Sunday Readings: Isaiah 49.3,5-6 1 Corinthians 1.1-3 John 1.29-34
John the Baptist caught sight of Jesus and said, “Look there. The Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.”…John also gave this testimony, “I saw the Spirit descend like a dove from the sky, and come to rest on him. But, as I say, I did not recognize him. The one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘When you see the Spirit descend and rest on someone, it is he who is to baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ Now I have seen for myself and have testified, ‘’This is God’s chosen one’” (John 1.32-34).
Awe is the beginning of wisdom in the bible. Wisdom results from our human capacity to discover God’s handiwork in creation, its order, its fruitfulness, and beauty. Our minds perceive God’s activity, learn and teach about God by interacting with creation and appreciating life. Our wisdom mirrors God’s activity in the world.
The evangelist John sees in Jesus wisdom finding a home among us—“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (1.14). In his humanity Jesus reveals God as creation reveals God in its workings. Jesus ranks ahead and before the Baptist. Like Wisdom, the Word comes from above and was from the beginning.
In Sunday’s gospel the Baptist also compares Jesus to the Passover lamb, whose blood on doorposts helps free the Hebrew slaves in Egypt. The Baptist likens Jesus to God’s chosen servant, the defeated Israelites who suffer exile but also make God known among the nations. Jesus is the Spirit-filled leader to whom the Baptist’s preaching points.
What insights into who Jesus is do these images from the Hebrew bible give you?