Sermon – It’s not rude to point (John 1:19 – 1:28) – Cornerstone Church Kingston
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John 2021

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The Book of John was authored by one of Jesus’ twelve disciples, John, who features in the gospel. John makes his mission for writing the book plain in 20:31; “that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” He details the many words and claims of Jesus, as well as the various responses from those listening; in either faith, amazement, caution or rejection. Listen as Cornerstone preachers unpack the narrative and invite us to reflect on our own response to Jesus.

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Sermon 5 of 58

It’s not rude to point

Rory Kinnaird, John 1:19 - 1:28, 16 January 2022

Rory continues our series in John’s gospel by preaching from John 1:19-28. In this passage we see the astounding claim John makes about Jesus and what it means for those who want to follow him.

John 1:19 - 1:28

19 And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” 21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” 22 So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”

24 (Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.) 25 They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” 26 John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, 27 even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” 28 These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.


Transcript (Auto-generated)

This transcript has been automatically generated, and therefore may not be 100% accurate.

If you'd like to open up John chapter 1, we're going to read John 1 verse 29 to 34. This is a series that we started in John's Gospel towards the end of last year, and we restarted it last week. And we're back looking at the testimony of John the Baptist. So here's John 1 verse 29.

The next day John saw Jesus coming towards him and said, look, the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. This is the 1 I meant when I said, a man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me. I myself did not know him, but the reason I came back tizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel. Then John gave this testimony. I saw the spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.

And I myself did not know him, but the 1 who sent me to baptize with water told me the man on whom you see the spirit come down and remain is the 1 who will baptize with the Holy Spirit. I have seen, and I testify that this is God's chosen 1. Okay. As Tom said, we're continuing on with this series in John. It's been fantastic just to be looking in these first few verses.

John is just so theologically rich with which should just cause us to be amazed at who Christ is, and that's what we wanna see today. As we as we go through this next passage now. So let's pray as we begin. Father, we thank you for the book of John. We thank you for what it has revealed to us already about the lord Jesus Christ.

And we pray now that as we consider these next few verses, we pray that you will lift our eyes and you will put them on the Lord Jesus Christ. We pray father that we will see with John just how glorious Christ is. And we pray father that as we behold him, we will know him more, that we will love him more, and that that we will endeavor to live for him as a result. We pray for myself. We pray that I will become less.

So that Christ will become more, and we pray this in his name, amen. Now there's all sorts of slogans and strap lines in this world. I'm sure you would agree. So little lines that companies come up with to sort of summarize what they're all about, and we know all the the famous ones I suppose if I said Nike would say, Beautiful. Yeah.

We're all probably wearing it. They're taking over the world. We have apple, apples is think different, which is kind of like we're innovative in we can all be We can do the next great thing. 1 of my favorites I looked this up actually is M and M's. It melts in your mouth not in your hands, which is fantastic from a sweet because I hate sticky hands, so that is the ideal chocolate for me.

Wheaties, who whoever eats that. I thought this must be American, the breakfast of champions. If you wanna succeed in your day, have some wheaties. Or or there's these sort of 1 line sound bites from speeches that kind of summarize what they're all about. So that I guess the most famous 1 that we all love to talk about is that I have a dream, Martin Luther King.

Has a dream. So that's that a lot. Or or 1 of the the famous ones from British history is Winston Churchill saying we shall fight them on the beaches. It's a sound bite there that sort of summarizes that we're never gonna surrender to the Germans. I was reading another 1 from a lady called Sheryl Sandberg.

She's used to work for Facebook, and she was writing a book about how she wants to promote women in the workplace. And her tagline is men still run the world, and I'm not sure that it's going well. There you go. Yeah. So they have all sorts of slogan strap lines.

A message that sort of summarizes what someone's all about. And I think that John the Baptist has a slogan, a a a strap line. A a sound bite, but it's more than that. It's more than night just do it. It's so much more like when John thinks about what he wants to say, he's carefully thought through and he says, what is the most momentous meaningful thing that I can say.

And with that in mind, he comes in verse 29 and he says, look, or behold, which I prefer, which I'm going to use throughout here, behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. That's his message. That's the thing that he wants you to remember. See, last week, Ben took us through the first introduction to John the Baptist, and and he's this man who's kind of symbolizes the last of the prophets. He's like the last of the the old school, the old testament prophets, and he was there to make straight at the ways for the Lord.

He was there to prepare people's hearts for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. And and because he's the symbol of all these prophets, he's saying that Jesus The 1 I'm pointing towards is the fulfillment of all old testament prophecies. But this week, which actually is the next day for John, as you can see in verse 29, so the next day. This week, He wants to show us that he's not just the fulfillment of the prophecies, but before John fades into the back crowned and says, gives it over to Jesus and his ministry. He says, I wanna show you that the Lord Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the sacrificial system.

And so as we look with John, it's going to reveal to us so much about who the Lord Christ is and what he came to do. So that's what he's doing. He's inviting us to examine Christ. These like a a teacher with a people look at this or or a a parent with a child, and they wanna show something their mate oh, it's actually what I'm like with Sharusha, but that she's like, young and and doesn't understand anything, but I got get out of the get outside. At the moment, the sky has been amazing, hasn't it?

There's wonderful colors and even and we say to each other if if we haven't seen look look at the sky. Yeah? It's beautiful. And that's what John's doing. He's going he's not saying look Sky, obviously.

You say, look at the lord Jesus Christ, and he's inviting us to examine with him the Lord Jesus Christ. So let's do that together now and and my first point is, behold the lamb of God. Behold the lamb of God. You'll see that in verse 29. He says, look the lamb of God.

So who is Jesus? He's the lamb of God. He's not just any old lamb either. He's God's lamb. The source of of of the lamb is God.

God has sent this lamb. And when when we think about the word lamb in in the bible, that would suggest that he is perfect that he is stainless, that he is without blemish. Now you might think, well, how can a a mere man be perfect? That's impossible. Well, this isn't any ordinary man here, and that's what this this passage shows us.

So you've looked with me down at verse 30 30. He says, this is the 1 I meant when I said in the hot, he's referring back to verse 15 here. A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me. Sounds like a bit of a riddle, doesn't it? It's not.

The man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me. What John is doing here is he's reminding us of what we've seen in verse 1 to 3. That this here, the lamb of God is the word. He is the word that was with God from the beginning. In fact, in very nature, he is God.

And that is why he's perfect. It cannot just be a mere man who could be the perfect lamb of God. It has to be God himself the only perfect being in the world. So he is greater than John, because he's before him. And that actually, that that credential is strengthened because actually you think about what's going on here, he's just returned from the wilderness.

And the wilderness, the 40 days in the wilderness, if you know anything about that, was where Jesus was tempted by Satan, but he doesn't give in. He's the perfect 1. He's the lamb of God. But then John keeps on going because in verse 32, he says this, he gives this testimony. I saw the spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.

And now that is If you know your Bible that's alarm bells going off and say, whoa. This is the 1 that God has chosen. In the old testament, if there was anyone important like a king or a priest, they were anointed. And Christ comes and John baptizes him and the spirit remains on him, which leads John to say In verse 34, I have seen and I testify that this is God's chosen 1. Or this is the son of God.

This is the 1 that God has chosen to be His Messiah his Christ. See, when John baptized him and the spirit of God rests on Jesus, he would have been reminded of the words of Isaiah chapter 61 and verse 1 to 3 where it says the spirit of the sovereign Lord is on me. Because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news for the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted to proclaim freedom for the captives and relief from darkness for the prisoners to proclaim the year of the lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God to comfort all who mourn. Now that's significant.

But when Jesus comes onto the scene in Luke chapter 4, he says these words are about me. I am the Messiah, the Savior King. This is God's perfect man. This is the God man. This is the lamb of God.

And as you John points out, he goes, that's the lamb of God. Whoa. This is a special special man right here. But it's more than that because secondly, behold what the lamb of God does. Behold what the lamb of God does.

So verse 29 again, look the lamb of god who takes away the sin of the world. See, verse 29, why does John say he's a lamb? Why does he pick a lamb? Well, he knows that to call him the lamb is to say that he is the fulfillment of everything. He knows that when he says lamb, that's gonna vote a whole load of imagery for people who know their old testament.

It's a bit like when we I don't know, we use words that that that bring up things or we use dates like If I said 20 12, we would think the London Olympics, obviously. If I said 20 20, we would say, COVID, if we said I mean, the the classic 1 a history teacher. I love 10 66, the Battle of Hastings, 16 66, the great fire of London 19 66, England did something Who cares what England did? But they they they evoked things in our minds. And that's what John's doing.

He say, look, the lamb of God. That's gonna evoke so much and I'm gonna try and deal with it all right now because it's it's absolutely amazing. So the first thing that that it might evoke in people's mind, it would take them back to Genesis chapter 22 verse 7 to 8. And there is where Abraham has has been told he's gotta sacrifice his son. And so Isaac is is going up the mountain with Abraham, and they am gonna sacrifice, and then Isaac he says here, doesn't he father?

Yes, my son. The fire and water here, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering? And Abraham answers, prophetically. God himself would provide the lamb for the burnt offering my son. Already, In Genesis 22 verse 8, God is providing a lamb.

He's giving a lamb to be a substitutes. But but not only would it would it point them to Genesis, it would also point them to exodus chapter 12 to the Passover. Right? Where the people of God to to avoid being destroyed by the angel of death and to to escape to be free from slavery from their Egyptians and from pharaoh, they have to take what? A lamb, and they have to slaughter that lamb and paint the blood over the door posts so that they are set free.

But then it's not even that. There's more than that because in leviticus, you get this whole sacrificial system. How do I get right with God? How can I be in presence of God? Well, there's a whole sacrificial system that says to get right with God, we need sacrifice.

But there's even more than that. And this is all in just the lamb of God. I mean, this is why John is incredible because he says something that looks quite simple and be like, oh yeah, that's yeah. Okay. Cool.

And then you think about it. He's like, whoa. It's incredible. So he would again, what else would would evoke in the head? What would else come into the head?

Isiah chapter 53 in verse 7? He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before it sheer as a silent so he did not open his mouth. The lamb of gods. The lamb of God, the sacrifice And what was the purpose of all these sacrifices?

Well, it was to redeem a people. It was to set people free from slavery It was to totally remove all sin. It was totally removing the guilt of sin, the power of sin. That's what John says, doesn't he? He doesn't just say behold the lamb of God?

No. He says, Who takes away the sin? He takes it away. And he doesn't just to take it away like for once, he's continually taking away the sin. Which is why it was great to be reminded of those those that song there is upward.

I look and see him there who made an end of all my sympathy continues to do it. Some great verses in the bible, psalm 103 verse 12 says, as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us? In other words, think of the the furthest place away from you. Right. The furthest place away from the UK, Australia.

No. We don't want to talk about Australia. We want to talk about New Zealand. Now of New Zealand. It's so far.

Get rid of it. In leviticus chapter 16, it's a wonderful picture. You have 2 goats. 1 is slain to be because right with God, but there's a a a go there. You can see in verse 20 to 22, when Aaron has finished making atonement for the most holy place, the tent of meeting and the altar, he shall bring forward the live He is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites all their sins, not just some of them all of the sins, and put them on the goat's head.

He shall send the goat away into the wilderness and the care of someone point of the task, the goat will carry on itself all their sins to a remote place and the man shall release it in the wilderness. We once reenacted this at contagious. We had the holes seen, and then we got the go and we we it was a goat's head. But it was really powerful and this this lad had to run away with it as if the sin had been poured on the goat's head and he takes the goat away, and the people celebrate because their sin has been removed from them. This is why the lamb of God has come.

This is why the lord Jesus Christ has come. He came to die on a cross to be a sacrifice for us. He came so that he can totally remove all sin. That's why he's come. And so the the new testament writers take this and this they just love this this idea of the the lamb being the attorney sacrifice.

Look, 1 Peter 1 verse 18 to 19. We read 1 Peter 1 today, but it says this, but you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect, That is how you're saved. 1 John 3 5, but you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin, the lamb of God. Perfect.

1 John 4 10, this is love not that we love God. But that he loved us and sent his son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins, Christ on the cross takes our sin. He takes our rejection of him, and he takes that and he takes the wrath of God rather than have it on us, he averts it, and he puts it on himself so that we can be made right with God and he can take away our sins. That's the lamb of God. Hebrews chapter 10 verse 10 to 14.

And by that will we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all, day by day, every priest stands and performs his religious duties again and again, he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time 1 sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time, he waits for his enemies to be made his stall for by 1 sacrifice. He has made perfect forever, those who are being made holy. Hallelu, that's great news. The lamb of God.

All those sacrifices in the levitical sacrificial system, they couldn't at take away sin. They just were shadows that were pointing to 1 greater that 1 could could dine across once and for all to take away all of our sins and that's what we see whose sin is it? Well it's the sin of the world. See, all are guilty. Every single 1 of us have done what we see in chapter 1.

You you might cast your eyes back there and it says that we didn't recognize Christ when he came. We rejected God. We didn't want to know him in our lives. And that meant we're guilty. Romans says, all have fallen short of the glory of God.

All are sins. No 1 is good, No 1 seeks God, but the good news here is that Christ dies for the world. It's for everybody. So all are guilty but all can be forgiven. Look at verse 12, to all who did receive them, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.

Does it matter what country you're from, what ethnicity you are, what race you are, what gender you are, Doesn't matter. He came for your sin. 1 John 2 verse 2 says he is the attorney sacrifice for our sins and not only for ours, but also for the sins of the whole world. But there's even more than that because this is the lamb of God who takes away this into the world. But in verse 33, he does more Look with me at verse 33, and I myself did not know him, but the 1 who sent me to baptize with water told me the man on whom you see the spirit come down and remain is the 1 who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.

See, not only does he take away the sins of the world but for those who trust in him, he baptizes with the Holy Spirit. Those who trust in his sack face. It's a turning sacrifice for the sins of the world. If you trust and say, I I I I have my faith in that, he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit. Now, what does that mean?

Well, it's not that it's not that funny. It means that he will give you his holy spirit with without reservation. He will pour out his holy spirit on you. And this here is different from anything that's happened before because Jesus, as he said, is bringing in a new order. It's a new covenant.

It's a whole new dimension and the hallmark of that new dimension is that we have the holy spirit in abundance. This is the age of the spirit in new covenant form. And so the Lord Jesus, when you trust in him, says I will give you 1 who's an advocate. I will give you my spirit. And by giving you my spirit, Jesus unites us to him, and he gives us the means to live a life of service for him in the kingdom.

He gives us his spirit so that we can live for him. He gives us his spirit so that the spirit can teach us about more and more about the lord Jesus Christ. He gives us his spirit so that we may go out and tell people about this great and glorious Lord Jesus Christ. So behold what the lamb of God does. It's amazing.

It's incredible. Thirdly, behold, and know the lamb of God. Behold and know the lamb of God. You might have realized and and and seen as we've gone through this chapter 1, there is an ignorant ignorance of the lord Jesus throughout. To look at verse 31, even with John, I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that He might be revealed to Israel.

And then verse 33, he says it again, and I myself did not know him, but the 1 who sent me to that with water told me, the man on whom you see the spirit come down and remain is the 1 who will baptize with the Holy Spirit. But that's just in this passage. If you look before that, John says in verse 26, I've baptized with water, John replied. But among you, stands 1, you do not know. And this is just a continuation of chapter 1 and verse 10 to 12 where it says he was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.

He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. So there's this ignorance, and that is why, because people don't understand or know or or or realize who Jesus is, that is why we need John the baptism to point him out to us. See the world doesn't have an answer. The world doesn't know the answer for its sin. The world doesn't understand how it can get out of the predicament that it is, that it is hobbs with with God.

The world doesn't know the solution to its problems. And so what we need is a reliable witness to point him out. We need a useful source to show us that this is the lamb of God and that I need to put my trust in him. So what we do in history, if we want to work out if something is is trust word that we need to look at the evidence, and we need to look at trustworthy evidence to see if it's true. And that's what John the artist is.

See you you put him in the dark and he'll show you that he is the 1 and that he is a reliable witness of who Jesus is. See, he himself, you would have seen there, had come to a full realization of who Christ was. That's when he baptized him. When he baptized as the lord jeez, before that, he couldn't have understood fully. That this is the Messiah, but as he baptizes him and the spirit comes down and rests on him, he's like Isaiah 61.

This is the Messiah. Isaiah 61, this is the lamb of God. And as soon as that happens, as soon as he understands and realizes that this is the chosen 1. This is God's son, he can say, look at this. Look at this 1.

Look at this Jesus. Look at the lamb of God. And so what he does, he as he understands that this is the 1 that can solve mankind's issues of sin and the power of sin, he points to Christ He points to the lamb and says, look at the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. This is the beautiful, glorious, wonderful, lord Jesus. Who can pay for your wrong.

So behold and know the lamb of God, Behold and know the lamb of God. Today, as you sit here, as you may be online, behold him. None like Jesus. There's no perfect lamb of God apart from the Lord Jesus Christ. You can deal with your issues.

You can deal with your sin. So look at him, behold him, gaze at him. And trust in him, behold and know the lamb of God. Fourthly, if you've done that, Point to the lamb of God for the world to behold. Point to the lamb of God for the world to behold.

See, as soon as John realized, is this? He doesn't go, oh, that was nice. That's good for me. But I'll keep it you know, when people say, oh, you should keep your faith private. Well, that's a load of nonsense isn't it?

How can I keep this private? John doesn't does it. He's not like, oh, well, I'll keep that 1 to myself. See you later, guys. Now John's like, whoa.

And his he then goes, I need a message, a momentous moving, meaningful message that's gonna define my ministry, and that's what this message does and that's why he says in verse 29 behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. I'm gonna keep saying that because there's nothing better, I can say. That's what he does. He testifies. He witnesses to Jesus.

And and and it's like what Ben was saying last last week, he's not there going, well look at I am pretty great. I've baptized some people in there Jordan. Look at me. John's not like that. John's not like look at me, I've baptized Jesus.

No. John's like he's not trying to say, he's saying, no. Look look look at look at the land. Look at the lamb. Look at the lamb.

Don't look at me. Look at the lamb. And just as John, held out and pointed out the Lord Jesus as the lamb of God. That is our mission. That it should be all testimony.

That should be all witness. It shouldn't be art, well look how great Rory canard is and look how great Rory can I can do that this that and the other? No, it should be I am nothing but Christ, the lamb of God. Behold the lamb of God, he takes away of the world. You want a strapline.

You want a slogan. You want a message. There's 1 for you right there. Behold. The lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

That should be our message. That is the message that this world desperately needs to hear, son. How are you doing with this? Maybe you are here and you've never beheld the lamb of god. Cline encourage you to lift your eyes up and place him on Christ, the lamb of God, God's chosen 1, and see that he is the answer to all problems, that is the answer to your sin, that is the answer to your alienation with God.

Look at him. There is nothing more beautiful than Christ. Nothing. Nothing else is worth given your time too. That's why the media fast is so good.

I can finally get off this stupid iPhone. I kick that out the window. Right? And I can go, whoa. The lamb I've got.

Well, you could do that on your phone but anyway, Maybe you've taken your eyes off the lamb of God. Maybe you're hearing you've grown grown tired. Maybe you've gone adrift, lukewarm. Stop. Don't grow numb.

Come back. Get your eyes back on the Lord Jesus. Behold him. Behold him and live for him. Maybe you're struggling with sin and you think, oh, I'm so I'm so sinful.

I'm so guilty. I've I've messed up again and again. I I keep on doing the wrong things. We'll take your eyes off your sin and take your eyes. Of of your problems and your guilt and look at the look upwards to Christ and see that he is 1 that has dealt with all of your sin and then live out of that And as you do that, brothers and sisters in Christ, as you look at Christ point others to him.

It's a bit like, you know, when you're when when I point to Jerusalem, I don't I don't go look at the sky. That would be weird. Unless my name was Sky. I say I point to Christ. In in colossians chapter chapter 3 in verse 1.

Great word says, since then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. When people see you, let them see you looking upwards. When people see Christians, they should see this. As I look upwards, at at Christ at the right hand, the Father, the lamb of God who dealt with my sin. And when you look up with it stuff, what do people do?

They look up with you. Now, this will be No, physically, you don't do because that would be weird, wouldn't it if people came in and him were all there. But showing your life that the lamb of God is the 1 that binds you. Show in your life that the lamb of God is the 1 that's dealt with your sin. Show him that he is the 1 that that loved you so much that he died for you.

Show me in your relationships with 1 another that Christ is the defining 1 in your life, and as you do that and as fix your eyes in Christ, people will go, what are you looking at over there? And they will see Christ. O that we would behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. And as we do that, we pray that we can point others to this glorious land. Let's pray.

Father, we we thank you so much for what this passage shows us about Christ. And thank you that John the Baptist did not wanna revel in himself and want people to look at himself, but he wanted to fade out the background and point people to the lord Jesus Christ, the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Father, we thank you for Christ. We thank you that he is the lamb. We thank you that he was perfect.

We thank you that he was willing to go to a cross to be the sacra advice for our sins to take away our sins. Father help is not to grow weary and numb of these truths. Help us not to go away from this. Help us not to take our eyes of this, but we pray father that we will fix our eyes on him. That was our sacrifice and who gives us his spirit.

And as we fix our eyes and him, and and as we go in the power of the holy we pray that we live for him, and as we do so, may we point people to this glorious lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. We pray this in his name, our man.

Preached by Rory Kinnaird
Rory Kinnaird photo

Rory is a trainee pastor at Cornerstone and oversees our Youth Work with his wife Jerusha who is also a youth leader.

Contact us if you have any questions.

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