Reflection on Scripture Second Sunday Gospel A Testimony

By 10:54 AM

 Second Sunday Ordinary Gospel A

John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. He is the one of whom I said, ‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’ 

· The title Lamb of God is given to Jesus by John. It is based on the OT concept both of the Paschal lamb that was yearly sacrificed as an offering to God and on the Suffering Servant theme found in Isaiah.

· By equating Jesus with this title John is foreshadowing Jesus’ passion and death by which the sins of the world will be forgiven.

· By indicating that Jesus had a pre-existence may be an inspiration from the Holy Spirit that allowed John to see Jesus from a different perspective. Before, he knew Jesus as his cousin. Now, by the revelation of the Spirit, he sees Jesus as the one he had been speaking about, the Messiah.

I did not know him, but the reason why I came baptizing with water was that he might be made known to Israel.” 

· John did not know Jesus to be the Messiah before this moment, even though John was testifying to the immediate coming of promised Messiah. There is a sense of excitement and awe in his words

John testified further, saying, “I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven and remain upon him.

· According to Luke this coming of the Spirit upon Jesus was following the Baptism and only Jesus was aware of this experience. According to Matthew, John also witnessed both the voice from heaven and the external manifestation of the Spirit. According to John the evangelist, the Baptizer experienced this before the baptism of Jesus and that is why he felt unworthy to baptize Jesus.

I did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 

· God had prepared John to recognize the Messiah through the external sign of the descent of the Spirit upon one of those who would come to him.

· Notice the difference between John’s baptism and the baptism that Jesus would institute. John’s baptized with water as a preparation for coming of the Messiah, but no sins were forgiven. It indicated openness to the reconciliation that comes from the Messiah. Jesus called for baptism in water and the Holy Spirit, which fully reconciled the person to God and brought the person into the fullness of God’s life as a son or daughter.

Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.”

· First, he identified Jesus as the Lamb of God. Now, he adds a further insight by proclaiming him to be the Son of God.

· It is the Spirit of God who enables John to give such a testimony without knowing the full impact of the title “Son of God.”

· Here John testifies with his words. Later, he will testify with his life.

· We are call to also testify to others who Jesus is to us. How conscious are we of this? How faithful are we to the work of testimony and witness?

· What practical application do we make from this reflection?

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