Gospel – January 19, 2020 – John 1:29-34
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.’
I did not know him,
but the reason why I came baptizing with water
was that he might be made known to Israel.”
John testified further, saying,
“I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven
and remain upon him.
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.’
Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.”
I’m old now but there was a show every year of my childhood that was televised known as THE WIZARD OF OZ. The wizard was on old man blown into Oz many years ago. He was very popular for spreading “knowledge” while standing behind a current and sending out a false image.
Today’s Gospel brought to mind that old story. But John is throwing back the curtain and revealing Jesus instead of himself.
What John has been – that projected image – is no longer needed. It has served its purpose and will now diminish.
But Jesus is now exposed for what he is – the Lamb of God – and John is fully aware. Imagine what might John have been thinking since he saw the dove descend upon Jesus and stay.
He probably asked himself if this was truly the one. Did I miss something? Did I misunderstand? Can this truly be the Son of God – the Messiah? But he knows now.
And so the curtain is drawn and Jesus must increase while John – this wonderful servant of God – must decrease.
Eventually, the Wizard left to return home after doing great good but leaving behind his believers.
Jesus also eventually returned home but he left us the Holy Spirit that we might never be alone.
Every year we waited in anticipation for that show – excited for its return.
Are we as excited today, as I was then, for the return of the One we see exposed today – the Lamb of God?
At least that’s what I heard Him say…