Faith Daily | 2 January 2021
PRAYER of the WEEK
you have shed upon us
the light of your incarnate Word:
may this light, kindled in our hearts,
shine forth in our lives;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
GOSPEL for the Day: John 1: 29-34
29The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’ 31I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.”
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by John Vickers
These verses address the second of three days described by John the apostle, sometime after Jesus’ baptism. Jesus, about to commence his ministry, was on his way back after spending 40 days in the Judean desert.
At the time, John the Baptist was the most revered, credible and renowned voice, the first Jewish prophet in 400 years, followed by thousands,. Nomadic, divorced from the Jewish religious structures in Jerusalem, John the Baptist was not a product of the “swamp”, calling the religious rulers, “serpents”. This was Jesus’ revelation after 30 years of obscurity, the commencement of his ministry.
On day one John the Baptist states “he is among you” to the delegation from the Sanhedrin, on day two “Look, the lamb of God” to the gathered mass, and on day three “follow Him” to some of his own disciples. Three different messages to three different groups, but reported to the Sanhedrin by the religious delegation, who would thereafter pursue Christ to the cross.
Shockingly He was identified by John as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”, not as a conqueror, nor a King.
This did not fit the concept idea of the awaited Messiah. They were familiar with sacrificial lambs, but not with the application of Isiah 53, that “the lamb” would be sacrificed to atone for their transgressions. That he would bear our sins on and in his body, a humiliated sacrifice accepted by God, that would not conquer their enemies, but be killed by their enemies. John the Baptist identifies Jesus as “surpassing me”, as born after, but existing before John himself
Even though he did not initially recognize Jesus (stated twice in verses 31 and 33) – years had elapsed since their childhood and they had lived separate lives – John reveals that the Holy Spirit told him “that this is God’s chosen one”. Then he urges that attention be taken off himself and be given to Jesus. This still applies today, salvation through Christ alone.
FINAL PRAYER: George Herbert, 1593-1633 (AHB Hymn 458)
Teach me, my God and King, in all things thee to see, and what I do in anything to do it as for thee.