Behold the Lamb of God - RR197C5
The media player is loading...
|This transcript is unedited. It was:|
|Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library|
|Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules|
|Posted by with permission|
Let us worship God. Put on the whole armor of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all, to stand. Let us pray.
Oh Lord our God we come into Thy presence knowing indeed that we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against evil principalities, evil powers in high places. But we thank Thee our God that Thou art greater than all these things, that Thou power is holy, righteous and good, that is Thy will that shall be done and Thy kingdom alone that shall prevail and stand. Make us therefore strong and faithful, ever zealous in Thy service. Deliver us from our own burdens and problems into the fullness of Thy freedom and service, in Christ’s name, Amen.
Our scripture is from John 1:35-51. Our subject: Behold the Lamb of God. John 1:35-51.
“Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;
36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!
37 And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.
38 Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?
39 He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.
40 One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.
41 He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.
42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.
43 The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.
44 Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
45 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.
46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.
47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!
48 Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.
49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.
50 Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.
51 And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.”
The apostle John here uses a very ordinary episode
The apostle John here uses a very ordinary episode to introduce a remarkable fact. John the Baptist declares Jesus to be the Lamb of God and John’s two disciples, one of them being Andrew, immediately followed Jesus. The other was John, who leaves himself unnamed. Andrew tells his brother Simon Peter that we have found the Messiah. Later Philip describes Jesus to Nathaniel, he describes him as the one whom the law and the prophets prophesied about. Nathaniel declared Jesus to be the Son of God and the King of Israel. Thus John tells us that at the very beginning he and the other disciples followed Jesus because they believed Him to be the Messiah. Notice what these terms mean, the Lamb of God means the unblemished sacrifice for atonement. So Jesus is recognized as the sin bearer who makes atonement for the sins of His people. The Messiah or Christ means the anointed one who comes to exercise dominion. King of Israel says that Jesus as the promised son of David is the great restorer of the kingdom fo God, the one who brings it to it’s full power. The Son of God means that they knew him to be God in the flesh. They were men who had longed for Christ’s coming and had been taught its meaning by John the Baptist. So a question arises to us very naturally, why did John send two disciples later to ask Jesus art thou He that should come or do we look for another? Why too did the disciples prove to be so uncomprehending when Christ spoke of His coming death in Jerusalem? [00:08:05]
The gospels tell us plainly how well they were taught
The gospels tell us plainly how well they were taught from the very beginning. The answer to this question is important, not only to understand the disciples problem but our own. Our lord in another context described the kingdom of God in these words: first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn and the ear. We do not harvest corn immediately after planting the seed, not that day nor the next day nor the week after. False expectations lead to false actions as well as to misunderstandings. Over the centuries the church’s ministry has been warped because with endless repetition people have over and over again insisted that the end of the world has to be near and Christ will be here again any day. They’ve set dates for twenty centuries, this has been done in spite of the warning against such things in Matthew 24:36. The disciples were not lacking in any knowledge about Jesus, who could live with Him, hear Him, see His miraculous works and be ignorant? They knew who He was. Their problem was that they wanted all things fulfilled in their lifetime and that’s a very common sin. They wanted everything to happen on a no sweat, no problem basis. And so they were impatient and John was impatient, alright you are here why doesn’t the new world order come? On the day before the incident of verses thirty five through thirty nine John the Baptist spoke of Jesus in a like term, behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world. E. C. Hoskins said and I quote: [00:10:54]
“The place of sacrifice is the place where the glory
“The place of sacrifice is the place where the glory and grace is made unknown.” Unquote.
Of course that’s in terms of Exodus 29:43, Jesus is the place, the glory and the sacrifice. By this announcement John the Baptist in effect concluded his ministry. The one coming he had proclaimed was here and his, Christ’s ministry had begun. In these verses, 35-39, we hear the two men, Andrew and John, call Jesus Rabbi which means master or very literally my great one or man. And to the Hebrews it meant a teacher of God’s law word, a decisive interpreter. John gives us a sequence of three days to this point, on the first day the deputation of Jewish authorities came to John the Baptist. On the second day Jesus identifies, uh, John identifies Jesus as the Lamb of God. On the third day he again identifies Jesus and the two men, Andrew and John, followed Him. John the Apostle having been present remembers these three days vividly. He and Andrew followed Jesus to the place where He was staying and they remained with Him until about the tenth hour, that is, four in the afternoon by their reckoning. The rest of the chapter illustrates Jesus’ words, come and see. Of the two it is said they followed Jesus. Bu the day is not yet over. Andrew went after his brother Simon to bring him to Jesus , Jesus tells Simon that he will be called Cephas, stone, or in Latin Peter, rock. The word stone is literally petro, petros or Peter means that Peter belongs to the rock, Jesus Christ. Peter is not the rock, he belongs to the rock. That’s important to realize because some churches have falsely misinterpreted it to mean that Peter is the rock and the church is built upon him, no, Peter belongs to the rock, Jesus Christ, the rock of ages. [00:13:54]
Because most people of the day spoke at least two languages
Because most people of the day spoke at least two languages, their own and that of their overlords, and also the business language of the Empire, Greek, they’d also very commonly have names in two languages. The apostle Thomas, an Aramaic name was also Didymus, the Greek word for twin, so Thomas was apparently one of two brothers who were twins. Then we encounter in Acts, Tabitha, an Aramaic name meaning gazelle as did her Greek name, Dorcas. At other times a name sounding like one’s original might be used, Appelas for able. Peter is given no introduction, he was so well known that none was necessary whereas Andrew is identified as Simon Peter’s brother. On the next and fourth day Jesus took the initiative: He located Philip, a Greek name. Philip in Matthew, Mark and Luke is only mentioned in the list of apostles. Yucidimus, [sp??] a church historian much later, tells us that Philip was important in Christ’s work in Asia Minor. More important Philip appears repeatedly in John’s gospel; clearly Christ had particular fondness for Philip from the references in John. Philip then brought Nathaniel to Christ, Nathaniel is from the Hebrew meaning gift of God, so it essentially is the same name as Theodore and Dorothy which mean gift of God. Nathaniel’s response to Philip is skeptical; he was under the fig tree, an Old Testament symbol for a place of peace, also a very shady spot. When Rabbis taught in the open air it was often under a fig tree, Nathaniel was a Galilean and his remark about Nazareth ‘can there be any good thing come out of Nazareth’ was therefore not a Judean contempt for Galileans, he himself was one. Rather to him Nazareth was not a part of Old Testament prophecy and how could someone from Nazareth fulfill the law and the prophets as Philip claimed. [00:17:19]
His skepticism was based on a devout concern for the
His skepticism was based on a devout concern for the Bible. He was not aware of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem of Judea. Our lord in seeing Nathaniel describes him as an Israelite indeed, that is, one from the heart as well as by birth and a man without guile. Nathaniel, whose other name was Bartholomew, meaning son of Talmai, asked how, or from where do you know, or have information, of me? Like Philip Nathaniel receives particular attention from our Lord. Before that Philip called thee when thou was under the fig tree I saw thee. Clearly our Lord reveals his supernatural knowledge and sight but there is more here. Our Lord chose something of significance, He was not merely showing that He had supernatural power, it is reasonable to assume that under the fig tree Nathaniel was studying scripture and praying for the Messiah. His response to Jesus seems to indicate an answer to prayer ‘Rabbi Thou art the Son of God, Thou art the King of Israel’. But by limiting the sway of the Son of God to Israel Nathaniel showed a limited awareness of Christ’s world dominion and power. At the same time Jesus had by His reference to the fig tree spoken to Nathaniel’s hope, study and prayer. If it had only been an expression of supernatural power Nathaniel would have seen Jesus as a prophet instead but he sees Jesus as exactly what he had hoped and prayed for and what Philip had declared Him to be. Jesus then makes clear that Nathaniel will see greater things than these, this plural reference means that more is in mind than seeing Nathaniel under a fig tree, what are these greater things? [00:20:04]
Our Lord refers to Genesis ...
Our Lord refers to Genesis 28:10-22, Jacob’s ladder. In the Garden of Eden there was communion between God and man but communion broken by the fall is restored by Christ’s atonement and the focal point of communion is the son of man. Therefore we pray in Jesus’ name, it is through Him that we have communion with God, He is our Jacob’s ladder. Saint [unknown] said the heavenly ladder was broken in Adam and repaired in Christ. Now those who rejects Jesus Christ as the ladder, the sacrificial lamb who restores communion by His atoning death shall see Him as their judge. As Jesus said to the high priest at his trial ‘here after shall ye see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power and coming in the clouds of heaven’. Now there’s an important fact in verse 51 as well as in Genesis 28:12, Jacob’s ladder and this I feel is urgently important for all of us to be mindful of: the angels are ascending and descending, when our natural tendency would be to reverse that order and say they descended from heaven and went back. To have them come and go rather to go and come. We are by this reminded that God’s angels are already here. Psalm 34:7 tells us plainly the angel of the Lord encampeth around about them that fear Him and deliver them. [00:22:25]
Our Lord speaks of the presence of angels in Matthew
Our Lord speaks of the presence of angels in Matthew 18:10, in other words, we are not alone. We think of ourselves as we face grief’s and troubles, persecution perhaps, as being all alone. But what our Lord is saying here as Jacob’s ladder, as the psalmist, we are not alone, we are never alone and it is a sin to see ourselves as alone. The angels of God are with His people, they go up to God and return because they are here for our sakes. At the beginning we saw how at the very beginning the disciples knew Jesus to be the Lamb of God, the son of God and the Messiah. Then too the committee of priests and Levites who were sent to meet with John the Baptist, they knew John the Baptist to be the son of an important priest, Zacharias and thus himself entitled to priestly rank. John’s miraculous birth was more a matter of public knowledge than was the birth of our Lord. The facts were all there for men to see however but the Pharisees wanted John and Jesus to conform to them and their world, otherwise they would not believe in them. The disciples believed but they too wanted Jesus to meet their expectations, not they His. Man seeks to make God over in man’s own image and in terms of man’s desires and the result is always judgment and disaster. But God here tells us we must see our Lord in terms of himself, not in terms of our hopes. And we must always remember that we are not alone. God’s heavenly hosts surround us as with the prophet of old when the king was fearful gave him vision by the grace of God to see the heavenly host on the hills and mountains all around the city. We are not alone. [00:25:37]
So day by day as we face our problems and our burdens
So day by day as we face our problems and our burdens if we remember the angels are here and they ascend and descend they make their habitation amongst us. Let us pray.
Our Father, we thank Thee for Thy healing, comforting and strengthening word. Burn into our minds the knowledge that we are not alone, that Thou, Thyself are closer to us than we are to ourselves. Give us grace to come and to cast our every care upon Thee knowing that Thou carest for us. Grant us in Christ’s name, Amen.
Are there any questions now about our lesson?
[Rushdoony] Here he says you shall be called Cephas or Peter. Then we are told much later, near the end he tells thou art Peter. Now you know, now you have made the necessary confession, you belong to the rock. But at this point it is predictive, ear the end it is declaratory, it is a fact. [00:28:09]
Any other questions or comments? Yes?...
Any other questions or comments? Yes?
[Rushdoony] Yes. Well the fallen angels are a different matter and they have no place really in this world unless we bring them in. Remember when our Lord cast out the devils from the man of [unknown], they begged Him to allow them to stay rather than to go back to hell and He had them go into the pigs that were there, but the pigs went crazy and drowned themselves so the devils were out of luck. This is God’s world and therefore God is the victor here in this world and we’re surrounded by His servants. We are not alone. But you see if we take the defeatist view as unfortunately too many church people do then all we’re mindful of is a world full of devils and not a world in which we live surrounded by angels. Any other questions or comments? Well if not let us conclude with prayer.
Our Father we thank Thee for the refreshing power of Thy word and of Thy spirit. Make us ever mindful of the wealth that we have in Christ, that the Holy Spirit has made us His habitation. Thine angels surround us, Thy word, Thy promises are in our hands and in our heart. How rich Thou art unto us oh Lord and we thank thee. And now go in peace, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost, bless you and keep you, guide and protect you, this day and always, Amen.