In John 1:29-34 Jesus arrives on the scene. When John sees Him coming, he declares Him as the Lamb of God, the One who takes away the sin of the world. How can this man make such a statement? We see how John can make such a statement as John proclaims the Lamb of God, speaks of his ministry and of the inner witness.
When John proclaimed, “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world,” he used an image familiar to the Jewish people. Sacrifice existed deep within their religious understanding. An unblemished lamb was part of that ritual. Without it they had no access to God because of their sinfulness. Apart from this yearly sacrifice they had no answer to their sin problem and therefore no access to God. Now John declares the image in a new form. He relates it to a man. He declares He is of God and proclaims him as the Lamb which takes away the sin of the world. John is a prophet. He speaks of a future his natural eyes have not seen, nor understand.
John tells us that at first, he didn’t know Him. However, he did have a call to baptize with water. He believed that through this ministry the Lamb of God would be revealed. It motivated his showing up at the Jordan river, calling people to repent and being faithful in it. He declared One much greater than himself was coming and he did so boldly. So how did he know?
The Inner Witness
John recognized the voice. The One who called him initially to baptize, to prepare the way for the Lamb again speaks to him letting him know how he will recognize the One. It will happen in a certain manner. The Spirit will descend from heaven in the form of a dove. He will rest on Him. This is He who will baptize with the Holy Spirit. Thus, God prepared John. Then when the events played out before him as the inner witness had shown, he could proclaim with confidence, “This is the Son of God.”
This same Spirit yet speaks. As Jesus said, “My sheep know my voice.” John proclaimed the Lamb of God, spoke of his ministry and of the inner witness.