Bold like John-John 1:19-31

John 1:19-31 Now this was John’s testimony when the Jews of Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Christ.” 21 They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah? “He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.” 22 Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.'” 24 Now some Pharisees who had been sent 25 questioned him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” 26 “I baptize with water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. 27 He is the one who comes after me, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.” 28 This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing. 29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”
Giovanni 1:19-31 19 Questa è la testimonianza di Giovanni, quando i Giudei mandarono da Gerusalemme dei sacerdoti e dei Leviti per domandargli: «Tu chi sei?» 20 Egli confessò e non negò; confessò dicendo: «Io non sono il Cristo». 21 Essi gli domandarono: «Chi sei dunque? Sei Elia?» Egli rispose: «Non lo sono». «Sei tu il profeta?» Egli rispose: «No». 22 Essi dunque gli dissero: «Chi sei? affinché diamo una risposta a quelli che ci hanno mandati. Che dici di te stesso?» 23 Egli disse: «Io sono la voce di uno che grida nel deserto: “Raddrizzate la via del Signore”, come ha detto il profeta Isaia».24 Essi erano stati mandati da parte dei farisei. 25 Lo interrogarono e gli dissero: «Perché dunque battezzi, se tu non sei il Cristo, né Elia, né il profeta?» 26 Giovanni rispose loro, dicendo: «Io battezzo in acqua; in mezzo a voi è presente uno che voi non conoscete, 27 colui che viene dopo di me, al quale io non sono degno di sciogliere il legaccio dei calzari!» 28 Queste cose avvennero in Betania di là dal Giordano, dove Giovanni stava battezzando. 29 Il giorno seguente, Giovanni vide Gesù che veniva verso di lui e disse: «Ecco l’Agnello di Dio, che toglie il peccato del mondo! 30 Questi è colui del quale dicevo: “Dopo di me viene un uomo che mi ha preceduto, perché egli era prima di me”. 31 Io non lo conoscevo; ma appunto perché egli sia manifestato a Israele, io sono venuto a battezzare in acqua». 
     John the Baptist was generally known as a no nonsense preacher to all whether you were a countryman or a king. He also made subtle jabs at his opponents. This passage states that the influence of John’s ministry had now gained sufficient attention that it warranted a visit from the religious establishment to investigate his activities and claims.
     There are some striking things to note about John’s responses. First, when asked about who he was, his answer was short and to the point. Second, when they press him further about who he might be, his answer becomes even shorter. Third, when they press him again about other possibilities, he answers shorter still: “No.” Fourth, in desperation and knowing that they needed to have an answer to report back to their superiors, they said, “Who are you?” Even at that, John doesn’t speak about himself; he talks about his ministry as the voice of one calling in the desert to prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. Fifth, frustrated with John’s elusive answers, they ask what gave him the right to perform baptisms (taken from a Jewish ritual). John says his right was to reveal the Messiah (v. 31) to Israel and to tell them that the One they really needed to talk to was coming; then, he adds this subtle remark: “the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.” This statement was intended to poke fun at the Pharisees, who loved titles and power and would have people serve them by tying and untying their shoes. 
     On the next day, John makes his declaration of the Messiah when Jesus approached him: “Look, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.” By John declaring Him as “The Lamb of God”, it conveyed to everyone the image of a sacrificial death and atonement for sin. John intentionally announces that “this sacrificial Lamb” would not be limited to just Israel, but would take away the sin of the “world”. Hallelujah for the Lamb of God who died for us all!
Pray with me: Lord, I am amazed how carefully You orchestrated everything through history to prepare the world for Your coming. Help me to be bold like John and announce to those I meet that You came to take away the sin of the world. 


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