then they asked him why he was baptizing if he was neither Christ, Elias, nor ‘that prophet’, to which he replied, he was baptizing with water, but there was one standing among them whom they did not know and of whom John said he (John) was not worthy of even untying his sandals. (vss. 25-27) The Messiah was already present but they did not recognize him.

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (vs. 29) John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven and stay on him. I still did not know that he was the one, but God, who sent me to baptize with water, had said to me, ‘You will see the Spirit come down and stay on a man; he is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit’. I have seen it,” said John, “and I tell you that he is the Son of God.”—vss. 32-34, Today’s English Version

How can we be witnesses of Jesus as John was? The Apostle Paul, writing to the Corinthians, tells of the responsibility those have who have received the Holy Spirit. He says one who has been baptized into Christ is a “New Creation: the old things have passed away; behold! they have become new. But all things are from that God who has reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation; namely, That God was in Christ reconciling the World to himself, not counting to them their offences; and has deposited with us the word of the reconciliation. “On behalf of Christ, therefore, we are ambassadors; as if God were inviting through us, we entreat, on behalf of Christ—be you reconciled to God!”—II Cor. 5:17-20, Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott

Paul says, “The love of Christ controls us.” (vs. 14. RSV) We witness about him at every opportunity.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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