Exploring the Message Within...
Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29)
Part 2: ‘Self must die, for the Church to move forward’
The second point I picked up from this verse is that ‘Self’ must die for us to be vessels of honour. Self will find us consumed by our old sinful nature which is just opposite from what The Holy Spirit wants(Galatians 5:17). It needs to be cast away from us for the church to move forward. This was another point brought to light when John exclaimed ‘Behold! The Lamb of God…’ John had a role to play; a task to complete in paving the way for Jesus. And throughout his preaching he would remind the crowd that there is one greater than himself that is coming, as recorded in verses 26 & 27:
“I baptize with water, but right here in the crowd is someone you do not know who will soon begin His ministry. I am not even worthy to be His slave.”
John had to perform this task before Jesus could begin His ministry. By testifying that there is someone ‘greater than I am’ John was accepting his role as the one ‘paving the way’ for Jesus. When he recognised Jesus and exclaimed ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’, he was also acknowledging that his work was coming to an end and at the same time accepting that it was now Jesus’ time. But it was obvious that he was not puffed-up: there were no signs of the spirit of jealousy shown towards Jesus. John didn’t feel threatened by Jesus’ Ministry or felt the need to display a competitive nature. In fact he was happy—delighted that Jesus’ ministry had begun.
First, he pointed two disciples to Jesus saying: ‘Behold the Lamb of God!’ and the disciples turned and followed Jesus. Then over in chapter 3, John exalts Jesus: the disciples remaining with him had concerns that Jesus was also baptizing people and that ‘everybody is going over there instead of coming here to us.”(26) ‘John replied, “God in heaven appoints each person’s work. You yourselves, know how plainly I told you that I am not the Messiah. I am here to prepare the way for Him—that is all. The bride will go where the bridegroom is. A bridegroom’s friend rejoices with him. I am the bridegroom’s friend, and I am filled with joy at his success. He must become greater and greater and I must become less and less…” (27-30)
So let us remove the elements of jealousy, selfish ambition, envy, hostility, quarrelling and all sinful desires which are causing division in the church and start to live by the Spirit’s power(Galatians 5:16-26) so that we can begin to work in unity and move the church forward.
The spirit of confusion reigns in the church so much that we no longer know when to be silent and when to speak up. We are often waiting on The Lord and when the Holy Spirit begins to move, we refuse to be still and listen to His voice. We pray for help and when help arrive, we don’t recognise it. Why? Because we are too caught up with ‘SELF’. Self has taken centre place in our lives, and so there is no escaping it on the pulpit. We refuse to allow the leading of the Holy Spirit, fearing things won’t go according to our plans. We ought to follow in Jesus’ footsteps and stop walking in self-will. We are slowly being consumed by the principles of this world, and ‘It is time to observe the ways of Christ –The Lamb.’ SELF must die in order to walk in the footsteps of Christ and for the church to move forward.
***************** Exploring the Message Within consists of the following parts: