Below is the sermon audio & the sermon notes of Bryn MacPhail. “Look, The Lamb Of God”, based on John 1:19-34, was preached at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Kirk on January 16, 2011.
In ancient days, before there was facebook, email, or text messaging, there were heralds.
Traveling dignitaries sent heralds ahead of them to announce their coming and to prepare the way for their visit.
John the Baptist was such a person—appointed by God to prepare the way for the King of Israel.
My understanding is that a herald typically traveled with such an impressive caravan, and was adorned in such extravagant apparel, that when they descended upon a town they were often mistakenly thought to be the king.
John the Baptist found himself in a similar situation in that the religious leaders of the day wondered whether he might be the Messiah foretold long ago by the prophets.
It is curious that such an inquiry would be made given that there was nothing outwardly attractive about John the Baptist.
John did not dress in robes of silk, but rather, Mark’s Gospel tells us that he “was clothed with camel’s hair” (Mk. 1:6). John the Baptist, who was crudely dressed, also had an unusual diet, consisting of “locusts and wild honey” (Mk. 1:7).
What was it then? What prompted the religious leaders to seek John out and to ask him if he was ‘the Christ’? Was it John’s ability to endear himself to people?
Certainly not! Do you remember John’s sermon introduction, recorded by Luke? John the Baptist begins his sermon with the words, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” (Lk. 3:7).
John’s clothing was crude, his diet was strange, and his message was harsh . . . and yet, there was something about this man that caused others to wonder if he might be the promised king of the Jews.
Responding to the inquiry, John the Baptist demonstrates for our edification a number of things.
1) First, in John the Baptist, we see the marks of a faithful messenger of God.
2) Secondly, we hear from John the marks of the central message from God.
3) And thirdly, as we survey John the Baptist’s ministry approach elsewhere, we note the urgency of making the central message known.