Look, the Lamb of God!

The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”

When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”

They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”

“Come,” he replied, “and you will see.”

So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about the tenth hour.   (John 1:35-39)

Here we have John the Baptist standing among two of his own disciples as he takes note of Jesus passing by. John, with his intense, steadfast focus on Christ, announces to his hearers: “Look, the Lamb of God!” The wording here depicts the fullness of God’s perfect timing through the actions of John and Jesus–John standing as Jesus passes by.

I am reminded of the command given in Hebrews calling each one of us to this same steadfast focus on Christ:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3)

Notice how in our verses for today the two disciples turn from following John to following Jesus. How natural that must have seemed for them as John’s teaching to his disciples was the basis for their conduct. John’s mantra was: “He must become greater; I must become less.” Those disciples were eager to follow Jesus just as their teacher was eager to follow Him.

“He was looking at Jesus; he looked steadfastly, and fixed his eyes on him. Those who would lead others to Christ must be diligent and frequent in the contemplation of Him themselves.” -Matthew Henry

Observe how Jesus takes notice of the two followers: “What do you want?” Christ is always aware of a soul’s motion toward Him. He is constantly asking us to look into our own hearts. Jesus is always asking that question: “What do you want?” What is it that you desire–a Teacher, a Ruler, a Lord? What are your intentions–your motives–behind your movement to follow Him? These disciples coming to Jesus were desirous to be His students. The wording used here depicts their eagerness to be better acquainted with Him, adherents, accepting His instruction, making it their rule of conduct. He says to them: “Come”–inviting them to come without delay–and just as He opened blind Bartimaeus’ eyes, He opened their eyes to see. Jesus is always willing to open the “eyes that are blind” to those who come diligently seeking Him. There is never a better time than now to come to Jesus.

Some come only to Christ to have all their problems fixed, desirous of a rose colored life with no rain clouds in sight. Others may come to Him overwhelmed in the fervor of emotion, moved perhaps by songs or sermons or sayings. Yet others follow Him to go deeper still. Bottom line, since it is only through Him that we are justified before God, do we come to Him in humility with the realization of our need, seeking God’s favor and eternal life?

Take It to Heart

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

“Would you follow Christ? Then follow him in self-denial, in humility, in patience, and in readiness for every good work. Follow him with a daily cross upon your back, and look to his cross to make your burden light. Follow him as your Guide and Guard, and learn to see with his eyes, and to trust in his arm for defense. Follow him as the Friend of sinners, who healeth the broken in heart, and giveth rest to the weary souls, and casteth out none that come into him. Follow him with faith, resting your whole acceptance with God, and your title to heaven, on his meritorious blood and righteousness. Lastly, follow him with much prayer. For, though he is full of compassion, he loves to be much entreated; and when he is determined to give a blessing, you must yet wrestle with him for it. Thus follow Jesus, and he will lead you to glory.” (K. H. Von Bogatzky)