3rd Sunday of Tubah – The martyrdom of John the Baptist

John the Baptist
Two characteristics were combined in John the Baptist: The characteristic of prophecy and that of the eyewitness. P He is the prophet of the Highest. Jesus said about him, "More than a prophet." (Matt. 11:9). The spirit of prophecy could surpass the unseen time as if it is seen. And sees the truth existing in the symbols and the obscure.

It was clear in him being the eyewitness, seeing the blessed Jesus approaching him at the Jordan. He saw the heaven opened and the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. He heard the voice of the Father from heaven saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Matt. 3:17). This is how John witnessed Jesus with the Holy Spirit, the spirit of the prophecy, and by what he saw and heard from God.

The Lamb of God

John cried our and declared "The Lamb of God." (John 1:29). In truth, this announcement is the revealing of the identity of Jesus, though John was not sure, as he said, ‘I didn’t know Him’. But when John talked about Jesus before that time, he said, His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. (Matt. 3:12). But when he saw Him at the Jordan River, He was totally different. He saw the real Lamb taking all the sins of the world. He is "The Lamb of God."  The One chosen by God to erase the sins, to wash them and submerge them in the sea of baptism. This is the Jordan Jesus, whom we see every day, standing by the baptism and ready to carry the sins of those who accept Him.

Also on the following day John was standing along with two of his disciples. He saw Jesus walking and said, "’Behold the Lamb of God’, the two of his disciples heard him speak and they followed Jesus." (John 1:36, 37). Here Jesus was not approaching John, but He was walking to His own objective (towards the cross). So John once more announced his discovery "The sacrificed Lamb" Here the announcement made both of his disciples follow Jesus. Therefore the secret of following Jesus and preaching His name, exists within the discovery of "The Lamb of God."

Jesus The Lamb of God who is with us every day on the altar. Will you cast your sins onto Him? Will you announce Him to all, refer to Him on the altar, such that the multitudes approach Him? This is the message of everyone who knows The Lamb of God!

The Bridegroom

There was a discussion between John’s disciples and the Jews with respect to cleansing, so they came to John. And John directly talked to them about what Jesus said, "He who has the bride is the bridegroom." (John 3:29). In the beginning we didn’t discover Jesus, the obedient Lamb who accepts us and carried our sins. Then from another view, we see in Him the true bridegroom. This clarified for us the true meaning of the Church as the bride of Jesus. This is the secret of our unity with Jesus. Our unity with one another in the Church. This is what Peter the apostle lately announced saying, "I preached you to represent Jesus with pure virgins. Husbands, love your wives as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for her." (Eph. 5:25) This was John’s answer to his disciples with respect to cleansing. He declared to them his discovery of the Bridegroom, who has sacrificed Himself for His Bride and presented her with the cleansing in the water of the Jordan. Jesus spoke about the secret of the Bridegroom and the Bride when He said, "The kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise" (Matt. 25:1, 2) Our ties with the Bridegroom and the requirements of the divine wedding, requires wise souls to know who is the Bridegroom, to be filled from the oil of the Holy Spirit. This will make us able to stay up late with prayers, to meet the face of the Bridegroom with joy and enters into His heavenly chambers forever. John the Baptist announced that the church is the bride for Jesus. This church is the one, which John the theologian saw in the Book of Revelation. "Coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. She herself is calling along with the Holy Spirit to all the souls who are wondering in the world." (1 John 2:16). "And the Spirit and bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!!’." (Rev. 22:17). Everyone who units with the church and the heavenly Bridegroom, he will be able to taste His love. And when he tastes His love, he will not cease preaching His name and calling for His love. P I wonder if my soul became the bride for Jesus. I wonder if it was adorned with purity and beautified with virtues. Is it waiting everyday for its Bridegroom with desire, with love, with faithfulness and with prayers? Dear brethren, the love of the world is adultery and betrayal towards the Bridegroom. "Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?" (James 4:4).

"He who comes from above is above all." John (3:31)

Here is another announcement by John about Christ, He presents Christ to those coming from above. Therefore we should not understand Jesus with earthly comprehension. Or think of words within human means. The words of Christ are life and Spirit and commandments above all. Above the mind and the human comprehension, it is above the human judgement, above the philosophies, and above all. The blessed Jesus united with us through His baptism, so that we became born from above. He wants us to have a treasure in heaven, a divinity not from this world. He who looks at earthly things will stumble in Christ. He who looks above will be aware of Jesus, who recognizes him.

God doesn’t give the Spirit with a scale

The Holy Spirit descended on Jesus like a dove. John revealed to us these amazing matters. These matters deals with our salvation, especially when he saw the Spirit descending and residing on Him. So he reveals the love of the Father to the Son and the acquisition of the Holy Spirit on the human body in the entity of the only Son. From another point he saw Jesus as He gives the Holy Spirit without a scale. Our relation and knowledge of Jesus is unlimited, unbound and unconditional. The knowledge is the work of the Holy Spirit in us. Our acquisition from Jesus is limitless, for the Holy Spirit takes from Jesus and gives us. The Holy Spirit imprints within us Christ’s image, it keeps within us the scent of Christ. Jesus poured for us His love with the Spirit and baptism, for the love of Christ has been poured into our hearts, with the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. The Lord described the Holy Spirit by the wind which blows from wherever it pleases, you hear its sound, but don’t know where it comes, or to where it goes. The work of God, in those born from above, is secret and spiritual, no one could comprehend because, ‘Who measures the Spirit! The work of the Spirit is not subject to human scale, and the growth of the Spirit is not limited to a human measure.’

"He who believes in the Son has everlasting life." John (3:36)

Here is John’s conclusion concerning Jesus. Here he announces the grace of son-ship and eternal life. In baptism the Son of God was declared. And we call on the Father with a voice, heard with Jesus’ humanity, with a fatherly call saying, "This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." (Matt. 3:17) So we entered into the grace of son-ship and the joy of the Father. "And this is eternal life that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." (John 17:3) P So the baptism is our gate into eternal life, our acceptance of the son-ship in Christ. It

was the greatest secret of the Jordan and your declaration of God there. There, it was declared that Jesus is the Lamb of God, the Bridegroom of the church coming from above. Here He poured His Spirit without scale, and allowed us to enter into the eternal life and the grace of son-ship.

Leave a Reply