Sermon Outline On John 1:29-42
The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.” And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.” The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon. One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Anointed). He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).
Clayton Sullivan in his book, Called to Preach, Condemned to Survive, compares the sentiment surrounding religion to an old grandfather’s clock.
The clock is now a family heirloom, and everyone likes to have it around. But no one notices its functioning, or lack thereof. “For nothing in the world would one get rid of Grandfather’s clock. Indeed, it is polished and dusted regularly and has a place of honor in the living room. Yet no one expects Grandfather’s clock to tell time or to regulate life.”
Today people everywhere are looking for something-desperately. There is a quest for some sort of awakening, a deep hunger for spiritual renewal, lurking behind all the scheduled chaos that fills our lives. Not all recognize they are even searching for something more to add to their lives. The search for the spiritual leads to some strange choices. Some try to satisfy spiritual longing by reading books. Others resort to such things as crystals, pyramids, herbal potions, dream-catchers for a spiritual spark.
Some expect a fixation on angels to satisfy their spiritual longings.
Angel books, angel pillows, angel towels, angel statues, angel jewelry, angel stationery, and angel calendars. Some even resort to phone calls to TV personalities who read cards with Carribean accents. What are we looking for?
John the Baptist was looking for a sign. God had told him that the one to follow him, the one who would baptize with the Holy Spirit was coming. John would be able to recognize him because the Spirit would descend from heaven and rest on him AND remain with him.
John’s gospel does not give an account of the baptism of Jesus. But it does give the detailed witness of John the Baptist to the Spirit descending like a dove and resting on Jesus. John the Baptist says, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him.” And because John saw that which God had revealed to him, He proclaimed, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”
On the next day, John is with two of his disciples. He sees Jesus again and says, “Look, here is the Lamb of God” Or “Behold, the Lamb of God.” Those two disciples of the Baptizer begin to follow Jesus. Then Jesus turned and confronted them, they were startled by his question and its directness. “What are you looking for?” Jesus asked. He was blunt, direct, no gentle discipling. It was more like an interrogation. “What are you looking for?”
During the course of Jesus’ ministry, it would become clear just what some of his so-called “followers” were looking for.
* As his reputation spread, there were the throngs that crowded around him with various diseases and ailments. They were looking for healing.
* As his popularity spread, there were the religious authorities who began to question his theology and orthodoxy. They were looking for a fight.
* As his miracles increased, there were the crowds of hangers-on, just there for the show. They were looking for entertainment.
* As his wisdom spread, there were seekers like the rich young ruler who tried to second-guess his meanings. They were looking for an easy way into heaven.
* As his fame circulated, and his famine-quenching powers became the talk of the town, there were lots of people with needs and wants who followed in his wake. They were looking for the loaves and fishes.
When Jesus went off by himself to the mountains and was lost in prayer, his own disciples came and interrupted him, declaring, “Everyone is looking for you!” The disciples were right. Everyone is looking for Jesus, for the living spirit of God in their lives-even if they don’t realize it. They are looking for the Son of God.
Collections of ceramic “Jesus junk” won’t fill the void; bags of crystals won’t answer the need. The answer to Jesus’ soul-searching question, “What are you looking for?”, can’t be brought home from the shopping mall.’ Each one of us has a hole in the heart that only Christ can fill. Discovering the spirit of God, the presence of Christ, in our life is rarely experienced as a blinding light or a burning bush. Growing in our relationship with Christ, growing in our spiritual lives, growing in our knowledge and love of God is a lifelong process.
When Jesus finally asks you by name, “What are you looking for?”, you can give the only answer that satisfies: “Jesus, the Lamb of God.”
BUT is that enough? John the Baptist introduced Andrew to Jesus, and Andrew introduced his brother Simon Peter to Jesus. They had been searching. What had they been looking for? They had been looking for the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. What introductions have we made?
We are surrounded by those who are searching. They think they are searching for healing, looking for a fight, looking for entertainment, expecting to find an easy way to heaven, or simply looking for their next meal.
What introductions have we made? People all around us are searching for security. They think they can find it in more money, bigger homes, faster cars.
What introductions have we made? People all around us are searching for love. They think they can find it in temporary relationships with no commitment, in movies and TV programs filled with far more than suggestions, or purchase it with money or the way we act.
What introductions have we made? People all around us are searching for a self-image. They think they can find it filthy language (speaking or hearing it in the media), putting others down, lying, cheating, or doing drugs. I tell you people are searching!
Are we making introductions? Why are we here today? Is it only for ourselves? Who will make the introductions to all those who are searching?