A reflection on John’s testimony

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Thursday, January 16, 2014


THE gospel to be pondered on in many Christian churches this Sunday comes from the gospel of John (Chapter 1, Verses 29-34). It reads as follows: The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one 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 baptizing 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 one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”

Short as this gospel may be, it spells out a very clear message: Jesus is the Lamb of God. He is God’s Chosen One. Everyone and everything in this world exist to bring him glory, honor and praise.

It must be recalled that prior to Jesus’ baptism he lived a very private life with his family in Nazareth. John, on the other hand, was very much in the public scene ? preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, calling for repentance for sins and baptizing with water. No wonder John won many followers among the ordinary folks and enemies among the leaders of the established Jewish religious order. Many marveled, “Could this be the Promised Messiah who would liberate God’s people from bondage?”

John’s humility was shown when he acknowledged who he was and who Jesus is. Openly he testified about Jesus saying, “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” Yes, Jesus as man came after John, yet John knew so well that Jesus as God was before him. In fact Jesus as God was the beginning. This, John must have kept in mind, for right in the opening lines of his gospel he wrote, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:1, 14). Clearly this Word is no other than Jesus himself. Later, John, in keeping with this humble spirit, wrote, “He (in reference to Jesus) must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).

May we all have the heart of John. May we realize that we don’t own ourselves but that God owns us. Thus we should live our lives to realize God’s purpose. As St. Paul writes, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies” (1Corinthians 6:19-20). (Dr. Jaime V. Cortez)

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on January 16.

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