John 1:29-34 (New International Version)
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.”
The official beginning of Jesus’ three-year earthly ministry is marked by his baptism by John. Just a few verses before this, John had proclaimed, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord!'” (1:23). And here John does just that. He calls out to the people in the wilderness, telling those assembled that the man standing so calmly and silently before them is the Chosen One, the Messiah, the Savior for whom they had been waiting so long.
“Look!” John proclaims for all to hear, “I have seen and I testify.” These are powerful words of faith and trust. But in order to “testify,” John first had to “see.” Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. From now through Easter morning– April 20th– we’ll “see” for ourselves by walking in the footsteps of Jesus.
What does the word “savior” mean to you? John testified that Jesus has come “to take away the sin of the world.” What does that mean to you?