John: Lamb

John 1:19–51

Back when I was making the decision whether or not to go to grad school, I hopped a plane and went to visit the campus. Waiting for me at the airport was Bubba. Bubba was a representative from the admissions department of the school. Yeah, his name really was Bubba. The school was in Kentucky.

Bubba was a friendly dude and chatted me up on the 40 minute drive into town, giving me the low-down on everything from classes and professors to local smalltown Kentucky culture. You might say Bubba prepared the way for me. He put me in a frame of mind for a whole new season of life I was about to jump into.

You might call Bubba my John the Baptist to my grad school experience.

This is what John the Baptist (not to be confused with the disciple John, the author of this) does in the story of Jesus. John gives us some orientation. He puts in a particular frame of mind. He sets the table so that when Jesus comes on the scene, we’re ready.

And then Jesus does show up, and John says, The Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

What a weird thing to say.

These are people whose biggest cultural holiday is roadtripping to Jerusalem, taking a lamb to the temple, where it’s slaughtered and bled out, and then you have a big family barbecue. And the blood of the animal made all the bad things you did in the past year go away.

And John the Baptist has just called out a seemingly random guy in the crowd and called him God’s lamb.

It’s John-the-author’s way of pointing us to the end of the story. Spoiler alert, right? We remember this through each and every story that John is about to tell us:

Jesus Christ

Lamb of God

Who takes away the sin of the world

What about you? What do you see?


About peterjwhite

I am a pastor to college students in Tulsa, OK.
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