Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” Then they said to him, “Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?” He said: “I am’ The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Make straight the way of the Lord,” ‘ as the prophet Isaiah said.” And they asked him, saying, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” John answered them, saying, “I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know. “It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.” These things were done in Bethabara beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing. The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”
John the Baptist as he was called by the people, was born into a priestly family of the tribe of Levi. And his calling by God was that of a priest, because he was called to announce the soon arrival of the Messiah. In ancient times if a king was to visit a city or a region, they would send a forerunner to prepare the people for the king’s arrival. In this manner, John the Baptist was the forerunner foretold by the prophet Isaiah, to announce the coming of God to dwell with mankind. John the Baptist was called by God as a priest to announce to the world that Jesus Christ, the very God of Heaven had come in the flesh. That the Lord who is the Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world had come. John had begun his ministry around the age of thirty preaching in the wilderness of the Jordan valley. In preparation for the coming of the Messiah. John was called by God to prepare the people for Christ Jesus through repentance of their sins, this was in order to make their hearts ready to hear God’s word. John helped the people understand their need for a Savior by helping them to recognize and acknowledge their sinful nature.
In other words John was telling the people to remember and acknowledge their sins and to be in repentance for them. And by this message God was making them ready to receive the forgiveness of their sins by the Lamb of God who was coming. Jesus Christ our Lord is the Lamb of God. Because of his style of preaching many thought John was the Messiah, however, that was not true and John himself made that clear to those who were sent by the Jewish leaders to ask him. Moreover, John further clarified this point the next day when he saw Jesus coming toward him and announced to all those who could hear his voice, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” The phrase “Lamb of God” points back to God’s redemption through the shed blood of the innocent. It was the blood of the lamb on the door-post during the Exodus story which saved the people from the Angel of Death. The Exodus lamb became the lamb that was slain at Passover to cover the sins of the people. Both of these acts were purposed by God to help people look forward to Jesus Christ, the Messiah to come. God did this in order that they would better understand Jesus’ sacrifice for us. The “Lamb of God” was also a prophetic term which referred to the Messiah.