Jesus is… the Christ, by Ty Tamasaka
“19 Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders[c] in 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 Messiah.”
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 wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’”[d]
24 Now the Pharisees who had been sent 25 questioned him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”
26 “I baptize with[e] water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. 27 He is the one who comes after me, the straps 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.” John 1:19-28 NIV (emphasis mine)
In John 1:19, we quickly move to the entrance of John the Baptist who encounters Jewish leaders from Jerusalem. This sets the theme for the rest of the book of John.
The overarching theme in John is the battle between the One sent from God vs. the religious officials sent from Jerusalem.
The Testimony of John the Baptist
1 – John knows who he is NOT.
John makes clear from his appearance on the scene that he is NOT Messiah. He points out to the Jewish leaders “I am not the Messiah.”
That sounds simple enough to understand right? We get that, right? We realize we are not the Christ… right? Maybe, if we feel like we can pull things off within our own ability, we don’t profess with our lips that we are Messiah, but we live as if we are. If think we can make it in our marriages on our own ability or raise our kids drawing on our own experiences, we might be saying with our lives, “I am the Christ” rather than our lips. We may not openly profess with our lips, “I am the Christ,” when we hold on to attitudes that we can do it ourselves, but we live as if “I am the Christ.”
Are you living as if you are the Christ? Put away our DIY (do it yourself) mentality and surrender to Him. Invite Him to be the Messiah. John knew he was not the Messiah. He knew he was not the Christ. We would do well to be reminded that we are not Messiah as well.
2 – John knows who he IS.
We see that John not only knows who he is NOT, he knows who he IS. John goes on to identify that his soul purpose is to proclaim the coming of the Lamb of God. John proclaims, “I am a voice crying out in the wilderness.” He is saying, “It’s not about me… it’s all about Jesus. I am just a voice called to proclaim Jesus.” John knew that lived his life to point to Jesus.
“23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’” John 1:23 NIV (emphasis mine)
We should see our identity as John the Baptist did; a voice to talk to people about Jesus Christ and to point to Him. No matter where we find ourselves in life, we would be wise to remember that our role is simply to speak of and point to Jesus. As we serve with the church and share the Gospel with others, we need to remember that it is NOT our job is not to make people get saved. The Holy Spirit does that. Our job is to make straight the way (or path) for them. Make it as easy as possible for them to know Jesus. Make Him attractive. Draw attention to Jesus. Make straight the way for the Lord.
Do you live your life to draw attention to yourself or to Jesus? How are you living your life today to point to Jesus?
The next passage in John 1:35-42, John answers the next question.
3 – John knows who Jesus IS.
As we continue in John’s account, we see that he identifies Jesus as the Christ. John announces Jesus as the Messiah, the Anointed One. The Jews and even the Samaritans (John 4:25, 42) were looking for Messiah.
“35 The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”
37 When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38 Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”
They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”
39 “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 four in the afternoon.
40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter.” John 1:35-42 NIV
Do you know who you are NOT? Do you know who you are? Do you know who Jesus is? Do you recognize Jesus as the Christ in your life? Is He your Messiah? Is He the Anointed One in your life? Is He Lord?
Heavenly Father, thank You for Jesus. Lord Jesus thank You that You are the Christ, the Anointed One, Messiah. I surrender to You Lord. In the name Jesus the Christ, amen.
Ty Tamasaka is an author who hold a Master of Arts Degree from Pacific Rim Christian University in Christian Ministry He is a Bible teacher who loves to encourage people to enjoy Jesus’ grace and extend His Kingdom. Ty just released his new book More than a Conqueror: 5 Pathways to Personal Revival.