John’s Gospel record now moves the discussion towards the forerunner of Christ: John the Baptist. In this section of scripture, we learn a great deal about the power of one person’s testimony.

John the Baptist points people to Jesus Christ. John the Baptist teaches us some valuable lessons:

Jesus Christ is the Preferred One:

John’s language delivers the clear message that Christ is ‘former’. Christ is ‘first-borne’. Christ is pre-existent to all-including John the Baptist himself. How does this impact our lives? Because we come to understand that there is nothing happening in our life that surprises God. For God has walked the road of suffering much longer than we have.

One of our purposes for each day is to bring our own life into alignment with the life of Jesus Christ. Our focus needs to shift to absorbing our life into the life of Christ, rather than his life absorbing our own. This may seem like a battle of semantics, but it is not.

For as we shift our life focus and move to absorb our thinking, our thought process, our perspective to how Jesus Christ views each event, we begin to understand that Christ has walked this road before. Through the eyes and experience of others-and himself-Christ has managed grief, suffering and much sadness.

The Scripture teaches us that Jesus Christ is a man, ‘acquainted with sorrows’. Not ‘sorrow’, singular. But ‘sorrows’, multiplied. The comfort that Christ brings is directly tied and wedded to his pre-existence and his personal experience with managing sorrows.

Turn to Christ in your grief, sadness, failure and disappointments. Ask him to inure your psyche. To stiffen your resolve. And most important of all: to send supernatural provisioning. For God will do just that to those that suffer and cry out for relief.

Jesus Christ is the Giver of Grace and Truth:

John the Baptist now tells and instructs us that Jesus Christ is the giver and the bringer of ‘grace and truth’. John lets us know that Moses delivered the law. The law, in its brutality and crisp fetters rebuked and provided roadmaps to personal failure. The law, restricted and even prohibited access to the Father of life. But Christ…but Christ brought fullness of grace and pure and unhindered access to God the Father.

In Christ Jesus we have access to grace and truth. We have already defined grace as: “swimming in compassion.” And we have defined truth as: “the Nova of God.” John the Baptist lets us know that Jesus Christ is the bringer and the bearer of such good gifts to us. Let me ask a question: “Would you rather have all of the riches of the world and die outside of God’s presence, or be filled to capacity daily with grace and truth?”

Grace and truth yield positive outcomes in our lives. I would venture to say that every single good and proper event that enters our lives are driven and have as their points of origin the Source of grace and truth. And I would say that in the absence of grace and truth that our world simply cannot and will not survive.

Behold The Lamb of God:

This section of divine insights concludes with the scene of John the Baptist, baptizing people in the river Jordan. The scene closes with Jesus Christ coming forth and presenting himself to John to be baptized. The scene shows us John immersing Jesus in the waters and seeing the heavens open. John sees a heavenly dove float from the very portals of heaven and land upon the landscape.

John hears the Voice of God say, “Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.”

In this section we learn that Jesus is qualified to manage suffering for he is acquainted with sorrow. We learn that Jesus Christ is the giver and source of all grace and truth. We learn that God set aside Christ and spoke words of commission upon his life.

Each and every one of us search for and happily receive: the comfort of Christ + the grace and truth of Christ + the commission of Christ to go and serve.

Standing Amazed in His Presence…

Steve Bonenberger