Scripture: John 1:29-51
The first thing in this passage that jumped out to the greatest number of folks was that John the Baptist said he didn’t know who Jesus was until Jesus came to be baptized. Interesting discussion around the fact they were cousins who apparently had never met.
The second set of comments was around Nathaneal’s words: “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Was he being honest, or sarcastic, or just expressing the common opinion of the day? And what of Jesus’ opening remarks about Nathaneal: “behold, a true Israelite in whom there is no guile”. Had He overheard Nathaneal’s comment? At any rate it’s clear Jesus’ comment provoked a quick and heartfelt reaction from Nathaneal, who within two sentences was declaring Jesus “the Son of God”.
First question: when Jesus walked by, and John the Baptist said “Behold the Lamb of God”, what was he talking about? The obvious answer is “Jesus’ death” — but how would he have known about this, since it hadn’t happened yet? A look at Exodus chapter 12 shows that he is referring to the Passover lamb — the lamb whose blood on the doors of the Israelites caused the angel of death to “pass over” the home. Likewise the blood of Jesus covering our hearts causes God to forgive our sins and preserve us to life.
Observation: In verses 32-34, who does John say sent him to baptize? What does John say about Jesus? About the Holy Spirit? For anyone who has any questions about the Bible teaching the Trinity, these verses should help make it clear!
Final question: how can we apply the things learned in this reading to our lives? The group offered these suggestions: Keep an open heart, as Nathaneal did, and strive to do what Jesus would do. Practice His presence, be aware that He is always there.